Spring has finally arrived in the Hudson Valley and I could not be happier. This year, March entered like a lion and pretty much left like a lion as well with temperatures hovering below freezing on both ends of the month. April is another story, however. This past week we've enjoyed temperatures in the 50s and low 60s as crocuses pop their heads through the earth and spring peepers sing in chorus from every pond and waterhole. The combination of warmer weather, longer days and spring lifeforms freshens my love for riding as a source of pleasure and not just transportation and exercise.
With the longer days, I've been able to steal away for short rides after work before dinner and this alone brings joy to my week. Luckily, there are a range of options right out my door so a 90-minute ride can feel like entering a different world. With even less time, I can manage a great workout with hill repeats as I did last Thursday. One way or the other, I'm committed to getting this soft and flabby body back into peak form over the next several months.
Today, my pal Peter and I decided to ride a 50-mile Hudson River Double Cross as way to welcome in spring. We met up on the road just south of Kingston and found our way over to the Kingston-Rhinecliff Bridge where we were nearly blown over by the high southerly winds as we watched the mighty tug boats guiding barges toward Manhattan. After returning to solid ground, we hung a quick right and followed the Hudson south along River Road. Neither of us had ever ridden south of Rhinecliff on these quiet country lanes and we were dumbfounded by the beauty we found along the way all the way through Staatsburg to Hyde Park where we rejoined State Highway 9. We passed no fewer than half a dozen gorgeous Hudson River mansions along the way, which gave me the idea for a RUSA permanent devoted specifically to viewing the historic mansions in this region.
These have been a mighty busy few weeks for me as I've recently accepted a new job that will begin in July. More soon on how my new job will not only bring me incredible professional satisfaction, but also enhance my riding in direct and dramatic ways.