Monday, June 10, 2013

The Catskill Climbfest 200K Permanent: Last Minute Edition

I was all lined up to ride the Central NY 400K this weekend when life got in the way. At the last minute, I came to my senses and realized that a 10 hour round trip to ride in an 18 hour event was going to set me back too far on both the home and work fronts to justify the fun I'd have on the route. While nursing my disappointment, I got an email from Doug who was hoping to scare up interest in a Sunday ride. Andrey quickly chimed in that a tour through the Catskills would hit the spot so I jumped at the opportunity to get the band back together.

After some seriously wet weather this week, the skies cleared to reveal near-perfect conditions for a ride through the mountains. It was one of those days we dream about while fighting off the frigid conditions of winter.

It's been awhile since Doug and Andrey and I took on the Catskills as a group and I was as impressed by their enhanced fitness as I was disappointed with my own sorry shape. Since the hills are likely not any steeper, a more plausible explanation is the utter lack of serious riding I've done this spring.

An added treat for riders of the Catskill Climbfest are the many waterfalls along the route. Depending on the season and the water levels, these can be either roaring torrents or humble dribbles. Luckily, the recent rains created rather dramatic conditions this weekend.

One of these days, I may actually walk up to investigate the famed Kaaterskill Falls, the tailhead of which we pass on our climb up Route 23A to Tannersville. For now, it's just provides a little shaded relief and a photo op on the first of our two mammoth climbs of the day.

Another treat we discovered deep in the high valley behind Peekamoose Mountain was a pool of submerged ferns that looked like something out of the movie Avatar. The deepness of the green and the clarity of the water glistening in the afternoon light was almost intoxicating. So while I was not able to bag my 400K this weekend, I did have a great time riding in my own backyard with two good friends on a nearly perfect day.

Up Next: The Boston 600K on July 20-21.


  1. Looks like a great time -you should have ridden it twice though.

  2. Twice, indeed! Thanks, Iron Rider. I liked your photos from the Catskill 600K as well.