Monday, July 30, 2012

Tour de PDS: Stage 1 (The East Side of the Hudson in 177 miles)

At 6:30am on a gorgeous, dry Monday morning in mid-July, I clipped in and rolled out of the Poughkeepsie Day School parking lot heading south. Coming off a week of above-average temperatures mixed with high humidity, the conditions boded well for a journey through 25 towns and 177 miles. The Tour de PDS had begun.

The final route for Stage 1.
Not sure why they chose these colors, but I'm glad they did.
Garrison, NY 10524 
The view of Bear Mt. across the Hudson.
A very refreshing lunch in Pawling before the big climb.
The major climb of the day crosses the Appalacian Trail.
Another quaint hamlet sign.
Lovely farm country abounds throughout the Hudson Valley.
Friends Jill and Doug slow down to say hello.
The oldest inn in America.
The FDR home is one of the many historic spots along the river. 
Back again, safe and sound as night falls.
Stage 1: The final count.

In all, it was a delightful day.

Up next: Stage 2: Exploring the West.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

The Tour de PDS: An Educational Endurance Adventure in Two Stages

It all started in mid-April at my school's annual auction when I made a pledge to cycle to every single town in which one of the students in my school lives in the shortest time possible. Poughkeepsie Day School is a small, independent day school that draws families from all over the Hudson Valley. After ten years of serving as middle school director, I figured it was time for me to see our broad expanse of geographical diversity up-close. Little did I know (when I made my pledge) exactly how many miles I would be riding. Our admissions director soon let me know I would be cycling to 47 towns and villages.

A map of the 47 towns and villages in which PDS families live.

After plotting the zip codes onto a map, I consulted our 2nd and 3rd grade mathematics students who made a wide range of estimates of the shortest route between all of these points. Taking their input and looking carefully at the map, I decided to break the tour into two stages, one on the east side of the Hudson and the other on the west. The former would amount to 177 miles and the latter 154.

To prepare my white Indy Fab for the journey, I attached my trusty Detours seatpost bag (for provisions), a Kinesis toptube bag (for camera and phone) and a Garmin eTrex GPS (to help me stay on track). On a dry, sunny Monday morning in mid-July, I rolled out of campus at 6:30am heading south to begin a large loop that would take in 25 towns as far south as Cortlandt Manor and as far north as Tivoli.

Up next: Stage 1 up-close.