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.


  1. Thanks, Meg! Rode this one a few weeks back. More photos and stories to follow. Always be on the lookout for ways to merge your passion with your work. Cheers.

  2. Neat looking ride. I grew up in Peekskill and have done some riding on the west side of the river. I now live in Ithaca, NY

    Is your new IndyFab 700c or 650B? Can't quite tell from the pictures.


    Jim Bondra

  3. Hi Jim,

    Thanks for getting in touch. The Indy Fab is 700c. I have two - this one is set up for training and ultra racing and usually sports 25mm tires. My blue Indy Fab is also 700c, but tricked out with fenders and 32mm tires for the full rando experience. I just posted photos today of the east side loop; stop back in a day or two for the westside photos. I live on the west side myself and am partial to our more rugged mountain landscape in this side of the river.

    You should come down to your old stomping grounds some day to ride one of the three permanent routes I maintain. There's a new link at the top of the blog with more information about these.

    Cheers and happy trails!