Tuesday, April 23, 2013

My Woodstock Meet-up with the Blayleys

John and Pamela at Kaaterskill Falls

When rando-celebrities like the Blayleys come to town, it's a good idea to drop everything and join them for a ride. Such was my luck last week when Pamela let me know that she and John would be spending a little time in Woodstock catching up on some well-deserved R & R. Living in Boston, John and Pamela described a surreal time hunkered down while FBI agents and the local police force scoured the city in search of the young men who caused such terrible destruction earlier in the week at the marathon. While dramatic, the siege was fortunately short-lived and our friends were able to escape in time for their vacation.

Climbing 23A to Tannersville
After exchanging a few messages through Facebook, we locked in a time to meet at Bread Alone, a favorite local spot for pre-ride carbs and piping hot coffee. Once we were suitably fueled, we turned our attention to bicycles. While unloading my bike from the car, I noticed a nasty sidewall tear with all the potential to ruin a beautiful mountain ride. Luckily, John was able to loan me a spare tire so I was not forced to rely on a boot and a prayer as I rode through areas more remote than my cell coverage. Leaving Woodstock on Glasco Turnpike, we headed east towards Palenville with Overlook Mountain over our left shoulders. I pointed out Platte Clove Rd. and my partners took note of the climb for another day. At the base of Route 23A, I removed and packed my jacket into my pocket so as to keep the climbing sweat at bay.

After a short pit stop in Tannersville, we were rewarded with the lovely descent into Phoenicia on Route 214. There's just no way to keep up with a pair of strong riders on a tandem heading downhill. To prepare for this, I let John and Pamela know that I'd meet them in the village below so we all enjoyed the descent at our own optimal pace. We arrived in Phoenicia with appetites for lunch so we stopped at Mama's Boy Market where there's a treat for just about everyone. Soon it was time to head out for the last stretch of road into Woodstock. Despite the gorgeous weather, there were very few people on the roads which only enhanced the surrounding beauty.

All in all, it was a lovely day. The conversation was stimulating and the roads and weather were spectacular. While jealous that John and Pamela get to spend the week exploring the paved and gravel roads sprinkled around the Catskill Mountains while I head back to work, it was a pleasure and honor to orient them to this exceptional place as a tour guide. Bonnes vacances!

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