Sunday, November 17, 2013

Just Under the Wire: Coffeeneuring Ride 7

One of the first rules of randonneuring is to front-load your riding so that you don't run out of time. Up against time constraints, we learn early on not to tempt fate by assuming nothing will go wrong, because, so often the unexpected rears its ugly head. Luckily, nothing went wrong for me over the past few months, but I've been working six-day weeks for some time and with a few college tours thrown in, that number or busy days per week has crept to seven on several occasions. As a result, I found myself undertaking my final coffeeneuirng ride on November 17, the last day of the challenge, with one hour to spare before heading to work in Long Island. I rode to the closest place that sells coffee. It's a shop I don't particularly like, owned by someone I don't particularly want to give my money to, which sells something hot and dark which looks vaguely like coffee. When in a pinch, we do what we have to do. I'm done. Mission accomplished.

Location: Esopus, NY
Venue: The Country Store
Coffee: black
Carbs: none
Mileage: 10

Monday, November 11, 2013

On to Old New Paltz: Coffeeneuring Day 6

New Paltz is a Hudson Valley gem. Founded in 1678 by French Huguenots, the village still hosts a rich collection of colonial stone houses and churches. Home to a state university campus and nestled into the side of the remarkable Shawangunk Ridge, New Paltz has something for just about everyone. The climbing, hiking and cycling are all world class and the food and shopping aren't bad either. When in town, be sure to stop by the Bicycle Depot for all of your cycling needs.

Location: New Paltz, NY
Venue: The Mudd Puddle
Coffee: Espresso
Carbs: Chocolate chip cookies
Mileage: 22

Saturday, November 9, 2013

The People's Republic of Rosendale: Coffeeneuring Day 5

It's always a delight to pass through Rosendale, NY. Originally settled by Europeans in 1685, Rosendale was once home to a booming natural cement industry. While it's still possible to locate the old mines, the industry has long since moved away and artists now outnumber laborers on Rosendale's main street. My destination this afternoon was the beloved Alternative Baker, where I found the mixed berry scone and cup of black coffee quite a pleasant counterpoint to the crisp fall weather.

Location: Rosendale, NY
Venue: The Alternative Baker
Coffee: Black
Carbs: Mixed berry scone
Mileage: 24

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Linking East & West: Coffeeneuring Day 4

Several years ago, the amazing Walkway Over the Hudson was unveiled and since then it has become a wonderful local resource as well as a significant tourist destination. The Walkway is the tallest and longest pedestrian bridge in the world and it's well worth a visit whenever you find yourself in the area. It was not until this fall, however, that the two preexisting rail trails on either side of the river were completely and permanently linked together to form a full 18-mile linear park that connects Dutchess and Ulster Counties.

I decided to mark this auspicious occasion with an end-to-end ride with a short break in the middle to enjoy some hot coffee and a seasonal treat. The Dutchess Rail Trail begins at the old Hopewell Junction train station so this is where I began my east-west journey after dropping my daughter off at a local high school to take her SAT II exams. The air was crisp and the skies were blue with a few colorful leaves still hanging onto the trees along the way.

The completion of this linear park required a few bridges and the purchase of a few miles of land from CSX. The next stage planned to enhance the bicycle infrastructure in the area involves building a massive elevator to connect the Walkway with the Metro North train station in Poughkeepsie 220 feet below. After crossing the Walkway, I found a nearby Dunkin Donuts and after enjoying a coffee and a pumpkin donut, I rejoined the Hudson Valley Rail Trail and rode the 10 miles to the trail's end in Highland. Rejoining local roads, I was home in no time.

Location: Highland, NY
Venue: Dunkin' Donuts
Coffee: Regular
Carbs: Pumpkin donut
Mileage: 30