Sunday, July 04, 2010

A week of cycling from the "Catskill House" in Shandaken

Looking back on now 500 miles put in last week including today's ESG Team Time Trial Training -- what was a killer effort for Py today after all that previous miles and climbing.

The six stages of riding the Catskills from Shandaken.

Day Zero, Saturday 6-26. Arrival at the Catskill House. Moving in, setting up the kitchen stuff, bike check... Kind of big house with some special style and atmosphere of the early 1900s -- are there spooky ghosts around at midnight? -- find out later!


Dinner in Pheonicia.

Day One, Sunday 6-27. The first day was to get an idea of the area and warm up. Out and climbing up on 42 over the first pass between Halcott Mtn. and West Kill (about 2000ft) with a strait fast run down into West Kill. Further on 23 and Co Rd 10 (very scenic) to Windham. Basically Windhamd and around we got into a quick shower while taking a lunch break in Windham -- roads got wet. Rain stopped, leaving on 23. At the turn on Co Rd 17 we saw a few riders from Setana, Chris said hi.... Funny surprise. The roads turned dry again - nice. A short steep climb and beautifully rolling road followed. Return as we came to 23.


Big Indian/Windham 66 miles / 4325 ft
GPS data and route

Again Dinner in Pheonicia.

Day Two, Monday 6-28. Making more miles. All the way out east on 28, proceeding on Co Rd 2 / Andes-De Lancey. A set of pretty "strait" climbes. Coffee break. A few of the group skipped the all out to De Lancey and went strait down to the Pepacton Reservoir (NYC Water Source). John, Kev, Robin, Nick and Py proceeded over two more passes before rolling along the Reservoir.

Day Three, Tuesday 6-29. In preparation for the upcoming big ride day this day was designated for an easy spin around towns -- to Woodstock.
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Adding a sight seeing tour at the Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome in the afternoon:


Woodstock 50 miles / 2000ft
GPS data and route

Cooking Dinner at The Big House.

Day Four, Wednesday 6-30. This great tour can hardly be any better described as done here by Rapha, from where the inspiration to do this ride is also originated here: "New Paltz".

Only we started that loop not near New Paltz, but in Shandaken right out of our house -- at about 12 o'clock of that route. A pretty good choice -- as we finished up with an great long down hill every one appreciated after over 100 miles.
A total of 9 riders from Long Island gathered at the "Catskill House", three more arrived to evening before just for this.

We started out of the big house at slightly chilly temperature, looking forward to a perfect day for this ride -- not too hot, clear, dry and sunny. The roll out was easy going as little down hill on 28 until we hit the nicer smaller winding road 28A South of Ashokan Reservoir making all the way on minor roads to 209, also featuring a smooth dirt section. Read also: "Way Gnome".
From Accord approaching the first climb to the famouse "Mountain House" at Mohonk.
Proceeding on 299 to "The Gunks". A coffee break and then strait up... quick fast down, making the seemingly long way to the Rondout Reservoir -- slowly gaining elevation already. Leaving the road at the Reservoir and hitting the bottom of "Sugarloaf" Road -- delivering the mail, as nicely said. One more rest stop at Claryville. Proceeding in the beautifull "Frost Valley", slowly climbing again to the last peak elevation at about 2'800ft. From there and incredible long down hill into "Big Indian".



Dinner at Pine Hill -- was it this day???

Day Five, Thursday 7-1. What do we do next? Figuring out some routes... Again Woodstock. Then to Hunter. And back.
Hunter 55 miles / 3468ft
GPS data and route

Pine Hill -- closed. Dinner in Big Indian at the Peekamoose.

Day Six, Friday 7-2. One more route (re)search. Doubling Day Ones first climb. Throwing in a few back roads, which turned out to be very nice and the neat decent from Hunter to Phoenicia.


Top of the Catskills 57 miles / 4598ft
GPS data and route

Totals: 441 miles / 25h17 / 28'688ft

End of Vacation Dinner at the Peekamoose once again.

Day Seven, Saturday 7-3. The night before departure, most of "us" already left Friday evening. The Big Catskill House got more quite and a bit spooky this night. Py went to bed as usual. But some thing was not right. Weird noises from below and the hallway/stairs/kitchen. Later some fast moving source of rash-ling around in the dark. Some Chipmunk or other animal around? All sudden some wind/whoosh close to his head and over the blanket -- what is going on? Checking it out, little light unveiled the intruder: A bat! Well, it did not liked the light and got frozen for a moment, then disappeared into the dark and did not came back...


  1. Just posted your adventure to the site. Big congrats to all of you for a dedicated effort! Let's ride sometime

  2. The Rapha route was for sure the high light of the week, but also the ride I named "Top of the Cats" -- would love to do some, may be the Rapha?, again when the leaves are turning into an art work of colors :-)