Bikes & MetroNorth

Many of our rides require MetroNorth for those of us coming from the City. If you’ve taken MetroNorth in the past – a bike pass is no longer necessary. If you haven’t taken a bike on MetroNorth before, here are some pointers…

– Get on the train at a door marked with a wheelchair/handicapped sign (♿), then put your bike in the space that’s set aside for wheelchairs. If it’s full, run to the next door that has a handicapped sign and try there (if the conductors see you running they’ll hold the train).

– There are two types of handicapped areas on MNR trains. On older trains it tends to be a long space across from the bathroom. On newer trains it’s smaller spaces with fold-down seats. I’ve put pictures of each below.

– On the older trains with the long space (see below) people tend to just lean their bikes up against the side, but you can fit more bikes in if everyone hangs their front wheel off the rack above the space. I carry a length of velcro for this purpose, but you can also use the straps of your helmet – put your helmet on the rack above and then clip the helmet straps through your front wheel. Even if you lean your bike against the side velcro is handy to stop your bike rolling forward and back – just velcro a wheel to the some part of the frame. The picture below shows bikes both hanging and just leaning against the side.

– On the newer trains (see top pic) it’s best if you basically flip your bike upside down and put the handlebars against the seat or partition. The smallest bike should go in first, and then you alternate sides with subsequent bikes. You can fit 3-4 bikes on the 3 seat side of the train and 2-3 on the 2 seat side of the train if you do that. If you just “park” your bike in the space you can only fit 1 or 2 bikes on each side before they start obstructing the aisle. The top picture shows two bikes stacked that way and another just leaning up against them.

– When there are a lot of bikes and not many passengers the conductor might tell you to hang your bike in the seats. It’s the same idea as hanging it in the wheelchair area – you hang the front wheel off the rack above. Pick seats on the 2 seat side of the train.

– And lastly – it’s not hard for bikes to get damaged on the train – so wherever you put your bike – make sure if there’s some movement that there won’t be damage.

Awesome Gravel Roads This Past Weekend…

This past Sunday a guy from Out Cycling and I did a scouting ride on a circuitous, hilly 45 mile route between Mount Kisco and Golden’s Bridge and it was incredible… Even without leaves on the trees, the scenery was beautiful, and the homes and farms along the way were nothing less than picturesque.

Very little time (maybe 15%) was spent on semi-busy paved roads – the type most road cyclists ride on. The rest of the time was on lovely rural roads and at least half of that time was on gravel. The cars on those back roads weren’t in a rush to get anywhere and were incredibly polite and seemed to value everyone’s safety. It was an awesome experience. We even came across a rider on horseback!

There was only one place along the route to stop for food and fluids (located in North Salem). It was über cute and turned out to be owned by couple I knew (something I didn’t realize until the day before the ride).

I had 650b x 47mm tires on and they really helped. The ride would have been impossible on skinny tires and probably pretty jarring on my 700C x 35mm tires.

Here’s the route…

Gravel roads in Westchester are HILLY.
Gravel roads in Westchester are HILLY. It’s up one hill, down the same hill, then up the next hill…
Mountain Lakes Park
Mountain Lakes Park
The Old Bedford Oak Tree
The Old Bedford Oak Tree was along the route. It’s over 230 years old!
My favorite sign!
My favorite sign!
Lovely cream colored barn
And one of the many lovely barns…
The dam at Cross River Reservoir
The dam at Cross River Reservoir
picturesque home
One of the many picturesque homes along the route…
Car free gravel road in Mountain Lakes Park
Car free gravel road in Mountain Lakes Park

Our First Ride!

Had tons of fun today going to Treason Site! Really great group for GrNY’s inaugural ride!

Zak & Robin.
Zak & Robin. It was #NewBikeDay for Robin! A proper gravel bike — Cannondale Topstone!
Riding along the Hudson between Nyack & Haverstraw was the highlight of the trip…
Probably never crossed Benedict’s mind that cyclists would journey to where he tried to sell out the Colonial Army…