Yes! Bike!

No moss on my pedaling plans!  I woke at 5:20 and was pedaling at 5:40.  I altered the route proposed yesterday so that I’d start the Helderberg Hudson trail at the Voorheesville trailhead.  Compared to yesterday’s route, this route trades three miles of country road for three miles of gravel trail.  So less possible interactions with the motored set.  Unless you like the rough stuff, though, I am not sure this route is an improvement.  The three miles of country road avoided are mostly motor free while the three miles of gravel trail added are rough.  Not terrible, but four miles in all were plenty for me.Loop with Trail 08.20.16

Here’s the turn by turn.  Left on Berkshire Boulevard from the Buckingham Pond parking lot.  Left on Russell Road. Right onto Krumkill.  Left at the T (306).  Stay right at the Y (remain on 306) and you’ll soon see the Voorheesville trailhead on your left (near Grove Street).  Now enjoy 4 miles of gravel trail.  Only an experienced pedaler should try this part on a skinny tired road bike.  I was happy to have my 1.5″ tires.  Just after you go through the backyard of the Toll Gate Restaurant, you’ll go over a bridge surfaced with large gravel.  I pedaled through it but it isn’t pleasant.  Now delight in the paved portion of the trail.  Four miles of smooth sailing.   At the Albany end of the trail, you’re facing South Pearl Street.  Hang a right on South Pearl Street.  Then left on Madison for a slog of a climb up from sea level.  Left on Colonial to get back to Buckingham Pond.  Just over 20 miles.

Details?  Photos?  Sure!

Early starters get the best views.  This is on Krumkill.


Unless I am mistaken, this is 306 headed into Voorheesville.  Helderberg mountains in the distance.


Now on the unpaved portion of the trail.


Here’s that tempting but off limits picnic shelter next to the Slingerlands Fire Department.  I called yesterday to ask about public use.  The answering machine was full so I couldn’t leave a message.  I sent an email.  No reply yet.


Take a detour to GR Auto, a terrific independent garage for all your car repair needs.  It’s on Adams street just a bagel throw off the trail in Delmar.  I haven’t had work done there, but will soon.  My friend introduced me to George, the G in GR.  In a former life George was a Russian machinist.  Now we’re lucky to have him here.  I think he’s been here many decades.  Last year, George, my friend and I road tripped to Jersey to look at a vintage Peugeot, so we’ve had some quality time to get to know each other.  He’s good people.  Imagine putting your bike on your car, driving to George’s to leave your car for work and them pedaling home on the trail.  Slick.


Here is the only sign I noticed for the trail.  It’s not visible from a street, so I am not sure what purpose it serves.  I didn’t see signs at the Voorheesville or Albany trailheads.  You just need go slow and keep your eyes peeled.  Or maybe they’re there and I missed them.  But that in itself says something.  Why build it and then not advertise it?


Here is a magic sunrise half way through the paved trail portion of my journey.


Love the bridges.


Falling rock zone means you are up close and personal with New York granite.  Awe inspiring.


Keep your eyes open for a vintage Jaguar awaiting restoration.  It  is near the Albany trailhead.


Next up, Historic Cherry Hill on your left as you pedal down South Pearl Street.  We’ve toured it and will again.  Haunted tour, of course, if we play our cards right.


Who wants to check out the Port Tavern?  It hasn’t been Yelped, but it has a Facebook Page.


My favorite building along South Pearl.  The iron details are worth a stop and gawk.


Washington Park Lake House always surprises me with its beauty.  Today was no exception.


Today was one of the last times I’ll see this part of Madison as a four laner.  After Tuesday, it will be two motoring lanes, a turning lane in the middle, all flanked by two bike lanes.  Motorists and cyclists alike–calm down now, you hear?  Lots of peds here during the school year so play nice.


Home sweet home.  My trusty Atlantis once again gobbled up the miles.  An hour and forty minutes door to door.  Even with lots of stops for picture taking, I averaged 12 miles per hour.  Better than I’d expected.  Twenty years ago my boss told me that averaging 14 miles an hour isn’t easy.  Ever since, 14 mph is as fast as I’ve felt the need to go.


Having just pedaled them, I’ll repeat that the hills on Krumkill and coming up Madison are real.  Mount a geared wheel.  Maybe today you have young knees and can comfortably push your way up, but you’ll need knee replacements sooner if you ask too much of your original equipment.  Knees wear on every ride.  Be gentle on them.

Gotta go.  Our vet is out on a run and she’s stopping by to peek into Frida’s mouth.  Fingers crossed.



3 responses to “Yes! Bike!

  1. Love your story and photos! Oh, and you!!

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