Monday, August 31, 2009

Ashokan Reservoir trip

The view from the ride down Minnewaska west yesterday was spectacular with clear blue skies and puffy white clouds. The descent the rest of the way to Rt. 209 was fast. The full route is on
Garmin Connect - Activity Details for Dana's Ashokan Reservoir trip.

On the outbound leg, I had our group of four riders practice a rotating paceline. Not bad considering two of four riders had no experience pacelining. We held the line together most of the trip into New Paltz at a nice pace.

Our group had two experienced cyclists on road bikes, David and msyelf, and one relative newcomer, Marty, on a road bike. Our fourth rider, Scott, was intermediate in experience but countered this advantage by riding a Dahon folding bike with only one chain ring and a seven speed cassette.

Our original route called for us to return home via the climb up Mohonk west, from Kerhonkson. By the time we reached the top of Minnewaska, it was clear to me that this wasn't going to happen. Fortunately, I'd preplanned a route home down Springtown Road across the Rosendale Plain.

The views at Ashokan Reservoir, former site of Olive City and Olivebridge, were gorgeous. Slide Mountain and the Catskills formed a fabulous backdrop as we ate our lunch.

We crossed the Reservoir on a long level road that passed through some woods. It was smooth asphalt pavement and closed to motor traffic. We went around the east end of the reservoir led by one of our number, David G., a local from Kingston who cycles in the area frequently.

David took us on a detour that saved some hills although there was no way to escape the rise into the town of Tillson. We'd passed through the hamlet of High Falls, it looked quaint.

All in all a good day on the bike. Scott managed to get through the day; the 8-odd miles of mostly level riding down Springtown Road at a moderate pace, where David and I pacelined as I practiced keeping my sight line out an appropriate distance and maintaining a steady cadence, gave him additional recovery time he badly needed. I don't know that I would have survived such a day on that Dahon. Marty was on a ride with me in June and has improved quite a lot since then; he's also an Alyn WOL 2009 rider and considering moving up to the Challenge route from the regular On-Road.

Pictures from the ride, mine and eventually Marty's, will come in a later post.

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