The Roadmachine: Escape NYC
We love New York. It’s a living, breathing thing that weaves an unending sense of belonging and entertainment together into a concoction that keeps us infatuated with her streets. Despite our love for the city, from time to time we feel the need to escape, to catch a breath of fresh air. For some, this means driving upstate for a weekend in the Adirondacks. For others it’s occasionally burying their feet in the sand on the eastern shores of Long Island. For those of us who prefer to spend our spare time on two wheels, it’s an adventure across the Hudson River towards open pavement and good espresso.
Hot summer air rushes over my bare arms and legs as I carry my Roadmachine down the front steps to the street. The City starts to hum to life as Itake my first pedal strokes towards the Hudson River. The route winds around Central Park. I smile as I catch a glimpse of the Saturday runners No monotonous laps for us today, we are going exploringand riders churning out lap after lap in the park. No monotonous laps for us today, we are going exploring. After a few miles my friend Russell slips out of a side street and falls in line, matching my pace. He’s a strong riding partner and always willing to venture into the unknown. Not much needs to be said as we coast along. Through the din of the Big City, the serenity of the outdoors is calling from across the river and we’re ready to answer.
Dodging runners, rollerbladers, and other cyclists along the Hudson Greenway, the familiar massive steel beams that impose their long arms across the Hudson River slowly come into view. The George Washington Bridge marks both a literal and metaphorical gateway for New York cyclists. It represents freedom from red lights and taxis, and lures us with its promise of The George Washington Bridge represents freedom from red lights and taxis, and lures us with its promise of new terrainnew terrain. Once we are across the western threshold of the bridge, and clear of the cacophony of traffic streaming along its two gigantic decks, we plummet onto River Road, an eight-mile stretch of smooth pavement characterized by rolling climbs that beg to be attacked. As my riding companion pushes the pace, I respond in-kind, happy that my bike makes light work of the headwind.
The town of Palisades lies twenty miles north of the city and is an ideal stopping point for cyclists . Despite being so close to one of the largest population centers in the world, the hamlet is a haven of wooded seclusion. We pull into The Market (www.the9wmarket.com), a local landmark infamous for its organic coffee bar and gourmet sandwiches. A double espresso over ice and a quick bite sorts us out before setting off again to tackle the larger hills on the route. We break away from the main road and dive into the scenic trails of Tallman Mountain State Park – in autumn these roads pass through roaring orange flames of transforming leaves. Today, the lush green trees provide a cool reprieve from the summer heat. The path through the park culminates in a sharp drop to the floor of the Hudson River. Russel and I let ourselves go, years of riding together has built complete trust, he follows my line and my disc brakes make short, confident work of the uneven pavement on the twisty descent towards the village of Nyack.
Heading north through the town of Nyack, we hug the river before turning inland and crossing Deforest Lake where cool winds play with us as we make our way across the narrow causeway that, for a few minutes at least, never seems to come to an end. Quiet golf courses meet us on the far side of the lake as we hit the bottom of High Tor State Park where dense woods give way to small openings for suburban homes or clearings for farms. An arduous climb greets us in the trees. At the top the forest finally clears away for our destination, The Orchards of Concklin (www.orchardsofconcklin.com).
Past The Orchards (a powdered sugar apple cider donut is a must) we travel along the edge of the vast Harriman State Park before tackling the never-ending Kanawauke climb up to Lake Welch. Photo opportunities abound as the road crests right at the lakeshore. Long, smooth rollers are a welcome respite along Seven Lakes Drive - the scenery and gentle terrain provide a brief distraction from the many Eighty-five miles and over fifty-five hundred feet of climbing later, we use the last of our legs to cross the Hudson River one final timemiles travelled. The final two challenges, Bear Mountain and Anthony’s Nose come in quick succession. An adrenaline rush of nearing the end of our adventure drives us up the slopes of Bear, the highest point on our ride. Eighty-five miles and over fifty-five hundred feet of climbing later, we use the last of our legs to cross the Hudson River one final time. Our final destination is Peekskill Brewery (www.peekskillbrewery.com) where we greet a refreshing pint with tired enthusiasm. Of all the miles traveled, this is the perfect way to end our two-wheeled escape from New York City. As we board the train back to Grand Central Station, I can hear the calling of city-life again, a return to reality...
Details from this ride can be found on The Domestique’s Strava here: https://www.strava.com/activities/177484189.
Recommended Bike: The BMC Roadmachine
For riders who want it all, this is the bike of choice. From axle to axle, the new Roadmachine delivers sleek and integrated technologies, offering a hint of free speed from every angle. Combined with the ultimate advancements in a Re-Tuned Compliance Concept, this bike re-shapes the endurance bike category - lightweight, sleek and incredibly integrated. Brilliant pedaling efficiency and ideal compliance for the legendary days of riding - the new Roadmachine has it all. For more information on the all-new Roadmachine visit: www.bmc-switzerland.com/roadmachine
Jimmy Phillips is an Australian cycling enthusiast and athlete living in Brooklyn, New York. After spending several years embedded in the local cycling community, Jimmy launched The Domestique (www.thedomestique.cc) to connect professionals and travelers to the city with premium road cycling experiences in Manhattan and its surrounding areas.
Owned and operated by cycling expert Jimmy Phillips, The Domestique provides personalized guided tours for cyclists visiting New York and California. All you need is your cycle apparel and shoes whilst The Domestique provides you with a high-spec BMC carbon road bike, helmet, nutrition and tailored cycling experiences.
For more information or to book this ride visit: www.thedomestique.cc