We started on Friday morning, a bit later than we normally would have because we were taking Metro North to Poughkeepsie and they don’t allow bikes on the train during morning rush hour. We made friends with one of the conductors but not so much with the other one. It was through no fault of our own, he clearly had preexisting anti-bike sentiments.
After arriving in Poughkeepsie, we found our way to the pedestrian/cyclist bridge over the Hudson, which was a truly beautiful way to start the trip.
After we crossed the bridge, we headed to New Paltz, along a fairly uninteresting road, with the exception of the Brooklyn Brewery billboard, which we all noticed and commented on later, all of us being Brooklynites (or at least, Brooklyn transplants).It was HOT, though. It must have been in the mid-90s with the sun beating straight down on us. I felt like I was going to faint and was struggling to even bring up the rear. The heat seriously disagrees with this Scandinavian girl.
Quick lunch in New Paltz (complete with another anti-cyclist, anti-New Yorker local) and hit the road again quickly thereafter. Friday afternoon was a bit of a blur, probably due to the scorching heat. I have little memory of much of it, except for my leg cramps, which was a new phenomenon for me, maybe also due to the heat. Laughing hard seemed to aggravate them, which in and of itself is pretty funny. I guess I have a whole-body laugh.
The store we intended on stopping at to buy dinner supplies was closed, as in boarded up closed, but luckily the liquor store was still going strong. We stopped in there to get a few bottles of wine and whiskey for the night and made friends with the Russian owner. She was a salty broad who claimed she was from Brighton Beach. Fitting. After some directions from a local, we found a grocery store and loaded our bikes up with food & water for dinner. I have never ridden a heavier bike and would soon be riding it up (read: walking it up) one of the steepest “hills” I’d ever met. To top it off, the sky had started looking ominous and we ended up in a downpour. Once I’d covered my sleeping bag with my raincoat, though, I found it entirely refreshing. I’d much rather bike in the rain than in sweltering heat. The rain eventually thinned out as we rode along the Rondout Reservoir, which supplies much of NYC’s drinking water.