May is Bike Month and NyackNewsAndViews is running features about cycling and the cyclists who live here or like to visit Nyack. Last week we included a profile of former Village Trustee Steve Knowlton who will be fundraising for The Nyack Center in this Sunday’s 2014 Gran Fondo New York Ride. This week we’ll share the view As Others See Us — from two wheels as they pass through town on a long distance ride to Manhattan.
Nyack is a famous destination for cyclists from the south in NYC and North Jersey. But there are intrepid riders who come from the North — as a recent story in the Montreal Gazette documented. Monique Polak contributed a special feature about a bike adventure she took from Hudson, NY to New York City which included a stop in Nyack — as well as feature photo of our local bike haven, The Runcible Spoon.
We did a lot of uphill pedaling to reach Nyack. In Nyack, we stopped for a break at the Runcible Spoon, not realizing it was a cyclists’ hangout. All the sandwiches on the café’s “hubwich” menu are named for bicycles. The Schwinn has sausage, egg and cheese; the Bianchi, bacon, egg and cheese. “On weekends, cyclists line up at the door. They all want coffee,” said Sydney Thompson, an employee at the café. Cyclists also appreciate the air hose outside.
The Runcible Spoon was the perfect place to compare notes with other cyclists, most of whom tend to wear Spandex and ride their expensive carbon-fibre road bikes up from the city on day trips. We met Debbie Rothschild, a Manhattan psychologist, who was taking the day off to go biking. She often cycles from Manhattan to Bear Mountain and back. “All exercise is good for mental health,” she said, “particularly when it’s outdoors.”
Was Rothschild doing some counselling when she warned us we were in for some major hill work, but also gave us hope by adding that once we passed a Japanese restaurant, the hills would be over?
Before the terrain turned seriously hilly (and we had to walk uphill again), the road that took us out of Nyack was one of the prettiest of our trip. On one side was the Tappan Zee Bridge, crossing a broad swath of the Hudson; on the other, lavish homes with lavish gardens.
Visit the Montreal Gazette to read Polak’s feature about her four day trip from Hudson, NY to Manhattan and see how her Nyack stop compared to Rhinebeck, Poughkeepsie, Fishkill, Beacon, Cold Spring and Haverstraw. If you are intrigued to try this bike trip yourself, there’s an organized way to do so: the non-profit Parks & Trails NY runs Cycling the Hudson Valley, a six day summer journey from Albany to NYC. This year’s adventure, which includes an overnight stay at Nyack Beach State Park, is scheduled for July 29-August 3. For more information, visit PTNY.org
As Others See Us is an occasional feature that publishes what publications outside of Nyack say about the people and places in the Lower Hudson Valley.
May 2014 Bike Month stories:
- Pedal Power Fuels Nyack Center Fundraiser, 5/5/2014
- Recreation and Destination: Bike Nyack, 5/9/2014
- Ride To Give For Upper Nyack Elementary 2nd Grader, 5/9/2014