Riding in the snow.. at night.. Such smells. Such crunching. I’m always half expecting to endo after riding into a hidden pothole while half ready to spin out my rear wheel in place à la Sonic le Hedgehog upon discovering ice hiding beneath the blanket of snow.

I had left for Poughkeepsie Friday night after work on the first train to allow bicycles on board. Wanting one night outside to myself before linking up with the group, I hoofed over to Taconic Hereford MUA, the closest legal camp spot in Poughkeepsie. Bivy sack set, air mattress huff n’ puffed taut, ear plugs in ears, and I was knocked out for the night, only briefly woken up once by the sound of what I initially thought was a screaming woman. Red foxes and your strange night calls, you can’t fool me these days.

Morning found me souped up and pop-tarted. Lentils and brown maple syrup. I think I’ll try and make #soupoutside a thing. Maybe. You just wait.

It’s a gradual descent from Taconic Hereford back to Poughkeepsie and I took my time rolling into the station to link up with everyone else taking the morning train. The trip up to Vernooy Falls would be my last trip with the NYC ADV crew for 2018. The weather looking the way it was, we didn’t anticipate much riding in the weeks ahead. Certain routes would be a crapshoot in the fickle freeze/thaw cycle of NY winters and we already had to reroute early into our ride after seeing the barely trodden snowy condition of the Wallkill Valley trail.

We stumbled into Chris #2 (where’d he come from?!) after leaving New Paltz and Aleks soon pointed out a nondescript converted barn that serves as Coppersea’s tasting room. We all caught up on each other’s lives in the dim light, ensconced in weathered tufted furniture.

The butts stop here.. next to a few details of Eli’s build (check out that Velological rim dynamo).

We reached Sundown Wild Forest in the waning winter light and, while a few did their best to charge up the unmaintained doubletrack road, everyone at some point eventually dismounted for the long climb to the trailhead. Another 1.5mi of hike-a-biking and breaking through (at times) calf deep snow, we made it in good spirits to the large campsite just a little past Vernooy Falls.

Route from day 1 and 2

Type 2 miles and misadventures

© 2020 Conan Thai Photography