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NYC Velo 2017 Gift Guide Supplement

The Gift Guide Supplement has arrived, and with some time left in this buying season, all hopes are not lost! Peruse, enjoy, and happy holidays!


NYC Velo Ciclistico Sweatshirt





























Back in a fresh new colorway, the tried-and-true Ciclistico sweatshirt is a crowdpleaser, with maximum interior softness, and uninhibitable exterior class. While it may still be slightly gauche to wear your cycling kit off the bike, this sweater is sure to upset not even the severest of temperaments. Available to purchase in-store or online here!


Light & Motion Lights




















There is little that’s more important when riding in NYC than being seen; between the traffic and the pedestrians (pesky pedestrians!), there’s a lot of outside influence on your ride. Having a good, dependable light can make the difference between a fun ride home and a not as enjoyable ride to the hospital, so we stock the best of the best: Light & Motion. We’ve got a large selection available in-store, ready to ride off into the sunset.

Alpine Luddite Fanny and Seat Packs





















A fresh batch of Alpine Luddite goodness has just hit the shops and expanded the selection even further; now stocking bike-packing peat bags and ultralight fanny packs! We’re so impressed by the quality and construction of these bags, pictures just don’t do them justice; you really need to see them for yourself. Check them out in either of our Manhattan shops!

NYC Velo Ciclistico “Della Santa” Wool Jersey



































Further expanding on the theme of updated classics, introducing the “Della Santa” Ciclistico wool jersey, styled after the jerseys that Greg LeMond wore in the early stages of his cycling career. We expect to see these luxe wool numbers from our friends at Woolistic in Switzerland later this week, so keep your eyes peeled for an update!

NYC Velo “Murphy Camo” Neck Gaiters (by The Fridge)





























Also just received are these fresh neck gaiters in our patented Murphy Camo print. Printed to our specification by our friends at The Fridge in Portland, they’re another funky way to keep your neck and lower face warm all throughout this holiday and winter season. Don’t you want one? Why don’t you pick one up for yourself?

Poseur Sport “Air Sagan” Shoe Covers





























The shoe covers heard ’round the world, you may have seen these break the internet a few weeks back. We’ve got a limited run in-stock and available here, so don’t miss your shot. Our pals at Poseur Sport are always pushing the envelope, and this is no exception!

NYC Velo X Poseur Sport Floral Kit





























Sizes are back in-stock fo one of the most popular kit designs of the season! Feel fresh as a Spring daisy when you don this beautifully designed jersey and bib from the kit wizards at Poseur Sport. Limited stock is available before the holidays, but we’ll re-up before you know it. Men’s and Women’s sizes available on the webstore.

Mission Workshop Rhake Bag (Pre-order)



























The newest option from Mission Workshop in San Francisco is looking to be one of their best designs to date: a fully functioning, fully waterproof, and expertly constructed backpack with room for a laptop, accessories, and so much more. The bags have been sold out since their inception, but we’ll have a couple headed our way soon, so head over here to pre-order and pick your up when it arrives!

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The 2017 NYC Velo Holiday Gift Guide

Once again comes the NYC Velo Holiday Gift Guide – otherwise known as the list of good things to get cyclists in your life – and we think there’re some pretty good options for you early-bird shoppers out there. For those of you that like to play it on hard mode, check back for the Gift Guide Supplement coming soon!
Brompton X CHPT3 Folder
David Millar was perhaps “unconvinced” about folding bikes before striking up a conversation with Brompton founder Will Butler-Adams, but from that meeting began to journey that led to this: The Brompton X CHPT3, produced as a collaboration between Brompton and the TdF-stage winner and clothing designer Millar. With only 500 produced initially, make sure to pick one up quick at either of our Manhattan locations before they’re gone!
Alpine Luddites Bags
Adventure biking is here to stay, and for us, with it came the search for the perfect gear. And we’re proud to say we think we’ve found it in Colorado-based Alpine Luddites. From handlebar bags to panniers, and everything in between, these high quality, fully waterproof bags are some of the finest we’ve ever seen, and have already been featured on our Fall Adventure Series rides. We’ve got a mixed selection in-stores, so come on by and take a look!
NYC Velo Adventure Orange Camo Jersey
Our Fall and Spring Adventure Series have been staples at the shop for the past few years, taking interested parties to areas previously un-cycled and across terrain previously un-forged, which, as you might imagine, takes most slightly out of their comfort zone. One thing that we believe is a little too far out of that zone is the risk of being shot by overzealous duck hunters. So, voila! We introduce the Adventure Orange Camo jersey, specifically designed to keep you warm and seen, which are both good things in our books. Available for purchase here!
Cafe Du Cycliste Apparel & Accessories
The high-end road apparel market is flooded with unknown names and Rapha-knockoffs. Why not bedeck yourself in garb from the South of France, steeped in cycling heritage, that also looks really good? If you agree, Cafe du Cycliste is right for you! With fantastic colors, cuts, and prints you’ll stand out from the masses and keep yourself comfortable with some of the best cycling apparel out there. We’re proud to be an outpost, and we have a large selection to choose from at our East Village shop.
The Fridge Neck Gaiters
Before global warming kicked in, winters in New York were pretty brutal: sub-freezing temps, snowdrifts in the bike lanes, and massive heating bills; all things that our friends in Portland at The Fridge Goods didn’t have to worry about. But they went ahead and made a great product for those of us who have to endure (and the everyone else who just wants to look cool and stay warm) in a few fantastic colors. Get yourself one here.
Kona Rove LTD
The breakout bike of the 2018 season: The Kona Rove LTD. Built with Reynolds 853 tubing and coming standard with 650b 47c Horizon tires, this is the bike for those off-road, off-camber, and weekend-off rides. Purposely equipped with a SRAM Force 1×11 drivetrain and hydraulic brakes, there are few places that’ll be off-limits to the adventurer mounted atop this steed. And with a color this pretty, heads will turn almost as many times as the cranks.
SeaSucker Racks
One thing that we love here at the shop (slightly less than bikes) is classic cars. Sometimes mixing the two doesn’t quite work out; interiors were designed too small to fit a full size bike or there aren’t many rack options available. Luckily there’s a perfect solution: SeaSucker racks. Available in several bike configurations and widely adaptable to to most cars (and with incredibly easy installation to boot!), SeaSuckers are the perfect addition to any cyclists garage, trunk, or roof.
Fix It Sticks
Let’s face it: no one wants to get stuck on the side of the road halfway through their ride with an issue that could be solved with a minor adjustment and no multitool (or worse, with a multitool that just doesn’t work!). Enter the Fix It Stick: a simple, collapsible t-handle tool with the basic allen wrench sizes, built strong enough for shop use and compact enough to carry in a jersey pocket.
Wahoo KICKR Trainer
This isn’t the first time the Wahoo KICKR has made our list (and probably won’t be the last!), but when the improvements keep rolling in, it just makes sense to keep touting. With added compatibility for Thru-Axles and getting quieter every year, as well as new accessories (like the all new CLIMB unit) and connectivity to programs like Zwift and Trainer Road, make it our go-to choice for winter training. You can pick yours up (be careful, they’re heavy!) in-store or on our webstore here.
Classic Car Club Caps
We may have mentioned that we like classic cars, which is why we were super excited to partner with the Classic Car Club Manhattan on some projects earlier in the year. The club may be exclusive, but you too can look like a member on the bike with the limited edition CCCM cycling cap. Stock is limited, so get yours (or your classic car loving-friend’s!) in the shop or by purchasing here.
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Bike of the Week: The Month of Dario – Pegoretti Ciavete Duende

We see quite a few Pegorettis come through our doors – new bikes with the paint still fresh as well as old, well-loved and well-ridden ones. While each is iconic and special in its own way, this example has stuck in our minds due to its uniqueness. We present our final Bike of the Week for the 2016 Month of Dario with no commentary.

Introducing the Pegoretti Duende in Ciavete:





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Bike Of The Week: Vanilla Workshop Speedvagen HollaText

Few framebuilders have reached the level of celebrity that Sacha White has achieved, and for good reason; his bikes are generally well on point, both in looks and construction. Take a look at this specimen:


This Speedvagen from the Vanilla Workshop comes fully color-matched: from the custom painted Ritchey stem to the custom painted (and masked) ENVE hubs and handlebars



Equipped with a Campagnolo Super Record 11 speed drivetrain and ENVE 4.4 SES wheelset (with some very cool gumwall tires)


Speedvagens are known for their forward-thinking touches, such as stainless steel brake bridges and dropouts, and those beautiful curved seat stays:


This Speedvagen was finished in the HollaText paint style in red and light blue, truly a sight to behold


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2016 Holiday Gift Guide

This year’s gift guide introduces some new products that we’re excited to have in the shop! From apparel to bikes, bags to tools, we think this list is pretty comprehensive, hopefully suggesting some ideas the cyclist in your life will love!

Cafe du Cycliste apparel is designed with a South of France state-of-mind, lending itself to a look that you’ll find nowhere else in the industry. We’ve got a great compliment of cold-weather riding gear available for both men and women – we think you’ll be impressed
Cafe du Cycliste Apparel – from $115
Our custom-made camp mugs are the perfect accessory for the bike-packer or drink-drinker in your life (and with the 2 cup discount, maybe keep one for yourself).
NYC Velo Camp Mugs – 1 for $20, 2 for $35
nycvelo_winter_capClimate change-deniers can’t deny that our winter cap is the perfect accessory for our changing climate.
NYC Velo Winter Beanie – $25
The old saying goes “A good hand pump is better than no pump at all,” and Silca has been making the best since 1917.
Silca Pocket Impero hand pump – $120
A good duffle bag is indespensable; whether it’s for travel, business, or just your general, everyday carry needs, you’ll want something that keeps your stuff neat and dry. The Mission Workshop x Carhartt WIP x Pelago collaberation duffel will keep your belongings where they should be and look great at the same time.
Mission Workshop x Carhartt WIP x Pelago duffel bag – $255
Topo Designs makes bags that will put your vintage-70’s camping gear to shame – and it’s all hand-made in Colorado. We’ve got a large selection of their bags in-stock.
Topo Designs backpacks – from $98
Mission Workshop Sansom
Gift certificates are always available in any denomination. Buy your loved one a tune-up or put some money towards a bike for that special someone. The amount is up to you!
NYC Velo Gift Certificate – $1 to $?
Throw it back to the early 90’s and pick up a brand-new, never-ridden frame and fork from your favorite frame builder, Chris Chance. We’ve got a medium Yo-Eddy available for you today!
Team Fat Chance Yo-Eddy 27.5″ frameset – $2500
flat_kitEvery cyclist should have the tools needed to fix a flat tire or make minor adjustments when they’re out on the bike. We’re happy to curate a custom flat repair kit for any bike/biker’s needs. Just stop by and let us know what you need!
Flat Repair Kit (Custom) – from $50
topo_puffer_cardiganMechanic Jay should be in legal trouble for looking this good, and the Topo Puffer Cardigan is the main offender. Warm, stylish, and made in the US.
Topo Design Puffer Cardigan – $230
freight_rucksackFreight Bags are some of the toughest, versatile bags on the planet. Handmade in San Francisco and with a lifetime warranty, these bags are sure to make your favorite messenger/cyclist feel like they can carry the world on their back.
Freight Bags – from $335
fix_it_stickEschew those run-of-the-mill collapsable multi-tools in favor of the Fix It Stick: disassemble flat for storage, then put it together for a simple, well-designed tool with plenty of leverage. Available in several configurations for whatever your needs may be.
Fix It Stick multitool – from $30
Less impressive than giving the gift of sight, but being able to see in harsh sunlight and look good doing it is perhaps the best we can hope for in a holiday gift.
Oakley Latch sunglasses – from $130
Service Manager Philip will tell you, gumwall tires are “so hot right now.” The Vittoria Corsa is the supplest in the game, and will change the way your roadbike feels beneath you. Can you argue with that?
Vittoria Corsa tires – $75
Give the gift of getting away with some bikepacking gear. Whether its seat or handlebar bags from Ortlieb or Revelate, or a superior titanium Vamoots DR from Moots, no trail will be left unridden.
Moots Vamoots DR with SRAM Red22 Hydro – $8599.
Revelate top tube bag – $60
Ortlieb handlebar/seat bag – from $135/$160
Our new bartape will let you carry a little piece of Manhattan along with you wherever your bike takes you. With a tacky texture and some extra padding, your hands will stay comfortable along the way!
NYC Velo Skyline bartape – $28
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Bike of the Week: Colnago Master

This Bike of the Week comes to us from Italy, home of Italian steel, Italian components, and Italian food.


This Colnago Master is outfitted with Campagnolo C Record, including the infamous Delta brakes.


Campagnolo dropouts on the frame indicate the “correct” gruppo to use.


The uniquely-shaped tubing leads down to the BB shell stamped with the Colnago Clubs.

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The 2016 Fall Adventure Series

After a brief respite, the NYC Velo Adventure Series is back and ready to roll out for its fall tenure. We’ve got some great rides in store for your cycling pleasure, and we can’t wait to see you out there:

#1 Sunday October 16
: Bear Mountain Attack
– Hastings-on-Hudson, NY – The attack starts from Antoinette’s Cafe in Hastings-on-Hudson in Westchester County and climbs Perkins Drive in Harriman State Park before ending at the Captain Lawrence Brewery in Elmsford, NY. Registration here.

#2 Saturday November 5
: Catskill Recon
– Jefferson, NY – A new route in a new area, expect 70 miles full of amazing, car-less dirt roads in the deep Catskills. Road bikes are acceptable, but we’d suggest at least 25-28mm tires. Register here, GPS map here.

#3 Saturday November 12
: Brett’s Revenge
– Hudson, NY – A new take on the epic route through the Eastern Catskill mountain foothills.  Previous versions of this course have proven to be particularly challenging and the use of a cyclocross or mountain bike and shoes intended for walking/hiking is necessary (leave your road gear at home!). Please see registration here, and GPS here.

E.C. Friday November 25
: The Black Friday Ride 
– New York City – Back by popular demand, this “extra credit” ride will traverse the distance between Hell’s Kitchen and Hastings-on-Hudson by way of the High Bridge and Sprain Ridge park. Work off that turkey and enjoy some beautiful fall foliage! See the route and register here. As a matter of course, our East Village shop will open late to accommodate our employee riders.

#4 Saturday December 10
: The Polar Express
– Peekskill, NY – A 72-mile paved and dirt road exploration of points north.  The ride starts at the Peekskill Coffee House at 9am.  The non-paved sections will be road-bikeable with 25-28mm tires! GPS route available here, and registration here.
Any Rider who fully completes all four of the Adventure Series rides (the Black Friday Ride not included) will be eligible to receive a complimentary, one-of-a-kind, special edition jersey!
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Bike of the Week: Independent Fabrication Independence

The Bike of the Week is a steel Independence from Independent Fabrication.  The Independence is, technically, a touring model, though the iteration seen here has been designed for very light/fast touring with an emphasis on successfully completing its day job: fast commuting and group road rides.  The geometry is closer to a standard road bike configuration, though fitting for full racks and fenders exist for gearing up for the open road.  The parts kit includes function forward pieces from SRAM, Thomson, Fizik, Panaracer, and Chris King.  Best yet, this bike is currently for sale at the shop in the East Village!


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Bike of the Week: Philip’s Moots Vamoots Disc

If steel is real, titanium is undeniable. Please meet the Moots Vamoots Disc Road, owned by our very own service manager, Philip.


Based in Steamboat Springs, CO, Moots has been supplying riders with the highest quality, hand built one at a time, titanium frames since 1991 (and steel frames for a decade before that).

And it’s not just frames, Moots also produces some of the finest stems, seatposts, and headset spacers from beautiful raw ti.



Philip has outfitted this beast with a Shimano Ultegra 6800 mechanical drivetrain and Shimano hydraulic disc brakes. Topping it off are the world’s most expensive winter commuting wheels, the Zipp 303 Firecrest discs; Speed weaponry built so Philip can make it to work on time!


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A Columbia County Jaunt

This account comes to us courtesy of friend-of-the-shop Andrew, an able cyclist and willing story teller. There’s lots of riding out of the city – here’s a prime example:

Hello friends!

Turns out I had a pretty swell tour last weekend and I’d love to share! It’s pretty much my favorite tour route, having ridden it maybe 4 or 5 times, and it’s eminently accessible from good ol’ NY city.


After staying up far too late on Friday night fretting over Saturday’s forecast of rain, we made it to Grand Central just in time to catch the 7:43 train to Poughkeepsie. Unloading at Poughkeepsie around 10:45, we narrowly dodged the allure of the brown, vaguely-coffee-flavored water served at the station and started to wind our way through town headed east. We took advantage of the Dutchess rail trail to dodge some surface roads and made some last minute adjustments to the bikes – primarily moving my clip on fender rubber band-dealies from over my rear shift cable to under (it’s a great tweak.. really improves shifting responsiveness). The real fun started as soon as we crossed the Taconic State Parkway and entered the Taconic Hereford MUA, an area frequented by mountain bikers who seem to enjoy gawking at touring bikes and their riders with a solidly puzzled look. Having rained the night before, the air was as thick with mosquitoes as the mud was on our tires – fun stuff, really!


North of Taconic Hereford we started winding through the thick of Dutchess county towards Millbrook. Now, don’t get me wrong, Millbrook is a great little town and will furnish a fantastic BLT or 24 pack of Mountain Brew (check the Stewarts), but prepare yourself for a town full of fox hunts, just-a-touch-too-clean Range Rovers, and those really fancy slippers (loafers?) they sell at Saks and Barneys. In any case, we made our first real stop of the day for an early lunch and really enjoyed ourselves – like I said, the BLTs are great. Leaving town, we took a northeasterly track passing through seemingly endless and absolutely spectacular horse country. The roads here alternate between well shouldered but quite paved roads and nearly perfectly graded gravel roads. About halfway to our next major milestone, Millerton, we took a quick break in front of the Smithfield Presbetrian Church. The church is situated at the end of a valley, overlooks a kind of perfect graveyard, and is situated so close to a dairy farm that the smell of manure doesn’t leave your nose for the next half an hour!



From Smithfield, we climbed and then descended towards Millerton. Along Charlie Hill road a 10 foot clearing opens up a view over the Catskills. Clouds on Saturday, so no view for us. Bummer. Millerton came and passed without much to note. There is an Irving Coffee cafe along the route in case you have hankering for an infusion of caffeine. We made a quick farmers market stop for asparagus and some surprise (read: mediocre, would not repeat) enriched bread with cheese and jalapeno. From Millerton it’s a quick jaunt on big roads over to Connecticut through Lakeville and Salisbury.

Salisbury is a pretty key town along this whole journey – it’s pretty much the last opportunity to shop for dinner before the climb to camp. Oh, and it has a totally sick public fountain just adjacent to the town hall – great place to fill up for the night. The grocery store, tucked right off the main street, is pretty good for a standard sort of grocery. We loaded up on beer and a woefully overpriced mini bottle of olive oil and quickly downed a bag ‘o’ Smart Pop. That was pretty tight. From Salisbury the climb up Mt Riga road begins. I suspect a handful of you’re aware of Mt. Riga – it features pretty prominently in NYC Velo’s annual Taconic 150 and is pretty legendary as dirt road climbs in the area go. Mt Riga road climbs up through a huge private land to a town in southwestern Massachusetts, Mt. Washington. In most years, Mt Riga Road, and then Mt Washington Road are pretty well graded – this year someone had the bright idea to regrade about 3 miles with topsoil. It was “fun.”


As the climb up Mt. Riga road petered out we were petered out and were happy to be about halfway through our vertical for the day. We made our way across a couple miles of flat gravel and pavement to make it to the Mt Everett DNR area. Taking a right into the area the second to last climb began. At this point we were both pretty tired and ready to make it to our next destination, Guilder Pond; a small man made body of water at the foot of Mt Everett. During the day you’ll find a handful of compatriot enjoyers of the outdoors – but once the sun starts setting – it becomes great for a quick skinny dip. Fortunately, we both made it up the last climb at just the right time. The last groups from the day were packing in, we both had great spirits, and the rain still hadn’t yet started. We made our way through the woods, along a mini section of the AT and to a great rock that provides just enough gradient to get you into the water fast enough to mellow the cold.


Now that we were wet and then dry and, most importantly, rid of the salty crust we’d both accumulated over the day, we began up the last climb to our camp site. The final climb leaves from the Guilder Pond parking lot through a gate and up a service road that washed out last year. While for the first couple hundred feet the grade seems reasonably, the next couple hundred serve a pretty nice punch. A fairly insane grade coupled with a loose unused gravel surface and 3 foot deep ruts sung the death knell for whatever sweat free cleanliness we gained in our quick dip. Resorting to hike-a-bike towards the top, we were more than relieved to reach our camp for the night: a beautiful east facing grassy clearing on the flanks of Mt Everett with a stone lean-to if conditions somehow got so bad.

The camp on Mt Everett is absolutely spectacular – think ¼ of a football field (are acres a better measure – who even knows how big a football field is??) of supple short grass with a sweeping eastward view. I presume the state manages the area for AT through hikers, but having spent at least one night there for the past 6 or 7 years and never having seen anyone, I’m starting to suspect that nearly nobody knows of the place. There is ample hard firewood in the woods surrounding and an absolutely unbeatable view over western Massachusetts. One summer a tour of mine coincided with 4th of July weekend – I couldn’t count the number of towns whose fireworks I could see. Tent up, fire roaring, some drizzle started, and we both tired of the day.


Sunday morning we woke around 6:30 greeted by a crystal clear sky and blazing sun – a fine surprise after a forecasted cloudy day! The rain never picked up too strongly overnight so the tent was damp outside but not soaked. We quickly proceeded to fire up the burner and get the Aeropress pressing. A grapefruit and coffee later, we were packing up camp and readying for the day. Sometime between stuffing my sleeping bag and pulling down the tent I remembered how awesome yet far far far away the outhouse at the Guilder Pond lot was. Persevering through the remainder of packing, we hit the road for day two of our two day tour. Making a quick stop at the outhouse, and then again at the pond, we started the largely downhill and northerly journey to Great Barrington for another coffee and breakfast.




After an uneventful but beautiful and downhill trip to Great Barrington we made it to the main street. Now, there are a couple of differing opinions on where to go in Great Barrington. My traditional stop is Fuel right on the main street there. The egg sandwich is pretty much unbeatable (no seriously, help me beat it!), and the company can be, well… downright strange. This past Saturday we sat in the front of the cafe to keep an eye on bikes and after about 10 minutes struck up conversation with our neighbor. His large pursuit in life is the creation of geometric projection models to channel light into 3D forms to purify water and kill bacteria and viruses — frankly I only half understood the depth of what he was talking about. He’s also fascinated by women’s clothing. Interesting conversation for sure. If anyone of you ever make it to Fuel and meet a fellow with two gold front teeth – strike up a conversation, you won’t be disappointed!


The alternate option in Great Barrington is Rubi’s Coffee. Okay, so the espresso there is better, and the food is probably better too – but an egg sandwich and great company – I haven’t been convinced to change. Regardless, a stop at Rubiner’s Cheesemongers in front of Rubi’s is in store. Since we had cheese left over from our groceries the day before, we limited our shopping to local salami and a baguette to replace our surprise bread from the day before. While the place is a bit spendy, you know it’s the right place when the fellow slicing the salami laments that his early work schedule was getting in the way of the morel hunting he otherwise would have done in the morning.


Leaving Great Barrington we took a pretty much directly southern tack winding along well graded dirt roads in the shadow of Mt Everett and our campsite headed directly to Connecticut. Some of my fondest memories of this route come from this portion of the tour – the route rewards with views of the entire Mt Everett massif and delights with beautiful farmland interspersed with wetlands. Entering Connecticut, we shot a bit eastward to head Between the Lakes and down Wildcat Hollow to hit the Housatonic Valley.


After a quick jaunt along the Housatonic river, we came to a bridge blocked by a Jersey barrier donning the message that ‘Ye shall not pass’ – okay, okay. Since we didn’t need anything at the time we didn’t cross the river to Falls Village and instead took a wee trail along the river towards the falls. I’ll take a quick moment to note that you shouldn’t count on much from Falls Village beyond booze – that said, the fine old lady at the liquor store is always a treat to visit.

Above Falls Village is a set of waterfalls (and as a result, a hydro plant), that serve as a great excuse to take an hour or two off and enjoy the warm weather. Dropping our bikes, we quickly scaled the lowest of the falls and set about eating lunch and finishing up the two beers we hadn’t quite had the will to finish the night prior. Had the sun been out in full force at this point of the day it would have been a no brainer to take a quick dip. The lowest waterfall runs over a smooth slanted rock that, combined with a sheen of algae, makes a great waterslide. In any case, the intermittent shade had us gawking at 30lb carp longer than we otherwise would have, and balking at actually getting in the water. Eventually (maybe it was the beer), we decided to venture in to a pool above the lowest fall. Deep enough to take a quick dip, I eventually made it in after standing knee deep far longer than was necessary or appropriate. Realizing that the day was starting to get on, we made moves to get rolling. Descending the falls in bare feet, as soon as I warned about how slippery the rocks were my feet were level with my head in midair and I was back down on the wet rock!


Rolling again, we crossed the Housatonic, barely dodging Falls Village and set our path between the train tracks and river. Starting paved, and quickly becoming well graded dirt, the road wove between the track-and-river and track-and-land. The high afternoon was marked by a river full of fly fishermen and a hot sun – not much to complain about. If anyone’s ever taken the Amtrack to Vermont, the track that we we’re riding along during this portion of the tour was the bane of your train ride – it’s in such poor condition that the train is relegated to crawling along at a solid 30 miles an hour. Beautiful place, sadly horrible tracks.

Popping out at West Cornwall, a fantastically preppy village – J. McLaughlan has some kind of warehouse/outlet/headquarters there – we crossed back westward through the only covered bridge of our tour and set a southbound route on Route 7. Now, generally I like to avoid Route 7; it’s busy and loud and fast, generally no fun on tour. The 5 or so miles below West Cornwall is barely the only exception – the road runs through a state park (Housatonic Meadows) and is largely downhill, making it a quick way to rack up some miles. While taking Route 7 was a bit contrary to our original route, it made sense at the time and worked out pretty well. Also to note, Route 7 is immensely popular with motorcycles: loud, fast, helmets and no. For those the slightest intrigued (myself included, I’ve got a ratty KLR 650), the variety can be pretty interesting!


Route 7 winds out of Housatonic Meadow as it meets Route 4, our next turn. We took a quick break at the intersection gas station and enjoyed our time with ice cream bars, candy, and motorcycles. Apparently Connecticut doesn’t have a helmet law (I still can’t get over the fact that folks ride without helmets in any case…). From the gas station we headed up Route 4 to the west. 4 climbs up from the Housatonic and was the first leg of our strategy to dodge the remainder of Route 7 between where we were and Kent. At the crest of Route 4, we took a southern tack and followed the ridge-line roughly parallel to the Housatonic River and Route 7. The roads up there were surprisingly fantastic – great quality dirt and pavement through beautiful farm and country. Sooner or later our route took us screaming down the same hill we descended into Kent, CT.

Arriving in Kent we had about two and a half hours before a train made any stops along the Harlem line – our route home. Since there’s quite little around many of the Harlem Line stops, we decided to spend our time in Kent. I’m not sure it was a great decision. Passing up and down Route 7 through town we could hardly find a restaurant or bar that was remotely appealing. Settling on a ‘pizza and pasta’ kind of place, we ordered a couple of beers, a salad and a pizza. The beer was great, everything else was hardly more than filling. Whatever, did the job – just be warned that there’s not much in Kent.

With full stomachs, we headed west from Kent with our target set on the Tenmile River Station along the Harlem Line. Arriving with enough time to relax, we hit the grass and fell asleep, nearly missing our train home.

All in all, a pretty damn swell weekend out on the bike. The route has become one of my favorites of all time and I have no doubt that I’ll be out there at least once more this summer.

Our rough route is on RideWithGPS:

Day 1
Day 2

While the route is probably 90% accurate, we switched some things around on the second day, primarily after West Cornwall.

Thanks for reading all this – stuck on a train home from Boston right now so things got a bit outta hand.

– Andrew