Since 12/22 marks the beginning of our return to longer, warmer, snow-free days, here are some “riding (and yakking) in Albany” scenes from last August’s “Latino Festival” in Washington Park to keep us all focused.
Category Archives: Events
Saturday’s freezing, windy, snowy evening was a good reminder of the plight of those who lack warm clothing, a bicycle, money to feed themselves, and a warm place to which to return after a “night on the streets” of Albany.
Twenty-three riders showed up at 7 PM for 2013’s Cranksgiving Alley Cat “race” – an international event that gives riders a chance to have some fun while helping others.
Armed with shiny new spoke cards, we started with a quick run from the Soldiers and Sailors Monument in Washington Park to the Price Chopper on Madison and then returned to the Monument for a new manifest. The “A manifest” riders collected canned goods and extras. The “B” riders carried a juice/soda from each stop and the other extras. (We even hit a 2-for-1 special on potato chips.)
Snow flurries with 20-degree temperatures were augmented by a steady west wind as we then headed straight into the wind and snow toward the Westgate Plaza and Colvin Ave. for combined stops (thank you Jay and Stacy for combining these) at Hannaford and Price Chopper. While still freezing and with some slippery spots on the pavement, it was back to the Monument to unload and pick up the last manifest for a short crosswind ride to the Delaware Ave. Price Chopper. Riders assembled at the Madison Café at Swan to complete filling the boxes and then helping load the Homeless Action Committee (HAC) van. We had seven large size boxes plus two more in Stacy’s truck for later drop off. The average spent was $19 which equals $437 or about 200 lbs of food donated to HAC. Many hands make light work!
Our ride leaders presented us each with an embossed Cranksgiving pint glass, a nice memento of a great evening. Everyone had a good time and will hopefully return for next year. It is nice to see riders come out and ride to help those without and recovering from addiction. Riders were indebted to Jay and Stacy for a well-organized event and particularly to Stacy who staffed the pickup vehicle at the Monument. Thanks to everyone. We are always open to ideas and future volunteers for 2014.
At 9 PM, it was time to face the wind again and head back to a warm house.
On a splendid fall day, we met up at the boat launch for a leisurely ride to Troy to visit the farmers’ market. Riders Keith (MeetUp coordinator), John (“Mr. Erie Canal”), and Lorenz were joined by two riders from Connecticut. We invited Ally and Pat (see photo #1) to join us – which they did.
Walkers, riders, joggers, and cyclists pleasantly filled the Mohawk-Hudson Bike-Hike Trail giving us plenty of opportunities to say “hello” or “good morning.” We took to the streets in Watervaliet (and then braved the supper-highway Rt. 2 Bridge to Troy – a four-lane bridge connecting two-lane streets in Troy and Watervaliet – NYSDOT at its best and all for only $12.3 million.)
In Troy, we enjoyed the happy shoppers and strollers, chocolate croissants, coffee, and lasagna. (See also photo #2 – buying bread.) After a lengthy chat with our new friends from Connecticut – who were heading off to Waterford to the study the “Waterford Flight” of canal locks – we headed off to our various destinations.
Aren’t you sorry you missed the ride? Sign up for info on more rides at Capital Cyclists MeetUp Group
With renewed effort by the Capital Cyclist Meetup Group coordinator and the new 1st Friday director, several riders enjoyed a balmy fall ride through the welcoming streets to tour the art sites.
Per custom, we met at the 1912 Soldiers and Sailors Memorial in Washington Park and then headed out for the ride’s traditional start at the Upstate Artists Guild for the Grey (or “Gray”) show. The always-elegant ladies of UAG greeted us warmly as the gallery filled with other art aficionados. After being joined by another rider and some chitchat on the crowded sidewalk, it was off to the College of St. Rose student gallery on State St. to view some excellent studio work. With wonderfully pleasant evening weather wise for riding, we took a cruise through Center Square and Washington Park over Lake Ave. to the Opalka Gallery at Sage College. The show – a knock off on the 1913 New York City Armory Show is not to be missed. Local artists Ken Ragsdale has outdone himself – better check it out. Another rider joined us here for the best hors d’oeuvres in Albany and packed gallery.
A new venue, Overit (web design and development), in the former St. Teresa of Avila Church down the street on New Scotland Ave. featured “art by musicians” – showing clearly the multiple talents of our local performers/artists. (As a side note, Overit has done a wonderful conversion of a 1920s ecclesiastical building into an open space work area. In the redesign, they incorporated many of the remnants of the church into walls, worktables, and desks – all very tasteful and, one might guess, comforting to the former parishioners. Unfortunately, you cannot say the same for the out-of-place, garish “Allstate Insurance” sign plastered on the front of the former rectory – YIKES!)
At this point, two riders headed off to meet another at Franklin Towers with the remainder going to Crisan pâtisserie for some “edible art” (their tag line). We enjoyed pastry, gelato, and late evening coffees in this bright and cheery Albany venue. If you have not been to Crisan, you have not lived a full life. It will be one of the cornerstone destinations when the City of Albany converts Lark St. into a pedestrian walkway/mall a la Burlington or any other advanced city. Can’t wait!
While in Crisan, we waited out a brief, cleansing rain shower by solving many cycling issues (electric bicycles, crazy drivers/riders, road design, going to Europe, traffic safety, etc.), planning Bicycle Expo 2014, and enjoying good company.
As a closing note, one of our first-time riders used a combination of his neat-o touring bicycle and CDTA’s bicycle buses to join us from Cliflton Park. It is riders like this who will help Albany become a truly bicycle friendly community.
The next 1st Friday will be on November 1, 6-9 PM with many post-event entertainment, socializing, and dinning opportunities. Why not “get off that couch,” grab your lights and helmet, and join in? Even if you are not a big art fan, this is a great way to enjoy the city and its opportunities for riding as well as being with some nice people (with our without bicycles).
To: All Who Love to Bicycle, Explore, Discover, and Socialize:
Join us for a Hudson Valley Ramble Bicycle Tour this Sunday September 15, 2013. We will meet at 10:00 – 10:30 at the Albany Heritage Area Visitors Center, 25 Quackenbush Sq., corner of Clinton and Broadway in downtown Albany for an 11:00 am start.
This ride will be 25 miles, a casual pace with a couple of short climbs, on roads with medium traffic and short sections of unpaved bike paths. We will visit the sites and cities that were part of the great American Industrial Revolution of the late 1800′s.
Sights and sounds that we will experience include the original Erie Canal, the Great Falls at Cohoes, the Waterford Harbor, and countless “Industrial Revolution” era buildings that were used for factories, workplaces, entertainment, and homes in downtown Albany, Cohoes, Waterford, and Troy.
Bring your camera with your mandatory helmet along with an extra tube for your bike in case of a flat. This is a self-supported ride so be prepared!
Cost is $10. Snacks, fruit, and water provided at the start.
We will stop for lunch near the halfway point so bring a little cash ($10- $15.) This new deli has great soups, sandwiches, baked goods, and picnic tables with a spectacular view.