Category Archives: Article

10th Annual Daily Grind Ride

10th Annual Daily Grind Coffee Shops Ride, 8/12/17

Sponsored by: Daily Grind Coffee Shops and the Albany Bicycle Coalition

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Riders Stephen, Aaron, Caleb, Margaret, Nadia, Lex, Claire, Bert, and Lorenz had a wonderful ride from the Daily Grind in Albany to the Daily Grind in Troy for our 10th Annual Daily Grind Ride on Saturday, 8/12.

After a photo op at the Albany café, we cruised down State St. and then used the BikeAlbanyMap for a low-stress ride to the Slater and the beginning of the new Corning Riverfront Park “green path.”

We paused at the boat launch to join up with Lex, Nadia, Steve, and Caleb who had proceeded us to the Corning Riverfront Park kayak/boat launch. The weather could not have been better and the path was well use by joggers, people on bicycles, and walkers – and by plentiful CDPHP Cycle! BikeShare bicycles. Temps were in the high 70s/low 80s with a slight breeze and a blue sky accented with fluffy white clouds.

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We wound our way through sunny Watervaliet and the tip of the Sovereign and Independent Nation of Green Island and then crossed the lift bridge. With no sense of guilt, we slid by the long lines of stopped cars crowding into downtown Troy.

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe Daily Grind staff in Troy rolled out the welcome mat and the food with a generous discount for all who partook. We enjoyed delicious lunch on the sidewalk patio where we enjoyed the fine weather and great company. Riders Amy and John joined us for lunch. Local Hero Andrew from Troy Bike Rescue stopped by with his new daughter to wish us well.

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After lunch, some went to the Troy Farmers Market while others headed back to Albany through South Troy and over the Rt-378 Bridge to the bike path.

At both the Albany and Troy shops, we presented the staff with a framed picture of the 2016 riders posed in front of the respective café. All who participated in the 20-mile ride enjoyed the outing with our youngest riders, Caleb and Nadia, bringing their special dynamics to the event.

Read about the 2016 ride here – https://albanybicyclecoalition.com/2016/09/02/local-hospitality-9th-annual-daily-grind-coffee-shops-ride-81316/

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Filed under City Review, Local Bike Rides, Mohawk-Hudson Bike-Hike Trail, Rides

A Ride in the Woods

We are all indebted to the Friends of the Rail Trail volunteers, the staff and volunteers in the Mohawk Hudson Land Conservancy, and the Albany County leadership and staff for the design and construction of Albany County Helderberg Hudson Rail Trail.

Here is a nice ride one can take that uses the entire paved portion of the trail. Starting in the Pine Hills area it’s, about 3.5 miles to the trailhead on South Pearl Street at Old South Pearl Street. The ride to the trailhead will always be tedious until the South End Bikeway Link is completed. However, in the meantime, using the BikeAlbanyMap – an interactive device that lets you plan your trips through the city of Albany on low-traffic low-stress roadways – you can get most of the way to the trailhead with only a minimum of hassle.

Once on the rail trail, the smooth surface takes you through the beautiful Normanskill Gorge in an idyllic setting. The only traffic noise is while going under Route 9 and the New York State Thruway. Trail is far enough below them that the noise can easily be ignored. Then it is up the gentle but uniform grade across the Normanskill until eventually one ends up cruising past the backyards of suburban Bethlehem. Once there, the trail levels off and it has a pleasant hop across Delaware Ave. to the terminus of the paved section is Slingerlands by the old railroad station at 5.75 from the trail head at South Pearl St.

An alternative route back to the City of Albany is to take the trail until just after it crosses Elsmere Ave., take one of the trail exits to Ellsworth Ave., and follow around on Plymouth until Delaware Ave. From there, it is a short hop to Jim’s Tastee-Freez ($3 for a small cone) and then across the Normanskill to Delaware Ave. in Albany. Remember that, just after crossing the Thruway Bridge reentering the city of Albany, to refer to the BikeAlbanyMap to find a pleasant way to avoid the car-centric design of Delaware Ave.

From Pine Hills and return it is about 16 miles – a nice day trip.

Better than reading about the Albany County Helderberg Hudson Rail Trail, just go ride on it!

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Filed under Albany County Rail Trail, City Review

Bicycle Lanes (and Traffic Calming) on Van Rensselaer Blvd./Rt. 377

Van Rensselaer/Rt. 377 Bicycle Lanes – There soon will be two lanes for motor vehicles, left turn bays, and bicycle lanes on Van Rensselaer. These are a great tie-in with Northern Blvd.’s bicycle lanes.

The first photo shows the start of the new lanes (as yet uncompleted) at Northern Blvd.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABut there’s more…

NYSDOT is completing this recent project in consultation with the City of Albany on project scope. It builds on the 2015 bicycle lanes/traffic calming installation on Northern Blvd. The city will expand the bicycle lane project on Northern Blvd from the I-90 bridge north toward Albany-Shaker Road later this summer. Notably the lane treatment at the southern end of Northern Blvd. is one of the best designs you will find in the region. Note the bottom photo with a nice buffer.

Those who use the BikeAlbanyMap and Parks & Trails New York Erie Canalway Trail map will note that one can ride the Mohawk-Hudson Bike-Hike Trail from Rotterdam Junction (with a few on-street portions in Schenectady, Cohoes, and Watervaliet), leave the MHBHT at the (hidden and bumpy) Schuyler Flats Trail near Passano Paints and the I-787 underpass at Broadway and 4th Sts. to Schuyler flats, go a short half mile south on Broadway, crawl up the hill through Albany Rural Cemetery, join the above described new bicycle lanes on Van Rensselaer/Rt. 377, enjoy the “calmed” Northern Blvd. to McCrossin and Thornton Sts. at the old Livingston Middle School, and then wind through a quiet residential neighborhood to the bicycle lanes on Clinton Ave.

It’s almost a network!

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Filed under Bicycle Boulevards, Bike Lanes, City Review

NYS 3’ Ride

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Many Mohawk-Hudson Cycling Club and Albany Bicycle Coalition members joined a ride to promote changing NYS’s safe passing law. We need to specify a minimum passing distance (e.g., 3 feet) – see: https://albanybicyclecoalition.com/2016/02/22/3-foot-passing-law/ ) Currently, NYS essentially says, “pass safely” which – as any person on a bicycle knows – can mean anything from 4 inches up.

The New York Bicycling Coalition organized the ride as part of its long-standing effort to bring New York State’s law up to date.

Go here for more on the law, go HERE.

Many riders wore special “3-foot jerseys” and then rode the loop around the Capitol once for each foot. We noted the relationship to the proposed “Felony Reckless Driving and Vulnerable Users of the Public Highway (Creto/Kade) Law” – see: https://albanybicyclecoalition.com/2015/11/09/felony-reckless-driving-and-vulnerable-users-of-the-public-highway/

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Filed under Activisim, Law, Support the Cause

From the Ashes – A Classic Motobecane Super Mirage

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAYears ago, when people were cleaning out all the French, English, and Japanese bicycles that they bought during the 70s and 80s, one could find almost anything on the curb in the City of Albany on “trash night.” Now it seems that all the cleaning out is over and the owners are in assisted living or Albany Rural.

All that is left is beat-up mountain bikes from WallyMart.

In any case, on one dedicated night-time venture around 10 years ago, the subject of this post showed up – a Motobecane “Super Mirage” with all the features – SunTour VX, Weinmann center pulls, proprietary drop bars, crank arms and seat, Lyotard pedals with Christophe toe clips, Weinmann rims, Dia Compe brake levers, and beautiful black finish with red and gold highlights. (Other color choices for this model were “New Blue” (dull) or “Champagne Gold” (ugly).)

After a lot of disassembly, degreasing, polishing (and more polishing), waxing, and re-assembly, we have a beautiful example of the many French bicycles that flooded the bicycle shops of the area. (This sample came from the Eagles Nest in Delmar.)

See you on the street …

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Filed under Bike Tech, Feature