Category Archives: Local Bike Rides

Why Ghost Bikes?

A ghost bike reminds us that all road users are responsible for all other users – whether in cars, on foot, in wheel chairs, on public transit, and on bicycles. As long as a ghost bike remains in place, it serves as a graphic reminder that someone was killed in a crash – regardless of fault or responsibility.

Fairbanks 6 (Susan + Patrick Briggs)  5-9-08

A second and more touching reason is that the ghost bike provides the surviving loved ones a focus for their loss, and, by their commemoration, serves as beacon for the rest of us.

On 9/3/12, Matthew was riding north on Rt. 22 toward Hoosick falls at 8:30 AM on a clear day on a straight, smooth road with wide shoulders. He was an avid, experienced cyclist.

Becky Goodermote struck him from behind and left Matthew lying by the road 30 feet from where she hit him. Goodermote, 37, was charged with leaving the scene of a serious personal injury accident, operating a vehicle while impaired by drugs, driving with a suspended registration and failure to use due care.

Matthew died on 12/20/12 having been in a coma since struck. His third child was born during that time. He left Jennifer, his wife, and children, Kylie, Connor, and the baby. He worked at the Southwestern Vermont Medical Center in radiology.

A local business owner went to the scene. “It was pretty bad. I saw one of his shoes and thought it was a young kid at first. It was a big mess,” he said.

A Rensselaer County judge sentenced Goodermote to 2⅓ to 7 years for her plea to leaving the scene of an accident that caused a death and 1⅓ to 4 years for criminally negligent homicide, both felonies. Everybody loses …

His ghost bike was installed 1/13/13 near the point of impact a few days after Matthew died. Jennifer, Matthew’s widow, visits frequently leaving flowers and cards. Below is the ghost bike shortly after St. Valentine’s Day, 2018.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Read more: https://www.timesunion.com/local/article/Cyclist-dies-of-crash-injury-4135692.php#ixzz2FgpQPcO

Obituary: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/timesunion-albany/obituary.aspx?n=matthew-ratelle&pid=161866101&fhid=5076

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ROS 10 yr logo 2017Annually, there is a “Ride of Silence” in Albany to commemorate those who were killed or injured while riding and to remind us all – drivers and cyclists – to be careful. We pass by and stop at the ghost bikes sites in the city – Paul Merges, Nicholas Richichi, Diva DeLoayza, and Jose Perez. This year there are two new sites – two new fatalities. A daughter of a deceased rider, the wife of yet another, and another’s co-workers sometimes join the ride. This year’s ride is on Wednesday, 5/16/18 starting at 6:00 PM at the Row Center in Albany Riverfront Park and at 6:30 at Capital Park Washington Ave.

Matthew Ratelle 10-26-72 -- 12-20-12 C

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Bike the Branches Ride in Living Color

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Heading Out from Arbor Hill ~ 9/16/17

 

 

 

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The Big Sweep


 

 

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Waiting for the Riders

At Delaware Branch …

 

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The Full Ride Assembles at Delaware Branch

 

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On the Hackett Blvd. Path

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Lots of Families

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Determination

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Albany’s Finest

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The Finish at Pine Hills

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Trusty Escorts from APD

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A Beautiful Day in Albany

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Filed under Activisim, BikeShare, Local Bike Rides, Rides

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 Century of Riding Bliss

A Century of Riding Bliss

 As another step toward exploring all the bicycle paths in New York State, cyclist Ed set out over the 2016 Labor Day Weekend to complete the following Century.charlton_pumpkin-comp

Summary – Home in the New Scotland Ave. area of Albany – to Slingerlands, Albany, Mechanicville, Ballston Spa, Amsterdam, Niskayuna, and back to home. Total per Google maps – 107.6 miles and with various diversions – 115.0 miles.

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  • 2.2 miles Home to Albany County Helderberg Hudson Rail Trail
  • 7.0 miles Albany County Rail Trail to Corning Riverfront Park/Mohawk-Hudson Bike-Hike Trail
  • 5.0 miles to Watervliet
  • 5.8 miles through Watervliet/Green Island to Black Bridge and the Delaware Ave. Trail through Van Schaick Island and Peebles Island, Cohoes, to Waterford.
  • 9.0 miles Rt. 4 from Waterford to Brookwood Rd. to Old Champlain Canal Trail (gravel) Upper Newton Rd. to Rt. 4 to Mechanicville/Main St.
  • 4.1 miles South St. /Pruyn Hill Rd. climbs to Johnson Rd., right onto Staniak Rd., to Coons Crossing Rd., to Zim Smith Mid-County Trail
  • 9.1 miles Zim Smith Mid-County Trail to Ballston Spa
  • 0.8 miles left E. High St. right Low St. to Ballston Spa Front Street Park
  • 3.6 miles Rt. 67/Rt. 50 South from Ballston Spa to left Outlet Rd.
  • 4.0 miles outlet Rd., right on Ballston Bicycle Path to Ballston Lake, right on 146A
  • Few yards north on 146A, left on Lake Hill Rd.
  • 15.2 miles Lake Hill Rd. becoming Stage Rd. in Charlton, jog left to Maple Ave. Left on Packer Rd. to EaSt.ern Ave. becoming WeSt.ern Ave. in West Charlton. Right Westline Rd. Left Waite Rd. to Rt. 67 north of Amsterdam
  • 4.8 miles Left Rt. 67 to Amsterdam to roof of Riverfront Center parking lot (this included about 2 extra miles looping around downtown Amsterdam looking for the route to cross to the Riverfront Park/Gateway Overlook Bridge.
  • 0.5 mile bridge/elevator from roof of Riverfront to “Riverlink Park.” Over the new (August 2016) Mohawk Valley Gateway Overlook Bridge to Erie Canalway Trail just past Erie St. amsterdam_finding_way_to_new_bridge-comp

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  • 29.0 miles Canalway Trail/5S thru Pattersonville, Rotterdam Junction, Schenectady over to Scotia – on a (nasty, nameless) trail at end of Collins Park to Freemans Bridge
  • Back to Schenectady/Mohawk-Hudson Bike-Hike Trail to Lions Park, Niskayuna
  • 3.2 miles Left Old River Rd., Right Rosendale Rd., Left Rt. 7, right British American Blvd (bike lanes) to Cornell Rd., to Shaker Trail (paved), and to left on Airline Dr
  • 2.3 miles Airline Dr that becomes S. Family Drive to left on Sand Creek. Sand Creek to right Morello Drive – left on Central 1 block, to Lincoln Ave.
  • 3.2 miles Lincoln to the City Dump and Six Mile Waterworks Trail, Rt. on Multi-Use Trail along Fuller to Circle by UAlbany, Tricentennial Dr.
  • 4.6 miles UALBANY Bike Path to WeSt.ern Ave., left on WeSt.ern to HomeSt.ead, left on Hazlehurst which becomes Berkshire to Right on Ormond becomes Friebel Rd. / left on Krumkill to New Scotland, Right on New Scotland, and back home.

This is a good ride to gain an appreciation of the touring opportunities in the area.  The ride could be broken up into two or three segments for those wanting to commit to a “century” ride. [Ed.]

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Filed under Albany County Rail Trail, Local Bike Rides, Rail Trail, Rides

Leave That Prius in the Garage …

… and get out in the sun with your family for summer fun on your bicycles. The following builds on some of the thoughts expressed in the January 2016 Bicycle Times.

Family Bicycle Rides 8-17-16 A

The magazine highlighted some of the many benefits of getting your family out on bicycles to enjoy the summer in a healthful and non-polluting fashion. Regardless of its size or composition, nothing beats a bicycle ride for learning (or re-learning) to enjoy each other’s company. Not only is the ride healthy as opposed to traveling by car to some high-cost destination but also it brings the family members closer together. This is particularly true if you are a car free or near car free family as the simplest chore or errand can turn into an A+ social experience.

In addition to the immediate benefits to the family members, a bicycle ride always presents an opportunity to engage more intimately with your surroundings and with your fellow citizens. What better way to build community than a friendly “hello,” “good morning,” “or good afternoon” – a social grace that is missed when we travel around air-conditioned cocoons. This is particularly true if your family includes an infant or toddler in a trailer or bicycle seat. Who cannot smile at the sign of a small child riding with his or her parents on a bicycle and waving happily to everyone? On a more altruistic note, the active presence of a family unit riding together shows others that it is safe and fun.

If the ride is of reasonable length and includes frequent stops for playgrounds, running around, and exploring, any small child will enjoy the experience. Parents would be wise to enhance this experience as opposed to the building the mileage. Typically, a family with young or inexperienced riders will seek out routes that have minimal or slow motor vehicle traffic. A side benefit of this type of exploration is that the cycling family can discover the low stress ways to navigate the city. In this regard, parents would be wise to confer with other families on the routes that they’ve discovered with a special emphasis on the attractive features of that route or the features of that route that will be attractive to young ride-alongs who are looking for some adventure. A benefit of family bike rides – particularly when the young members are riding their own bicycle – is engendering a spirit of independence as well as awareness for the needs for the skill of riding in traffic. What better opportunity to learn the rules of the road than to ride as a family with close adult supervision and guidance? (If you expect your children to wear a helmet when you are not around, you’d better wear one yourself at all times.) As children grow older, they can map the route and lead the ride for the entire family.

For longer rides that may involve an overnight, other considerations come into play. The same Bicycle Times issue offered some ideas on bicycle touring with young children. Aspects include careful planning of the route, careful packing, and – above all – ensuring that the experience will be positive for the youngsters. The fact that the trip is short is less relevant than the quality of the time spent together and the opportunities for exploration and excitement. Not only do the young family members experience the joy of independent travel but they have an opportunity to learn valuable living skills such as cooking over an open fire or camp stove, pitching a tent, basic care of their bicycles, gathering firewood, and roasting marshmallows.

In the same January Bicycle Times a number of tips were offered for planning a trip. First, select a route that is relatively traffic-free. Forget the miles – focus on having a good time. Factor in the terrain as a hilly route will reduce the number of miles between needed rest stops. If your child is small, ride while he or she is napping with the suggestion to limit “trailer time” to about 4 hours a day. Remember that a child will need his or her own baggage, so plan to lighten the load as much as possible leaving behind many toys, heavy books, and related items. Nevertheless, never pass up a good playground!

Stop early enough in the day so that there’s time to enjoy the campsite as a family unit. Pack delicious, nutritious food. Bring a favorite bedtime story book (but just one) to help children get to sleep. Engage children in helping out at the campsite whenever possible. One last thought is to team up with another family (or families) with children of similar ages so that there is a portable playgroup to help the success of the trip.

While some families have traveled internationally with their youngsters, a simple ride to the river, a favorite park, or Stewart’s ice cream store presents a tremendous opportunity for family growth and enjoyment.

Family Bicycle Rides 8-17-16 B

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