Trip Length: 3 days
Mileage total: 525
Bikes: Honda CRF230M, Yamaha XVS650
May 2nd-4th. Three days. Now this was just beautiful.
Catskills are made for bike riding. Great tarmac, all twisty—turn after turn after turn, unbelievable scenery and most importantly—you can ride whole day and not run into one town. What a feeling of freedom.
23 is great for going NW, it’s a pleasant ride and still quite fast. It gets beautiful few miles before Port Jervis.
Then Hawk’s Nest—a picturesque twisty run on the edge of the cliff on 97 few miles NW of Port Jervis. A place of many bike stunts:). And car commercials probably. Just google it. Then you follow the turns of the river on 97 along the “Upper Delaware Scenic & Recreational River”. It’s just great. We took a nap mid-day on the boulder on the river bank.
Then I run out of throttle!
Going uphill I found myself for the first time twisting to the max—55mph and that’s it! It is in the end 230cc, my little Honda… still I LOVE it!
We got to our lodge, The Inn at Starlight Lake early enough to get into kayaks and into the middle of the lake for an hour. The Inn is a great place to hang out: they have kayaks, rowboats, tennis court, pig pong, pool table, great hiking terrain, a fireplace and a restaurant with completely homemade food. Including bread rolls and ice cream. Highly recommended!
From the Starlight Lake to Rosendale. There is just more and more fantastic road. First 30 then 28—they don’t seem to end. The valleys look like those in the Alps. Minus the chalets. Again turn after turn. I loved seeing the signs: turn 25mph, turn 15mph. I started getting into it:) We rode 42 to 23A to get to the stretch going through Kaaterskill—perfectly twisty run up the edge of a mountain, hairpin, waterfall. Had to ride it twice.
Then down 214 to Ashokan Reservoir—There is a small parking at the entrance to the road closed to traffic. Running on top of a dam it’s a perfect stretch for rollerblading, walks or—a nap. Yes.
We got lost on the last stretch getting to Rosendale and our second B&B, Creek Locks Bed & Breakfast. A beautiful Inn on the bank of the river with extremely hospitable keepers and a resident dog.
—when I woke up thinking how can I possibly get back north and west, ride the Kaaterskill twists again, get back into the valleys. And then I had to get over it and start heading south. 9W is again great alternative to any highway. I had an unpleasant shock hitting first bigger town again, after two days of mountains… We stopped at the Orange Country Chopper, for kicks. And then a brilliant discovery—we haphazardly took 218 off 9W, just to check it out, and it turned out to be a mini Hawk’s Nest! It’s running twisting high up on the edge of the mountain over Hudson. There is a lookout stop in the key spot for your photographing and gasping pleasure. We ended up riding it three times:).
We were making a really good time and since we were around the Bear Mountain…
The best thing: after 3 days of riding twisties I came back to the run through the Bear Mountain that I rode before. And I could feel how much I improved—I was faster, leaning deeper and much, much more confident going through the turns. It felt great. And then the Arden Vally Rd was again a source of some adrenaline with it’s hairpins and gravel!
We were shooting with the helmet cam, so more pictures and videos coming soon.
Now I’m in trouble. We were on the road for three days, did over 500 miles. I was relaxed, far from exhausted, and ABSOLUTELY loved it. The bike did great. I started feeling that maybe—maybe, that big, “three thousand mile trip” could become reality.
I am looking at the map:).