A Grueling Bike Trip from Saratoga to North Creek

Saratoga to North Creek Bike Trip

Saratoga to North Creek Bike Trip

Saratoga to North Creek Bike Trip

“Quitting is not an option. Quitting is not an option. Quitting is not an option.”

That same sadistic mantra was what helped tolerate the burning in my quads and the lack of oxygen in my chest. It was all because of Lanfear and Mountain Road, a stretch of back road biking that avoided traffic but had us climbing preposterous elevations for over 10 miles.

The grueling day didn’t begin as such.

Christine and Nola, my intrepid cyclists and I drove to Saratoga train station on Friday morning and disembarked with plenty of time to ride the 52 miles north to the little town of North Creek. Once there we’d return to Saratoga aboard the scenic SNCRR Railway.

We calculated a beautiful 6-hour journey along the Hudson River, past State forests and wooded lakes, over parabolic bridges and under canopies of orange, yellow and red leaf trees. By 10am, the sun shone bright and the blue skies were positive harbingers of things to come.

By noon, the sun was gone, ominous gray clouds blew in and rain started spitting.

Mapmyride, the GPS app I use to rely on for the best routes lost internet connection and unbeknownst to me, my back tire was slowly leaking air.

Our only alternative was a ruthless map print out (not from Mapmyride) that took us up, up, up Hadley Mountain but never quite giving us the joy ride back down that we so richly deserved.

We stopped only twice for quick bathroom breaks. I sweated out everything long before that. But, the 5-minute respites allowed a dip into my bag of grub to refuel.

Trains have a schedule to maintain and we knew that breaking any longer might jeopardize our ride home so we kept up the pace. But maintaining any discernible pace on a 20-degree incline is like swimming against the current.

With only 10 miles left to go, my back tire finally blew. Christine to the rescue. Her spare cartridge of CO2 inflated my PSI back to normal in seconds.

Our punishing ride ended the way it began – in sunshine with a rainbow stretched wide overhead. Our pain turned to triumph and joy as we hugged and vowed never to chance onto Lanfear Road again.