Summer in Westchester: Biking
Photo by Luke Kelly
Biking through Blue Mountain
With gas prices north of $4 a gallon, you might be looking to take your old bike out for a spin again. But where to ride? We asked the experts—the pros at our local bike shops—for their favorite rides.
“There are three really good mountain biking trails in the area,” says Bino Cummings, manager of Hickory & Tweed Ski & Cycle in Armonk (914-273-3397; hickory
andtweed.com). “Sprain Ridge in Yonkers, Graham Hills in Pleasantville, and, my absolute favorite, Blue Mountain in Peekskill. It’s the place to ride. They’re not really for kids—they’re more aggressive.”
AJ Picarello, owner of Down Cycles in Croton-on-Hudson (914-827-9570; downcycles.com), couldn’t agree more, causing Stefan Pappalardo, the shop’s manager, to opine: “I try to get him to ride elsewhere in Westchester, but there’s no doubt that he could easily spend the rest of his life riding at Blue Mountain.” Perhaps it’s just a sense of pride—Picarello is actually personally responsible for the construction of one of Blue Mountain’s trails, aptly named “My Favorite Trail.” But, even without the personal connection, Pappalardo says, “Blue Mountain provides the most selection, distance, and variable terrain for all abilities.”
If you’re looking to take the kids with you, Steve Kahn, president of Danny’s Cycles (Scarsdale 914-723-3408; Rye Brook 914-939-1150; dannyscycles.com), recommends the North and South County Trailway. “As part of the Rails-to-Trails project, this trail is dedicated to many forms of non-motorized transportation,” he says. “With scenic terrain, paved paths, and car-free riding, the trail network is ideal for family riding.” Kahn adds that Westchester is “home to one of the country’s longest-running race-pace group rides, the Gimbels Ride, which leaves Yonkers and heads north, covering a huge swath of our county.” You can find out more about the Gimbels Ride at usicycling.org.
Ilene Marcos, co-owner of Bicycle World in Mount Kisco (914-666-4044; bicycleworldny.com), has a tip for those looking for a little serenity. “Picking the right time of day to be on the roads will make them feel like they’re your own,” she says. “Avoid rush-hour rides.” But where to bike during those off-hours? “Connecting the reservoirs in the area—such as the Amawalk, the Titicus, and the Croton—is always a great ride. It’s hard to believe that we’re as close to New York City as we are when you’re taking in such beautiful scenery.”
Ready to hit the road? You can get out onto the trails even if you don’t have a bike—just rent one for the weekend from a bike shop.
Hybrid: $30/day, $55/three days, $100/week; Carbon-fiber road bikes: $40/day, $70/three days, $125/week;
Bike racks: $15/day, $50/week
Danny’s Cycles—Scarsdale Location
Hybrid: $40/day, $120/week; Cross-country: $50/day, $150/week; Mountain: $60/day, $180/week; Road: $60/day, $180/week
Hybrid: $40-$45/day; Mountain: $45/day
Hickory & Tweed Ski & Cycle
Hybrid: $35/day; Full-suspension bikes: $75/weekend