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Escape NYC: In Search of Gravel


dinneR
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@Randomguy, here you go. A gravel route in your backyard.

https://bikepacking.com/plog/escape-nyc-video/

Just beyond New York City’s dense urban center lies a contrasting world of lush forests, dirt tracks, and sleepy roads that are perfect for a pedal-powered break from city life. Escape NYC is a new video from Dwayne Burgess that documents one such two-day getaway. Check it out here…

Escape-NYC-Video-3.jpg

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1 hour ago, dennis said:

here you go

Hmm, it looks like fun, but again, not so easy to get to if you live in Brooklyn or in midtown, say, or just not want to carry all that gear.  The route is mostly road, which I suppose plays to your point, but you would definitely have to seek these ones out all the way to find bits and pieces.  It isn't enough of an inducement for me, although I have bounced off the road before when I saw a trail near the road out here.  If I had a car?  Maybe.  I don't think it anywhere near extensive as they paint it to be, though.

You guys have to remember that apartments are small and expensive here, and almost no one has room for multiple bikes and even getting to the GWB involves thousands and thousands of microdecisions and assholery on a continually grander scale.  The only reasonable bike that makes sense for living in the city is a road bike of sorts, or maybe a street machine converted from something else.

I have seen a few Hakka's in Central Park, btw.

1 hour ago, F_in Ray Of Sunshine said:

My god! Did you see how many times they had to stop and switch wheels?

Oh stop it.  I would just ride the road and call it good.  I certainly don't think gravel bikes capable of real singletrack, no matter how mild or how many times John Tomac used drop bars in the very early years of mountain bike racing.

46 minutes ago, Old No. 7 said:

Up the Palisades Parkway, very nice. I’ve driven on some of those roads on my way to Boston. 

There is a nice 5 mile or so stretch to road bike on in Palisades that is pretty nice.  They have now chained sections of it off, necessitating obstacle jumping and such, and it kind of interrupts the flow that used to be.  Still nice, though, and still pretty.

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Just now, F_in Ray Of Sunshine said:

The word used was "capable".

Yeah, but he is also looking for "realistic" and "enjoyable" rides.  I'm sure most bikes are capable on basic single track since I can ride that stuff on my 25+yr old rigid Trek MTB, but as I found out while riding that stuff on the Trek, a sweat FS MTB would make it all more enjoyable and much easier.

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16 minutes ago, Razors Edge said:

Yeah - much much better on a full suspension MTB.  That looks NO FUN.

I guess it really depends on what ones definition of “real” single track is.  Smooth loamy single track is doable and really fun.  Rocky, loose, rutted and technical is maybe doable but not much fun and better suited for a MTB.  

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9 minutes ago, F_in Ray Of Sunshine said:

The point is, he's talking out his ass about something he's never ridden.

WRONG!  I don't need to ride every singletrack trail to know that riding it on a rigid bike isn't a good time.  I talk out my ass about all kinds of things, but this isn't one of those times.

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13 minutes ago, F_in Ray Of Sunshine said:

So riding on the road to the trailhead on a full suspension MTB would be "enjoyable"?

The point is, he's talking out his ass about something he's never ridden.

I think he is just envious of the rest of us :D  Clearly, he needs to figure out what bike(s) he needs.

But, it pretty much, for me, comes down to what's my ride going to look like today?  I pick and choose, and while it does constrain me sometimes - "Rats! I should have done a road ride" - it really just becomes second nature thinking and planning about what's next. Right now, I generally don't like driving to ride, but will for special circumstances. Otherwise, I know I'm going to either be riding miles to/from the start of gravel rides OR riding all paved OR riding about 10 min to a MTB trail.  So, for road, I am good 100% of a ride (ie proper bike selection). For MTB, I am good 95% of the ride (but the 10 mins to/from the trail can be ridden on dirt horse trail or just be a good warm up/cool down).  For gravel, it is more a 50/50 split of paved/unpaved (again, could go 100% unpaved using the horse trail), so the gravel bike will work well - fast enough on paved stuff, but designed for the mixed surface stuff..

If I am on the "wrong" bike when I see something neat, I just file it away and plan to try it later on the right bike :D

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Just now, ChrisL said:

I guess it really depends on what ones definition of “real” single track is.  Smooth loamy single track is doable and really fun.  Rocky, loose, rutted and technical is maybe doable but not much fun and better suited for a MTB.  

I dunno, once you ride suspension off road, you don't want to do without it.  

I put a softride stem on my first realish mountainbike, but then sold the bike as is for more than I paid on EP.  I ordered another nicer bike and had to wait two weeks for my ordered stem to arrive.  The first day I built it, I went for a mountain bike ride near Chicago, and it sucked.  I didn't rid off-road again until I received the stem, no way in hell I was going to.

Same thing when I got my first full suspension bike.  I sold it and said that I would ride my old hardtail until I could build another FS bike.  That lasted one ride, too, it just felt barbaric to ride unsuspended on the back.  If it isn't fun, at least a little, why bother with it?

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30 minutes ago, Randomguy said:

There is a nice 5 mile or so stretch to road bike on in Palisades that is pretty nice.  They have now chained sections of it off, necessitating obstacle jumping and such, and it kind of interrupts the flow that used to be.  

Dickbaggery is everywhere. Free the roads! But it does keep the cars off of them so you got that. Don’t pedal with your head down and run into one of those chains. I’ve heard that’s bad; but @roadrunner doesn’t post here anymore.

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1 minute ago, Randomguy said:

I dunno, once you ride suspension off road, you don't want to do without it.  

I put a softride stem on my first realish mountainbike, but then sold the bike as is for more than I paid on EP.  I ordered another nicer bike and had to wait two weeks for my ordered stem to arrive.  The first day I built it, I went for a mountain bike ride near Chicago, and it sucked.  I didn't rid off-road again until I received the stem, no way in hell I was going to.

Same thing when I got my first full suspension bike.  I sold it and said that I would ride my old hardtail until I could build another FS bike.  That lasted one ride, too, it just felt barbaric to ride unsuspended on the back.  If it isn't fun, at least a little, why bother with it?

Keep in mind, there is a reason motorcycles and motocross bikes exist. 

image.thumb.png.96745820400b154075d23c07c8ec1b5a.png

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4 minutes ago, Old No. 7 said:

Dickbaggery is everywhere. Free the roads! But it does keep the cars off of them so you got that. Don’t pedal with your head down and run into one of those chains. I’ve heard that’s bad; but @roadrunner doesn’t post here anymore.

There were ever only a few cars on it, not sure why they felt the need.  LIke I said, still pretty, and just a momentary interruption.

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5 minutes ago, Randomguy said:

I dunno, once you ride suspension off road, you don't want to do without it.  

I put a softride stem on my first realish mountainbike, but then sold the bike as is for more than I paid on EP.  I ordered another nicer bike and had to wait two weeks for my ordered stem to arrive.  The first day I built it, I went for a mountain bike ride near Chicago, and it sucked.  I didn't rid off-road again until I received the stem, no way in hell I was going to.

Same thing when I got my first full suspension bike.  I sold it and said that I would ride my old hardtail until I could build another FS bike.  That lasted one ride, too, it just felt barbaric to ride unsuspended on the back.  If it isn't fun, at least a little, why bother with it?

I do ride both, a full susser and cyclocross bike and enjoy both for what they are. I don’t take my crosser on certain routes as it’s no fun getting beat to hell.  But riding tubeless 32 tires at 35-40 psi is really nice on dirt/gravel roads. No suspension is really needed but again no rocky, rutted loose trails for me.  

 However if I could only have one of the two bikes I’d pick my Anthem.  It’s fine on pavement, I can ride it on gravel and can ride more rambunctious trails too.   I’m not a schralpy dude and a XC Short travel MTB is perfect for me.

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1 hour ago, Randomguy said:

once you ride suspension off road, you don't want to do without it.

Wrong. I gave up full suspension and I’m riding a fully rigid 29’er off road. Try that on trails you thought were too tame and suddenly.....they’re not.

Gravel roads are boring....on a full suspension MTB, but try them at road bike speeds on a gravel bike and suddenly they’re not.

Basically you want full suspension-worth MTB trails or road...and yet you ride in Central Park. 

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10 minutes ago, F_in Ray Of Sunshine said:

Wrong. I gave up full suspension and I’m riding a fully rigid 29’er off road. Try that on trails you thought were too tame and suddenly.....they’re not.

Gravel roads are boring....on a full suspension MTB, but try them at road bike speeds on a gravel bike and suddenly they’re not.

Basically you want full suspension-worth MTB trails or road...and yet you ride in Central Park. 

There aren't many places to ride here, so you ride the terrain you have.  Yes, I would like good trails and more routes, but you have what you have.

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6 minutes ago, Randomguy said:

There aren't many places to ride here, so you ride the terrain you have.  Yes, I would like good trails and more routes, but you have what you have.

Motocross can be licensed for the road in NYC (I think).  Just park it in the hallway.  BOOM!  All issues solved!

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2 minutes ago, Razors Edge said:

Motocross can be licensed for the road in NYC (I think).  Just park it in the hallway.  BOOM!  All issues solved!

Occasionally, hundreds of black dudes on non-street legal motocross bike blast through the streets really loudly, it is all very odd.

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5 minutes ago, Razors Edge said:

And cool?  The echoes are probably wild!

I suppose cool, in a way.   It is annoying if you are walking and talking to RO, but you just have to stop and let her enjoy the spectacle. 

 You wonder why the cops don't show up and roust them, but I think there are just too many and would cause mayhem if there was a chase of some sort.  They do lots of wheelies.

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Just now, Randomguy said:

I suppose cool, in a way.   It is annoying if you are walking and talking to RO, but you just have to stop and let her enjoy the spectacle. 

 You wonder why the cops don't show up and roust them, but I think there are just too many and would cause mayhem if there was a chase of some sort.  They do lots of wheelies.

My solution seems even better to you now, doesn't it?

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