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Shop Ride Report: Graham Hills NY, September 27, 2015


September 26th, 2015

Fall temperatures of 60 degrees and an overcast skies met the 718 crew as we gathered up at Graham Hills in Mt. Pleasant, NY.  Riders were split on transport method, with half arriving by car and the other half by a 45 minute train ride on The Harlem Line of The Metro North Railroad.




We had a great mix of riders, from experienced Continental Divide veterans to Mid-Atlantic shredders to beginners.




The group took off from the parking lot, determined not to get lost "this time". Within 20 minutes, we were already debating where we thought we were on the map.



The group broke into 2 groups based on interest level in certain trails.  One interesting thing that was going on was a few riders testing our bike packing set-ups in preparation for our Vermont Trip this weekend



As with other courses in Westchester County, the going was rocky and rooty.  In addition, alot of tree cover has fallen, causing the trails to be semi-obscured by leaves.


The ride started at 10am, and some riders stayed on until 6pm. The goal of this group is to introduce new-comers to mountain biking, while providing experienced riders and escape from the city.




Shop Ride Report: Blue Mountain NY, September 12, 2015



Under heavy threat of rain that never came, 718 Cyclery hosted a group ride at the Blue Mountain Preserve, in Peekskill NY. As conditions are treacherous to begin with at Blue Mountain, and as there was rain the day before, we didn't bring our carbon hardtail fleet members from Yeti and Focus


We ended up bringing some great bikes from Kona and Salsa

As is customary, riders arrived by train and car.  The train ride was just over 60 minutes on the Hudson Line of Metro North out of Grand Central Station. Riders arrived at the Peekskill Station at 9:45, and we at the trailhead by just after 10am.


Blue Mountain holds a special place in many local mountainbikers hearts are rocky and unforgiving. I still have scars on my shins from a visit a year ago. 


Blue Mountain is also notorious for getting lost at.  I have known many riders who spend alot of time at Blue, and who still complain of getting lost.  It can add to the immersion, but sometimes you just want to know where you are.


I had 2 goals on this ride. The first was to try our my new 2016 Kona Explosif . My second goal was to not get lost.


The first part, riding my new bike, went well.  The bike represented a number of firsts for me.
  • First time on 27.5" wheels
  • First real time on a modern steel mountain bike
  • First real trail time on a hardtail
Blue Mountain and its unforgiving rock piles was probably not the best place to dive right in.  I normally ride a 2014 Salsa Horsethief 1 (29'er, full suspension), so I am used to rolling over things opf a certain size.  On the Explosif, I found that I actually has to steer a bit more and not rely on the bike just rolling over everything.



As a new hardtail rider, i also found that without a rear suspension to take some of the burden, it was just left to me and the fork to absorb the blows....which at Blue Mountain can be pounding.


As far as the "not getting lost part", that didn't go so well for most of us. My plan for my ride was to do a long circuit ion the Blue trail.  I was on it as far as I was concerned, until all of the sudden I wasn't.  There is a gun range off to the south of the park, and you can actually use the sound to get bearings.


Shop Ride Stillwell Woods August 29, 2015



After a year of hitting the trails every Tuesday, 718 Cyclery has shifted our group rides to Saturdays. Today's ride was at Stillwell Woods in Syosset Long Island (NY).

The idea behind there rides are to get experienced mountainbikers rides out on the trails, as well as introduce new riders to the sport.

In order to show how easy it is to escape from NY, we arranged for one group to travel by train. The Long Island Rail Road has some specific rules about train travel with bikes, so we made sure everyone was up to speed. The group took 2 trains, and consisted of 12 riders and 3 718 staff members.

Arrival of the first train load

We were fortunate enough to bring some great demo bikes for our riders to test out, including bikes from Kona, Salsa, Focus and Yeti.

The group moved out from the parking lot and into the wood at about 10:30, and reminded riding until about 2pm.  We had lots of bike swapping and testing. The conditions were rather dry, leading to some sandy stretches, and also leading to a few spills.

Looking forward to our next ride on September 12th at Blue Mountain. Sign up Here