Being a former Crotonite, I was excited to show our rides some of the great history around the dam, reservoir and aqueduct system (when the dam was built in the late 1800’s, it was the 2nd largest man-made stone structure the world after the Pyramids!). This system provided NYC with drinking water for many decades.
Oh yeah…and Croton was just listed as the best place to live in NY State by USA Today. “So watch out Utica, …Croton is a city on the Grow”
First things first, the planning. In order to run a safe event, I like to adhere to the principles of the Ten Essentials. Here is what I brought on the trip.
NAVIGATION Garmin, Phone, Paper Cue Sheets, Trail Maps, External Battery
SUN PROTECTION Long sleeve jacket, pants, helmet, sunscreen
INSULATION Base layer, upper and lower, gloves, balaclava
ILLUMINATION Front and rear lights
FIRST-AID SUPPLIES First Aid kit
FIRE Waterproof matches
REPAIR KIT AND TOOLS Repair Kit
NUTRITION On-Bike nutrition, rest stop mile 18
HYDRATION 2 water bottles, electrolyte tabs
EMERGENCY SHELTER Rescue/Survival Blanket
Blog Post: The Ten Essentials on a Shop Ride
The plan was to take the 7:45am Metro North Hudson Line train from Grand Central to Croton Harmon. The group would ride up to the Croton Dam, and then connect with the start of the OCA (Old Croton Aqueduct) Trail.
We were met with sheets of ice on the trail for the first mile or so, followed by about 30 miles of frozen ruts, unfrozen ruts and oozing mud. This was the kind of mud that grabbed your tires and didn’t let go. Like quicksand.
The temperatures were in the low to mid-40’s for most of the ride, but started to dip as the day wore on and the sun began to lower.
The plan was to recreate the trail of the Aqueduct form the Croton Dam all the way to Bryant Park, in Manhattan. Bryant Park was the home of the terminal of the Croton Aqueduct.
The group got far, but splintered into small groups as the day got colder and the riding muddier. In the end, this will be a great ride to do in the summer/fall. If you are considering this route in the winter/spring, please be advised that you may have a rough time of it.
The folks at Road Runner graciously gave us some great items to give away, which we did on the train on the ride up.
My Ride Statistics. My ride average moving speed was 8.7mph, but even that seemed to fast. It seemed every time I looked at my Garmin I was going 4mph.
This 2-sided 2 map set (Westchester Section and NYC Section) are each close to 3’ long, are beautifully illustrated on high quality paper, and are filled with history and landmarks.