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State-sponsored Bike Tour Makes Dobbs Ferry One of its Stops

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August 8, 2023

Throughout Friday, they came from out of the north, in packs of 20 or more, in smaller clutches and alone. Altogether, 300 cyclists descended upon the rivertowns, streaming off the North-South Trail segment of the Empire State Trail onto village streets on their way to an overnight encampment waiting for them on the Mercy College campus in Dobbs Ferry.

They were all participating in the seven-day, 200-mile Cycle the Hudson Valley, a tour sponsored by Parks & Trails New York that started in Troy on July 30 and ended on August 5 at New York City’s Brooklyn Bridge Park. The event was designed to promote use of New York’s statewide system of multipurpose trails as well as tourism.

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Participants, who paid $975 each for the privilege that included logistical support enroute, seven overnight camping sites with hot showers and restrooms, daily breakfast, four dinners (the other three were “on your own”), long-term parking in Troy and a bus trip back there at the end—plus entertainment and hospitality in the communities along the way.

In many ways, the cyclists “looked like America:” they ranged in age from 14 to 84 and hailed from 27 different states. If they weren’t in cycling shape at the beginning of the tour, they were at the end. Each day required them to ride between 30 and 50 miles before they could shower, eat and, in many places enroute, be entertained. The penultimate leg was from Carmel to Dobbs Ferry, with the final leg taking them into New York City. Along the way, they accumulated impressions of the Hudson Valley—and bonded with each other.

Personal belongings were never far behind during the 200-mile ride

Albany resident Erica Schneider, a spokesperson for the tour as well as a participant, was impressed by how in the rivertowns, “community blends with nature.” Homes and stores, she observed, blended seamlessly with the surrounding nature. Fostering such favorable impressions, organizers hope, will bring cyclists and other tourists back again.

They will have that opportunity next summer and, Schneider hopes, many summers to come, as Parks & Trails New York hopes to make this an annual event. To learn more, visit: www.cyclethehudsonvalley.com .

With reporting by Mason Smerling

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