To Be Determined Journal

To Be Determined is a journal of cycling, adventure and photography, curated by a NYC-based cycling team known as TBD Racing or Team TBD. From criteriums to cyclocross to product reviews and travel diaries, it is all part of the TBD Journal.

JRA Westchester

This past weekend I had the pleasure of riding with my good friend Ben Newell and my girlfriend Natalie Tapias around some picturesque gravel roads in Westchester County. 

Ben provided the route and it did not disappoint, there was plenty of gravel and there were very few cars. Perfect conditions for JRA. After meeting at Grand Central Terminal and wondering for a second whether or not Natalie would make the train, we were off and headed to Mt. Kisco. Prior to riding with Ben last year I had never taken the train to a ride but since doing so I've been on some of the best rides of my life. The lack of garbage miles makes the train fare worth it, plus there's the chance to stop at Zaro's (or Cafe Grumpy.) Instead of taking the Hudson line as we had in the past, this time we were zoomed up the Harlem line on an express train.

No fewer than 10 minutes from getting off the train we were descending the gravel Lake Byram Road next to the beautiful lake it gets its name from. There were short highway portions here and there but most of the time we were ambling along, riding as many dirt roads as we could. We had time to look around and make jokes at the street names, Succabone and Honey Hollow Road were a few of my favorites. It seemed like we saw it all -- nature preserves, horse show jumping courses, other polite cyclists and tucked away private lakes with prominent "no trespassing" signs.

The only thing we were short of was civilization and the places to eat that come along with it. After about 40 miles we were all ready for a proper lunch but our only option had since closed up shop. Ben found a nearby pizza place where the man behind the counter commented he felt bad for us that we lived in Brooklyn and had to ride our bikes here.

With a little more than 20 miles to go, we got moving again but in even less of a hurry than before. We took our only shortcut, cutting off maybe a mile or two from the route and soon enough we began to see the familiar surroundings of Mt. Kisco. We fueled up at a bodega with Jarritos and Agua de Jamaica and just barely made the train. Natalie's friend Zoni met us at the station, having spent the day in the area in search of a few nature preserves. Just like that it was out of the serenity of Westchester County and back to the hustle and bustle of the city.