Tour de Kingston: Hudson Valley’s best kept secret

tourdekingston

The 11th Annual Tour de Kingston/Ulster ride is Sunday, June 26, 2016.

Every year, my husband Steve and I look forward to the annual Tour de Kingston/Ulster with enthusiasm. It’s a good time, starting out at Forsyth Nature Center, riding bikes through the gorgeous city of Kingston and surrounding region, eating grilled burgers afterward and hanging out with friends, both old and new. The event brings out a couple hundred bicyclists of all description, from little kids with training wheels to race level road cyclists in full regalia and everyone in between.

The Tour is a non-profit charitable fundraiser sponsored and organized by YMCA, Health Alliance of the Hudson Valley Foundation, Cycle Therapy, Bike Brothers and Revolution Bicycles.

Personally, I have ridden the 50 mile road ride, the 25 mile road ride and the 28 mile Endurance Road/Trail ride. In addition, one can choose to ride 10 miles out and back on the Hurley O&W or 18 miles on the Hurley, connecting to Wallkill Valley Rail Trail via streets and back to the city of Kingston. Or you can take the laid back 5 mile tour of the city.

It’s hard to pick a favorite. The 50 mile road course developed by the Famous Bike Brothers is well known to be seriously tough and spectacularly scenic. It got my competitive juices flowing because there were many other cyclists out there with me and I pushed to beat personal records for time. Equally challenging and totally different is the 28 mile on road/off road Rail Trail Endurance ride which requires a mix of cycling ability to handle the rougher areas of the dirt section and the intense climbs on the road section while taking you through some gorgeous countryside. One year, a group of us had been riding hard all season, so we decided to take the more leisurely 25 mile road route. We didn’t push hard, we stopped to smell the flowers, we chatted and admired homes and scenery.

In the first years, the Tour routes were exclusively on the road. Much progress has been made in our region, most notably the extended development of the Wallkill Valley Rail Trail and the Rosendale Trestle. We are proud of our region’s amazing trails, so Steve of Revolution Bicycles developed the Road/Rail Trail Routes to introduce people to the systems, show everyone the lesser known parts and give routes that link the two trails in a big loop. Now with the advent of the Kingston Greenline, we have something totally new to get excited about and we want to help get the word out and show everyone how spectacular it already is and will be. Our goal for this year’s Tour is to incorporate segments of the Kingston Greenline into our already established Road/Rail Trail rides as a means of making the route more varied and interesting and to incorporate fewer streets and more trails into the ride. The effort will require elbow grease to get the rougher parts of the already established Greenline more accessible in time for the June 26th Tour. We are ready to pitch in and hope others will get on board.

No matter what you do, there’s a feeling of joy of accomplishment and camaraderie with all the other cyclists on Tour day. I recommend everyone to get out there and see for themselves.

The 11th Annual Tour de Kingston/Ulster ride is Sunday, June 26, 2016.

Click here for more details as they become available. You can also call or email Revolution Bicycles: 845-246-1492 revolution_bicycles@yahoo.com

Samantha Moranville is the co-owner/operator of Revolution Bicycles in Saugerties. She and her husband Steve live in the beautiful city of Kingston with their two dogs, Stella and Phoebe.

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