By: Jeff Buell, Principal of Redburn Development
Over the past couple of months, biking has become the preferred mode of transportation for many looking for socially distant recreational activities. Jeff Buell, a Schenectady resident, Cap Region enthusiast, and Principal of Redburn Development is an avid biker, so we asked him to share one of his favorite Cap Region bike trails…read on!
From 1994 to 2019, I biked around 75 miles. Generously. Since we’ve shut down our lives, I’m one short ride away from 600 miles! I’ve biked more in two months more than I’ve driven, a notion I would have scoffed at if ever suggested to me prior to COVID.
Naturally this makes me an expert in 2020, and so here are a few tips for a Cap Region ride, especially for all the new cyclists (that’s what we call ourselves) out there looking for expand their horizons.
For today, we will talk about my loop.
Jeff’s Loop: Albany to Troy
Just about every day I head out from the base of Jennings Landing (it’s the footbridge on Broadway, plenty of parking available) in Albany and head towards Troy. The total loop is just about 16 miles, and with a few exceptions, is quite an easy ride.
The first 5.5 miles is on the bike path. You can’t get lost, you can’t take a wrong turn, you just go. It’s crowded until you clear the I-90 bridge, then loosens up. Be prepared then when passing, many people wear headphones, and do not always excel in walking in a straight line.
At 5.5 you’ll hit Watervliet and must head onto the streets where the cars care less for bikers than the pedestrians you just passed, though admittedly, it’s probably close. Hug the road that 787 parallels (Broadway) until you get to 25th Street. There you want to hang a right until you get to the Green Island Bridge.
There’s something freeing about slowly moving over the Hudson River and being able to take it all in.
Right now you’re about 8 miles in and you’re going to head back. OR, you can head into downtown Troy and stop somewhere. Little Pecks is always a great option, so is Liza’s. Or, if you’re me, you stop and talk with your buddy Heidi on her stoop for a while.
To Get to Downtown Troy:
From the Green Island Bridge you can head right into Riverfront Park where a bike lane mysteriously appears and will take you all the way through South Troy to the Menands Bridge. Be forewarned, the deceptively hilly and always windy last mile of South Troy can be a challenge for new bikers, but you got this! Sure, sometimes I feel like I’m going backwards, but that really is just a feeling. Promise.
Over the Menands Bridge you go until the path dumps you back onto the bike path where you are about 4.5 miles from Jennings Landing. Go right, not left, off the ramp.
There’s a few alternate plans that head you up to Waterford, or Schenectady if you are intrigued. All are great paths with some hills. All eminently accessible via the Interweb.
Biggest takeaway? Fear not the streets! Cars are (mostly) aware of you. Go in a straight line. Wear a helmet. And see the Cap Region from a brand-new vantage point!