Overall it was a fun and adventurous day on the back roads and trails of Fahnestock State Park in Putnam County, maybe doing the ride on a singlespeed with a 34×17 gearing wasn’t the brightest idea, but it happened to be what was on the bike. The 55-mile course I mapped out on Ride with GPS said 6400 ft of climbing with plenty of pitches in the double digits. Mostly road, with some trails and a power line segment thrown in for extra spice.

I parked by Hubbard Lodge, just off Albany Post Road. As far as I know it doesn’t have anything to do with Scientology or the late L Ron Hubbard, even though the buckets collecting maple syrup could be a cover. The route started with School Mtn Road, which is a trail, but was more like a canal this day. The climbing started after a few hundred feet, gradual at first but it got steep and I ended up doing a fair amount of walking. With absolutely no switchbacks, it’s obvious you’re on something not made with bikers in mind. Gears would have helped, riding in the opposite direction would have helped even more.

With the first trail out of the way it’s smooth sailing for the next 30 miles. At least as smooth as it gets with killer climbs and hairy descents most every mile. In Carmel, and not even halfway in to the day, I stopped for coffee…sometimes you have to treat yourself the way you would like to be treated.

Power line riding is like Yin and Yang, you have to take the good with the (really) bad.

2 miles in on Roaring Brook Trail I sat down by some old stone structure for a snack and by chance I discovered that four spoke holes on the rear hub were ripped open. The spokes were still perfectly straight and I had no idea how or when this happened. Branch? Spokes too tight? too much torque? maybe just material fatigue? Not a clue, only thing I knew for sure; it was bad news. I pulled up the course to look at my options. Cutting out the rest of Roaring Brook Trail and all of Moneyhole Mountain Trail still left me with 15 miles to go.

The new route took me to Sunken Mine Rd via Oscawana Heights Rd instead of the planned single track. Not a shabby alternative- it’s a nice climb and it seemed way better than giving the hub a 40-minute trail beating. Sunken Mine Road did not disappoint, especially the 200 meters under 6-12 inches of water.

Since the wheel magically held up despite the spoke/hub disaster I decided to do the Glynwood Farm detour instead of coasting the fully paved Cold Spring Turnpike back to the car.