The Catskill Mountain Cycling Challenge carries forth the long tradition of recreational road cycling in the Western Catskills. Building on the Tour de Pepacton and the Ride-n-Peak, the 2021 Cycling Challenge consists of three routes ranging from 29 miles to 99 miles and takes place on Sunday, September 5. This scenic pedal will support new and traditional programming at the Catskill Recreation Center (CRC). The first 130 registrants will receive a tee-shirt. All participants will receive lunch and use of CRC Facilities.
Registration and check-in open at 7:15 am for each event at the Catskill Recreation Center at 651 County Highway 38, Arkville, NY 12406. Register online and find more information at www.catskillrecreationcenter.org/events/catskill-mountain-cycling-challenge-2021. There are three rides to choose from.
The Century Challenge is the day’s longest ride that affords a rich mix of woodland, farm, hamlet, and valley scenery while including some moderate climbs. The route breaks from Route 28 at mile 7, rolling up the beautiful New Kingston Valley and beginning a steady climb at the hamlet and up over the pass (15.6 mi.) to Bovina. Bovina Center offers a refreshment stop before the scenic ascent of Pink Street and then its steep, fast plunge into the West Branch Valley. Rolling downstream, the ride crosses the covered bridge (34.7) and soon continues up picturesque Elk Creek Road (from previous years’ routes), before traversing the Catskill Turnpike west. At mile 50, the route turns southeast reaching Delhi (with a refreshment stop), and then it’s on to DeLancey at mile 65. The rider then faces a 1050’ gain in the next 7.5 miles to the apex of Co. Rte. 2, high above Andes with spectacular views. Reaching Andes at mile 76, the route rolls down the Tremperskill Valley, with a refreshment stop just before the bridge that carries you over the Pepacton Reservoir (84.5). Much of the concluding stretch follows the shore of the Pepacton and is flat to rolling. This ride is recommended for advanced-level cyclists. If you want to be sure to cover 100 miles – and visit a second covered bridge, here’s how to do it. At mile 65 (the intersection in DeLancey) continue straight; at one mile stay to the right and go a short distance to the Hamden Covered Bridge. Retrace this route back to the DeLancey intersection and rejoin the regular route by turning right. Mandatory pre-ride safety talk starts at 7:45 am. Ride departs at 8 am
The Pepacton Long Ride is a distance of 57 miles. There’s a modest (by Catskill standards) elevation gain of only 2460’. You’ll find plenty of rollers along this route which crosses the Pepacton Reservoir at the former site of Shavertown and reaches the halfway point at the historic Downsville Covered Bridge. On the return trip, the route varies by staying on the southern side of the reservoir after the Shavertown Bridge. You’ll get to gaze at these beautiful mountains and valleys, without having to climb them. Water/ food stops at 13.7 miles (Shavertown – north side of the bridge), 28 miles (covered bridge park), and at 43 miles (again at the Shavertown location, but you’ll need to cross the bridge to get to the water stop, and then return to the route). Recommended for intermediate to advanced cyclists. Mandatory pre-ride safety talk starts at 8:15 am. Ride departs at 8:30 am
The Pepacton Short Ride is a popular loop that offers flat-to-rolling terrain along the roads that circle the Pepacton Reservoir, crossing the water at the former site of Shavertown with wide-open views. Refreshments and a composting toilet facility are available at mile 13.7 Recommended for intermediate-level cyclists. Mandatory pre-ride safety talk starts at 8:45 am. Ride departs at 9:00 am.