Help Me Do CT By Bike
September 7, 2010 1:57 PM   Subscribe

I live in NYC (Brooklyn) and want to go on long (75-100 mile) scenic bike rides in pretty southern-ish Connecticut that I can get to from NYC. I don't have the slightest clue about where it might be nice to ride, and I can't seem to find any good long-distance routes online that involve a reasonable train ride or find any bike clubs that run rides in the Greenwich/Westport area.

Please let me know if you know of any rides, resources, clubs, or just have recommendations for pretty routes.
posted by foxy_hedgehog to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (10 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I am not familiar with southwestern CT (NW and NE, sure, but not the New Haven\Greenwich area). I will say that I've had pretty good luck with using the CT state bike map
for planning my own rides; but this is optimized around touring and doing cross state stuff across the major highways.

The Bikeforums Northeast regional forum also gets a fair bit of participation from NY folks. Their Quick Ref sticky might be useful for you.
posted by bl1nk at 2:02 PM on September 7, 2010

You might check out
posted by Argyle at 2:12 PM on September 7, 2010

I don't know anything about biking, but I am (unfortunately) in Ffld County a lot, and people/groups seem to just ride their bikes along the sides of the roads, dangerously close to the cars. Not a very nice and peaceful ride, I'd imagine. There's not a lot of trails or nature or of any sort - you're talking about the most built-up, crowded, populated part of CT. The one idea that comes to mind is Ridgefield, right over the NY border but a little further North. They seem to have more in the way of hiking and open space, so maybe they'd have more biking opportunities as well. If you'd be willing to take a longer trip, and get into Middlesex or New London Counties, then I think you'd have a lot more options. But maybe someone more knowledgeable about bike riding here will prove me wrong.
posted by DestinationUnknown at 2:15 PM on September 7, 2010

I wads going to say Ridgefield too. It's a beautiful town. In general, I've had no problems biking on roads in Connecticut. Just avoid the obvious hot spots like big shopping strips. Also, northern Fairfield County is practically another world compared to Greenwich and Stamford. Much more laid back and also more back roads with little traffic.
posted by zippy at 2:21 PM on September 7, 2010

You can take the train to New Canaan, which will get you into the country and will be a lot better than trying to ride along the coast.
posted by smackfu at 2:29 PM on September 7, 2010

Would you be open to biking in Westchester/Putnam counties in New York? My favorite bike path ever, the Westchester County Trailways, starts in Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx and goes north about 50-60 miles from there. Most of the route is on an old railway.
posted by A dead Quaker at 3:33 PM on September 7, 2010 [1 favorite]

I'm going to send you to a treasure trove of cue sheets, which are located in the NYCC webpage; most of the rides leave/return to NYC, and a few involve leaving or returning with a train. From the ride library, select the place where you want to bike to and then pull up a cue sheet.

One of the rides that meets your criteria (CT area, 75 to 100 miles, scenic) is the Greenwich CT mansions ride. It is in the 60 to 70ish mile range, very scenic, and you take a train back. Although it is very, very hilly.

Another ride that may meet your criteria is the Westport-Poughkeepsie ride, with ~ 100 miles and the towns surrounding Poughkeepsie area is really beautiful/scenic.

If the above links don't go to the cue sheet, go into the Westchester/CT library and pull up the rides with those names.

You asked about clubs -- the NYCC does these rides.
posted by Wolfster at 3:37 PM on September 7, 2010

I've heard good things about the Sound Cyclists, although the train part might be tricky.
posted by smackfu at 4:46 PM on September 7, 2010

Looking at the roads on the Greenwich CT Mansions ride mentioned by Wolfster leads me to think you could pretty much do any roads in backcountry Greenwich. North Street, Stanwich Road, Lake Avenue, Riversville Road and Round Hill Road are for the most part long and straight, with rising elevation as you go north. Lake Avenue and North Street may have a bit too much traffic for your liking, at least south of the Merritt Parkway. Stanwich is pretty quiet as you go North, and Taconic Road is as well. Cat Rock road is really narrow, hilly, and twisty in places and could be dangerous, but it could also be a good deal of fun.

In general, stay north of the Merritt, and it should be pretty quiet.
posted by holterbarbour at 4:50 PM on September 7, 2010

Wolfster posted about Westport-Poughkeepsie; would you be amenable to doing a ride entirely in the Hudson Valley region instead of Connecticut? As far as places you can get to on Metro-North, I think the Poughkeepsie area (and north of there, and west of the Hudson) is probably more beautiful and rural than anything this side of New Haven. Also they converted an old railroad bridge so you can walk/bike it, and it looks pretty neat. Maybe consider incorporating a little ride across?
posted by dixiecupdrinking at 8:11 PM on September 7, 2010

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