I might have mentioned it before, but Route 23A through the Catskill Mountains is one of my favorite areas just outside the Albany area. I try to ride it a few times a year.
So, one day last summer, I felt like going for a ride. Rose didn’t want to go, so I headed out on my own on the FJR. We have a GPS unit for this bike, but I don’t use it a lot. I learned my way around Albany a few years ago by filling up the tank and picking a road to see where it brought me. No matter where I went, I would always find my way out. I would also learn fun roads to everywhere, rather than taking the main roads. I get around very well now after being here for only a few years.
That day, I wasn’t sure where I was going, but remembered a fun ride that our good friend Dusty had taken us on a few weeks earlier. Dusty’s friend was in the middle on her bike and is a little timid, so I wanted to ride this one particular road again, but this time at a much faster pace. It was amazing. County route 308 on Delmar if you are from the Albany area. Lots of twists and turns, great for laying it right over.
I got on that road and it was pure bliss. These are the times where you remember why you love riding so much. All your cares and worries seem to disappear. It is so therapeutic. After a few more roads, I ended up in Athens, NY. I stopped for a drink and a snack, then I debated what to do. I could turn around and head back, or I could keep going and keep taking roads to see where I would end up. I went with the latter.
Next thing you know, I am on Route 23 in Catskill and and a huge smile comes across my face. I know exactly where to go. Up into the mountains. The ride up there is a motorcyclist’s dream. 25 mile per hour corners, 15 mile per hour hairpins, double lane uphill passes, sweeping corners…what a ride! If you ever get the chance, get on the bike and ride this road. This road is by far one of my favorites in the area.
This road continues through the Catskills and by Windham mountain. The ride after Windham is pure countryside. Beautiful vistas, mountains soaring into the sky and views for miles. Somewhere on route 30, I stopped and took a break to grab some pictures. As I pulled into the overlook parking lot, I saw a great site. An older gentleman and his wife on their Harley that had stopped for the same view I had. As soon as I got off the bike, I noticed the gentleman’s haircut. I pegged him immediately as a former Marine. Dead on. I struck up a conversation with him and his wife, and they were great people. They asked me about GPS units, and I pulled mine out of the trunk and showed them how it worked. While I was there, I grabbed the next shot. The panorama was taken by standing on the guard rail.
After the overlook, I kept on going up 30 until I hit Route 20 and back into Albany I went. What a great day. It was about 150 miles round trip. Here’s a map from the Harley-Davidson Ride Planner© that I used for the trip, in case you want to try out this ride. Or let me know. I’d love to go again.
If you haven’t been on 23A through the Catskills, you’re really missing out. The next few weeks will be gorgeous down there with the leaves changing. I highly recommend checking it out.