Catskills cyclists share their favorite rides

Photo of Charlie Sanborn, by Nicholas Piatek Photography.

The Catskills are two-wheel paradise, especially if you're not afraid of a few hills. Some people move here just because they love the riding; others try it out on a whim and fall in love with the quiet byways, the rush of bracing air, the sudden views, the skimming along beside a rushing brook. We asked a few people in the know to tell us their favorite rides.

Charlie Sanborn, proprietor of Cinder Track Bicycles, Livingston Manor, grew up in Orange County and moved to the Sullivan Cats specifically for the riding. “I live for this. For the hills. It's like flying a few feet from the ground -- the bike becomes part of you.”

Favorite rides:

Joe Spooner, head mechanic, Coxsackie Bike and Sport. “We've been doing a road ride every Wednesday night for 15 years. There's tons of good biking around here. I try to mix it up depending on the mood.”

Favorite rides:

Mike Wentland, local race promoter and founder of the Catskill Mountain Velo Club, lives in Big Indian. “We have some of the safest cycling in the country. Local drivers are already aware that they need to stay alert because of the wildlife. But be safe and prepared. There isn't a gas station on every corner...Favorite rides? Oh man, that's like favorite children.”

Favorite rides:





Mountain biker Taylor Allison of Roxbury has been riding since age 5, racing since age 10, and earned pro bike racer status in 2011 at age 15.

Favorite rides:

  • Taking it easy: “For cross country, I love the 'golf course loop' -- we ride around Shephard Hills Golf Club in Roxbury. You can do a loop in half an hour, or more than one for a workout. It's not without challenge, but it's fun.”
  • Shredding shale: Plattekill Mountain, of course -- it's where I learned. There are courses for all ability levels. I never get tired of Plattekill. It's challenging, it's scary, it's the greatest place to ride and learn.”

​For more on exploring the Catskills great outdoors, see our 2013 Catskills Outdoor Guide, online here or in print at stores, restaurants and other favorite spots around the region.

​Correction: The Catskill Scenic Trail runs from Roxbury to Stamford -- not through Prattsville, as we mistakenly wrote in a print version of this story in the 2013 Catskills Outdoor Guide. The online version of this story has been corrected.