Riding to Bear Mountain is a bucket-list ride for city cyclists. It might take all day, or just be another training ride, but no matter where you fall in the bike rider spectrum, it is something to be experienced. Both because it’s a great ride, and because, if you’re starting and finishing at the New York side of the George Washington Bridge, the distance is an imperial century. 100 miles.
Lately, I’ve been climbing to the summit of Bear twice a year. Once in winter, once in summer. The climb is the same, but the experience is different, and I wish I could go more often. The winter can be treacherous, especially as the road is closed and not always passable. The summer feels much easier, though finding water atop Bear, and anywhere nearby, can be a challenge.
If you’re a newer rider feeling your way, it will take some training and preparation. Take a look at my wormhole routes for rides that will help you build endurance and climbing and mental stamina.
If you’re an experienced rider, just pack your pockets and get out there.
Either way, you should ride it. A day on two wheels is a treat, and the lower Hudson valley offers plenty to see and experience. You can do the boring thing and ride 9W just about all the way back, but I don’t recommend the one-road solution.
I think riding in general, and riding to Bear Mountain in particular, should be more interesting than one road. To that end, I’ve just posted one of my Bear Mountain routes.