The town of Ossining is 30 miles from SoBro and uphill all the way, so we cheated and put our bikes on MetroNorth.
Downtown is nicely preserved and still has a 19th century feel.
These buildings date from 1874.
But we were here to ride the Croton Aquaduct Trail,
a path that follows a pipe that brought water to
the city in 1842.
It’s all gravity fed and back then it took 22 hours at almost 2 miles an hour to cover the 41 miles.
We were determined to ride it on bikes despite the 90 degree heat.
It didn’t get started so well.
A flat tire (mine) forced us to walk in heavy traffic and suffocating heat for miles before I could get it fixed and hit the trail.
So the first couple hours took a toll,
and by the time we reached the woodland path we were beat.
But we dove in.
At times the trail cuts right through suburban backyards.
It crosses paved streets with regularity.
And then you are plunged back into leafy glades and feel 100 miles from anywhere.
That part is great.
21 stone ventilators remain along the path, vestiges of when they aerated the sparkling clean water.
But the bike path is rocky and root-bound and one bad choice can jar fillings from your teeth.
We were running out of steam.
But then we saw train tracks!
Salvation! First we had to climb up.
And then back down, carrying bicycles, water and packs.
But we made it, exhausted, and collapsed into MetroNorth’s air conditioning the rest of the way to the city.