Monday, October 13, 2008

South Of Cattarugus, Into Bradford, PA - Area 9

65 Miles
5200 Ft Climbing

Taking a break from stale indoor air, I decided to ride my bike last Saturday, heading south of where I live into PA. Local riders here have been talking about this nice climb called Songbird Road or some crap like that just south of Bradford, and that pushed me enough to the edge of my bed that I had to jump on my saddle and go check it out.

So lets enjoy the beautiful Autumn day, seeing what its like to ride through the enchanted mountains of South Western NY into Pennsylvania. Enjoy the ciclofotographico!

Starting out on Rt 16, we go up to Rock City Park, a 1000 ft climb in under 5 or 6 miles. It gets chilly up there

Route 16 South to Rock City - gradient info

Check out the silver rays of light... this might mean a good day for me!

The vegetation has begun to change colors, looks nice doesn't it?

Rock City Hill vista point

We're at about 2400 ft here

Just to compare and contrast, if it were to be an earlier than 10AM, this is what you would see at the same vista point (picture from a ride last week)

Knapp Creek, home of the Knapp Creek Fire Dept!

Here we are on the NY-PA border

Downhill to PA

...and on we ride to the village of Foster Brook

This is Foster Brook (...borringgg)

We can see Bradford over the other side (cool view)

Landfill on High Street (this is where your CO2 cartridges end up, boys and girls..)

Right turn, going to W. Warren Road

Climbing on Warren starts here

The slope is moderate

See those stupid irregularities on the shoulder line? Not good for a bicycle!

A little more climbing....

....and a right onto Songbird Road

There is no climbing here, this is injustice!

Time for a lunch break at the foot of Niles Hollow Road

Looks a little steep? I'll climb it after I have my picnic...

Under the shade of a tree, munching a jolly good sandwich....

....and checking out my GPS.... (yep, just paper and maps here, no high tech allowed)

After lunch, I'm ready to climb Niles Hollow....aka la Alpe Bradford!

Yes, this is why I rode from home for! Average grade of 9%, beginning sections around 15%. Sweet!

Starting out and the road hits upward

I need to get a rhythm going here...

Bear mail ! I bet you its filled with shameless Nashbar catalogues

Gradient kicks in

Up..and up and up...

Finally to the top and left turn onto W. Warren Road again

This time, down Warren Rd (I had just climbed up this half an hour ago)

Back on High Street, with a right turn onto Rutherford Run Road, lets just check it out

Hmm...these trucks always mean bad luck for road cycling, unpaved roads ahead?

We'll find out! Up and up on Rutherford...

Some mutant animals greet me...

Damn, I'm in France?

Continuing on Rutherford...

Bummer, dead end and unpaved hills ahead...wish I had my 25c's. Okay, lets turn back, crap...

Atleast got some climbing done back there!

I had enough of this, now I'm going to downtown Bradford

An incidental site is the historical Bradford Oil Refinery, one of the oldest in America (founded in 1881)

Fine PA crude would get processed here back in the days, still is I believe....

Approaching the city

Welcome to the Bradford...This place emerged as a wild oil boomtown in the 1800's!

This is Bradford, nothing much to see here....

Look ma, fancy building ahead...!

Riding through alleys to find dark secrets...

Oh shut up and just ride (Right!)

Cinemas closed

After Bradford, it was time to turn eastward and head home...

This is the backstretch of Rt. 16, taking you up back up to Rock City Park

Which also means, we are officially in Cattaraugus, leaving PA behind...!

Which also means home! Time to go have a plate full of food, folks!

End with a beautiful video of Autumn in Bradford, PA (courtesy GAZANIAC) :

If you enjoy riding pictures such as these from the Southern Tier of New York, check out more of my pictures from the road HERE and HERE.


[A] said...

OMG!! the scenery is breath taking!!

Groover said...

Looks like you just went exploring by yourself. Beautiful autumn colours. That's one thing I really miss - having four distinct season rather than just the two we have here: Hot and Less Hot. Actually, not true. I would lie if I said: I miss winter. Thanks for sharing the photos.

Ron said...

@ Phun : I was all by myself. I said 'we' in places because I wanted to involve my readers... like taking a virtual tour! :)

Groover : Wow, I didn't know AUS had just two. I wonder if its because the States here is more into the Northern Hemisphere, too north, but definitely higher up than AUS.

Anonymous said...

I prefer maps too. Web print-outs cost from little to nil ! :)

Bluenoser said...

ron, you ever notice tat the hills never look as killer as they are with a camera?

I just posted a similar hill and it didn't look as near as bad as it was... 18%


Ron said...

Yeah, the camera sure plays tricks. I notice that even when I watch pro races on TV. This year's Vuelta Stage 13 was a killer climb (Aangliru), yet on camera it looked like nothing. On top of that the boys were flying, okay...and we don't know how many of them were on drugs either :)

Truman Soloist said...

Excellent post (posts, Monday was awesome as well), what kind of camera do you use? Forgive the next question if it is too obtuse, but are some of these shots "on the roll" and some standing still?

Ron said...


Thanks for checking my pics out. No, 99% of these pics are done riding, I just pull the camera out and shoot regardless if the speed if 10mph or 50! Yeah, I wish it could get any safer than that.

The camera I use is an ultra slim Sony T-70 (mine's white!). What I love is the features its got, I play around with the ISO settings and white balance for the kind of conditions outside. The pictures as you can see have really good clarity, and the 8MP is ideal, helping me capture details decently.