Centered around the Walkway Over the Hudson, the world’s longest footbridge, this ride is all about discovery. For some, that means taking it easy on one of the shorter routes and simply enjoying the gorgeous scenery of Ulster and Dutchess counties. For others, it means discovering what you’re capable of—with more than 5,900 feet of climbing, the 100-mile route is a century worth bragging about.
Stay tuned for details about 2022!
Check out Photo Highlights
All routes begin and end in Victor C. Waryas Park in Poughkeepsie, NY— right next to the Metro-North train station. Please reference below for start time windows and route summaries. Be advised that you cannot join a route prior to the specific window opening or after it has closed. If you miss your intended timeframe, you must drop back to a shorter mileage. Timing is based on the availability of route support and services. We ask that participants arrive 30 minutes prior to the close of your start time window to allocate enough time for Check-in.
This family-friendly route option takes riders across the Hudson via the Walkway and onto the tranquil rail trail and scenic backroads of Ulster County before circling back over the river and into Waryas Park in Poughkeepsie, NY.
Start time window: 9:30 – 10:15 AM
Elevation gain: 750 ft
Same as the 15-mile route with an additional 18-mile loop on the backroads of Dutchess county.
Start time window: 9:15 – 10:15 AM
Elevation gain: 1600 ft
The 55 mile route begins like the 15 and 33, but veers south after the first rest stop in Ulster County before returning to the Walkway Over the Hudson. It also includes an additional 18-mile Northern loop even deeper into the woods of Dutchess County toward the town of Clinton.
Start time window: 8:30 – 9:30 AM
Elevation gain: 2900 ft
The 75- and 100-mile routes start out like the 55 mile. The 75 mile route includes an additional 20 mile northern loop through woods and farms. Sunday morning Metro-North trains arrive after this route start time window has closed. Please make other travel arrangements from NYC.
Start time window: 8:00 – 8:45 AM
Elevation gain: 4200 ft
The 75- and 100-mile routes start out like the 55 mile. Running north all the way to Elizaville, this challenging century features more than 5,500 feet of climbing and a well-deserved sense of achievement at the end. Sunday morning Metro-North trains arrive after this route start time window has closed. Please make other travel arrangements from NYC.
Start time window: 7:30 – 8:00 AM
Elevation gain: 5900 ft
Feeling nostalgic? Check out the 2018 Discover Hudson Valley Ride video below.
We’ve teamed up with our official healthcare partner, NYU Langone, to create training resources you can use for any bike challenge you might be taking on.
Learn more about the Sports Health services at NYU Langone or schedule an appointment with one of our experts.
Warm Up and Cool Down
With a proper warm up and cool down
Step 1: Slowly build mileage.
The old saying “slow and steady wins the race” is a safe and conservative way to gradually increase your fitness routine, which will keep you from hitting the wall.
The chart below demonstrates a good progression to follow while you’re ramping up your routine.
Let’s say you currently average three 30-minute rides to and from work each week. You can start with a fourth ride on the weekend dedicated to progressing the mileage. Then add some stretching and cross training to avoid tightness that can be caused by extra time in that seated position.
On your longer weekend rides, shoot to incorporate some more hilly sections to your rides.
Step 2: Balance your body.
Getting your body ride-ready isn’t just something you do while you’re pedaling! There are all kinds of exercises you can do off your bike to help keep you fit and ready for the hills, bridges, and miles in the saddle. While cycling, the body tends to hold a similar position over an extended time, so some muscles remain in a shortened and tight position while others are in a lengthened or weakened position. Over time, imbalanced muscles can contribute to compensation patterns and overuse injuries.
To keep everything balanced and working to its full ability—or to even increase that ability—add some mobility drills to the beginning of your workout to ensure you are getting both a good warm up and getting the range of motion your body needs to move at its best. Check out our recommendations in the gallery below.
Cat + Cow
Try 10 repetitions of the following before each workout!
- Start with feet together.
- Step one foot out far in front of you, and bend the back knee down towards the floor as you raise the arms up to the ceiling.
- Push off the back leg and swing the back in up and in front of you.
- Repeat with the other leg. This is one repetition.
Cat + Cow:
- Get on your hands and knees with wrists under your shoulders and knees in line with hips.
- Arch your low back as shown in the left image.
- Then round your back as shown in right image.
- Repeat 10 times.
- Begin lying on your back, belly button pulled in towards spine and feet flat, heels pulled in towards hips.
- Exhale and squeeze the gluteal (butt muscles) to lift the hips just until the thighs, hips, and shoulders are all in one straight line.
- Hold for a count of 3 seconds.
- Progress to single leg bridges when this becomes too easy.
As the name suggests, this technique involves rolling the muscles of the thigh, back of leg, hips, and lower leg over a hard foam roller.
- Begin at the start of a muscle rather than the belly (i.e. for the hamstring, start just above the knee or just under the buttocks, rather than in the middle of the back of your leg).
- Roll slowly over the muscle from beginning to end, but not over the knee joint.
- Remember to breathe!
Step 3: Crosstrain.
It may seem counterintuitive, but stepping out of the clips can actually help you perform better while you’re in ’em. We recommend also working in some resistance training 2-3 days per week, as this will help improve that power during the power phase of the pedal stroke. This requires strength of the core, gluteal muscles, quads, and calves. Resistance training is a great way to build muscular efficiency and strength to help you conquer those climbs.
Below are some examples of exercises that have a nice carryover to cycling performance. Start with just 1-2 sets per exercise if you have less experience with resistance training, then build as you get stronger.
Single Leg Squat with Trunk Rotation
Lateral Band Walks
Prone Superman with Shoulder External Rotation
Plank with Hip Extension
Single Leg Squat with Trunk Rotation:
- Stand on one leg.
- Engage the lower abdominals and keep your pelvis level.
- While maintaining a level pelvis, perform a shallow squat.
- Slightly rotate your shoulders toward your stance side at the same time you perform the squat.
- Return to the start position.
- Repeat 10 times, then switch legs.
- Start with your right foot on a step 4-6 inches high.
- Hold dumbbells at shoulder height.
- As you step up on the right leg, drive the left knee up and press the weight up to the sky.
- Next, rotate your body 90 degrees to the left. To step down. Repeat 10 times, then switch legs.
Lateral Band Walks:
- Begin by tying a resistance band around your thighs.
- Perform a mini-squat, keeping your knees in line with your second toe.
- Hold the mini squat position as you step out to the right side with your right foot.
- Be sure to keep your toes facing forward, and push to the right side with your heel, not the toe.
- Bring your left foot to meet the right, this is one repetition.
- Do 10 repetitions.
- Advanced version: Make the band tighter and put it around your ankles.
- Start on your hands and knees, placing your hands under your shoulders and knees under your hips.
- Draw your belly button up towards your spine and extend your opposite arm and leg out as pictured.
- Return to the start position.
- Repeat, but this time with the alternate leg and arm.
- This is considered one repetition. Repeat 10 times.
Prone Superman with Shoulder External Rotation:
- Lay on your stomach with your shoulders and elbows at 90-degree angles and your thumbs pointing up towards the ceiling.
- Keeping your pelvis and legs on the ground, lift your chest off the ground while maintaining your arms aligned with your trunk.
- Hold this position for 2-3 seconds, then return to starting position. Repeat 10 times.
Plank with Hip Extension:
- Start in a plank position with your shoulders directly over the elbows and hands, draw your belly button in towards your spine, and maintain a flat back.
- Continue checking each cue listed in the above bullet (like shifting eyes from mirror to rearview mirror and back while driving).
- Lift one leg slowly while you maintain abdominal contraction. Repeat on each leg 5 times.
The Sports Health experts at NYU Langone offer state-of-the-art diagnostics for athletes, including Health & Fitness evaluations, Cycle evaluations, VO2 + Lactate analysis, and Nutrition consultations. As our official partner, they are offering all participants exclusive concierge access to their multidisciplinary team—whether you want to improve your performance for race day, have a nagging orthopedic injury, or just need an annual checkup. Fill out an appointment request form below and one of their experts will be in touch to create a customized plan just for you!
Developed by Heather Milton, MS, RCEP, CSCS, Exercise Physiologist Supervisor and Sports Health expert at NYU Langone.