Coffee, Rain & Poison Ivy

On a rather chilly Sunday morning, I met up with Steve and Eric at Dingmans Falls for a 7am ride up and down the Delaware River. We parked right on Rt. 209 at the base of the falls, just passed Rt. 739. From the falls, we headed out north on Rt.209 through the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area.

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Dingman Falls

For eight and a half miles, we roller coastered up Rt. 209, past Adams Creek and the Zimmerman Farm. For most of the way, we rode alongside the McDade Trail, just up the hill from the river. We pulled into Milford and hit the Frisky Goat Coffee House (where we should have started) for a chance to warm up, sip a delicious cup of java and take a bathroom brake away from one of Mother Nature’s annoying phenomenoms (more on this later).

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We left town and shot down Rt.209/Rt. 6, a fast, slightly downhill stretch that takes you from Milford, through the box store littered Westfall Township and Matamoras, with little to no traffic at this hour. Over the Bridge, we dropped under the trestle and navigated the city of Port Jervis, NY until we rode over the Neversink River and turned right on River Road and pedaled up past Silver Canoes and up the first hill. River Road has a few short hills but is relatively flat.  About 4 miles in, we noticed an abandoned house in the woods. This seemed like a good time for a photo.

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What I didn’t know was that I leaned my bike, right in the middle of what appeared to be a load of poison ivy. Eric and Steve both pointed out that the recent rain, probably brought about a good share of the dreaded plant. I really had no idea how to spot poison ivy. So, I did a little research to hopefully keep you and me clear of it.

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Poison Ivy

You’ll notice three pointed leaves that change colors with the seasons:

Reddish in the spring, Green in the summer, Yellow, orange, or red in the fall. On some plants, the leaves have notched edges. On others, the leaves’ edges are smooth. Poison ivy can grow as a bush or vine. You may see the vines climbing up the sides of trees or buildings(Look to the left of my bike, growing up the tree). The plants sometimes have white berries, which help it spread. Birds eat the berries and transplant the seeds on new areas along with their droppings. This may be why poison ivy is so common. Steer clear of this and spend less time itching and more time riding!

From River Road, we turned right on Old Mine Road for a quiet 7 mile roll through the woods, when it started raining. I thought great, no yard work today, but by time we hit the Dingmans Bridge and got back to our cars, the rain stopped and the sun was shining.

With about 32 miles and little to no climbing, this is an intermediate ride that can be done on just about any type of bike.

What’s Playing: (What am I’m listening to while writing or what’s dancing around in my head while riding) Today – ELO – Mr. Blue Sky

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