Our objective for the third Mountain Goat Climb Series was Big Hill Rd and Reservoir Rd up to the Mother Cabrini Shrine. Wow, did I ever mention how I love a good climb? My usual road loops normally bypass this area so I never get to fully enjoy these roads; I’m missing out on some extra fun.
Clinton County NY has some of the nicest road bicycling in the Northeast United States. I can say that with confidence. We have great roads, little traffic, lakeshore scenery, and Adirondack Mountain backdrops. The only complaint might be the short riding season and lack of any major elevation gains. Being located at the foothills of the Adirondacks, we have mostly rolling terrain, but some good hills can be found if you tool around enough. No “Hor Category” stuff, but creative route linking easily reproduces a nice local version of the Ronde van Vlaanderen.
Killer Hills, Saints, and an Adirondack Murder Story
This session of Adirondack “recreation” started at the parking lot of the Macomb State Park Beach. I hate driving to go riding, but this is one place that I’d recommend as a good starting point. Plenty of parking, facilities, picnic area, and beach. Normally parking here requires a fee, but so far we have been arriving late enough to avoid this. Anyway, I have an Empire Pass.
Macomb SP – Big Hill Rd – Reservoir Road
Arriving early this week to warm-up the old bones, I managed to get a picture of Arnold Brook. This view is best just before dusk. We’ve had so much rain lately you can really appreciate the verdant growth. Surprisingly we haven’t had to fend off too many bugs hanging around the parking lot.
Arnold Brook – (Click to Enlarge)
This particular loop includes two climbs, Big Hill Rd and Reservoir Rd up to St. Patrick’s Church and the Mother Cabrini Shrine. Examining the ride profile, one appreciates the slightly downhill warm-up prior to these two short climbs. Besides the Wrench and myself, the Kid from the first ride also showed up. It’s always nice to have someone 60 pounds lighter and 20 years younger to chase. So much for spinning the warm-up.
Mountain Goat 3 – Mother Cabrini Shrine (click to enlarge)
Crossing the Davis Pond Dam, we proceeded South to the Peasleevile Rd. Traffic was light as always during dinner in the North Country so we had little traffic. Bearing right onto the Clark Rd – which becomes Calkins Rd – we enjoyed some nice rolling terrain with views to the East. It’s hard not to grin/grimace. The Kid acted the part of rabbit and towed us to the bottom of Big Hill Rd.
Big Hill Rd (Click to Enlarge)
This climb is .6 mile with a 245 ft gain. You can see whole thing so judging the redline is relatively easy. Average gradient of 8% is pretty consistent all the way to the top where it meets Allen Hill Rd. Thanks to that little effort, this next section has even better views. Note the remote cemetary on the right. This is a good time to start thinking about the next climb which is a guaranteed anaerobic experience. Whatever.
Reservoir Rd to Mother Cabrini Shrine (Click to Enlarge)
A right on River Rd then left on Donahue Rd flashes by and quickly brought us to Reservoir Rd. Indeed, there is a reservoir about halfway up on the right. Observe if you wish or just breathe. A short climb to a flat section gets the juices flowing before the final grind to the top. This climb is just a bit over 2 miles long with a 526 ft elevation gain. The average gradient, including the short flat section is 5%, but prepare for a nice little 17% action before the final effort. Ha!
The high point of this ride was at St. Patrick’s Church, formally located on Patent Rd. This remote church sits on the flank of Terry Mt. and is the location of the Mother Cabrini Shrine. Maria Francesca Cabrini was born in Lombardy, Italy July 15, 1850. Today is her birthday – Happy Birthday Mother Cabrini! She was know for founding the Missionarie del Sacro Cuore di Gesu (MSC – Missionaries of the Sacred Heart of Jesus) and her work with orphans. She was the first American citizen that was sainted. Cool.Not a whole lot of information about this church or the shrine, but my research did dig up a story of a murder which occured in 1967 where the victim was buried in a sandpit very close to the location of the shrine. These are the interesting tidbits that make Adirondack bicycling just great. A brief chat at the top of the hill and a moment to admire the view before a nice spin back to the start. We made great time and had a very “enjoyable” ride.
Man who killed local child denied parole
Albert Rock denies raping, murdering 6-year-old in 1967
Child killer dies in prison
Albert Rock was convicted of 1967 murder of local girl