Catskill SR600

The Catskill Super Randonnée permanent is a very scenic and challenging 614 km ride through the Catskill Mountains of New York State.

Rules

New Paltz Start/Finish

This super randonnée is run under the auspices of the Audax Club Parisien (ACP) using rules described here: Rules of the Super Randonnées. Riders can choose to ride as a Tourist or Randonneur. Tourists must complete the route with consecutive daily minimum riding distances of at least 80 km on average. Randonneurs must complete this route in under 60 hours.

Riders who complete the ride within the Randonneur 60 hour time limit will receive credit toward ACP awards such as the R-10000 and also credit toward Randonneurs USA (RUSA) awards.

Note: It is important to remember that this is an ACP event run under the ACP Super Randonnée rules. Two important differences between the ACP Super Randonnée rules and those for standard RUSA permanents are:

  1. There are no opening or closing times for the internal controls. Also, you are required to use a picture of your bike with the ACP Super Randonnee frame badge attached and visible in the photo in front of the designated landmark for each of the controles. Provide the route owner with time stamped photos of all the controles ridden in the proper order to verify completion within the time limit. Refer to the control photo examples for an idea of what your photos should look like. Use an app for your cell phone’s camera that will time and date stamp your photos and/or a digital camera.
  2. There is no outside support allowed anywhere on the route, including at the controls. The rules allow you to mail/take a drop bag to your overnight stop(s) yourself, but not to have someone else take it there for you. However, it is better to comply with the full self-reliant spirit of the Super Randonnees by not using a drop bag at all.

Route

The route is a loop which starting and finishing in front of the Bicycle Depot in New Paltz, NY. Starting from an elevation of about 160 ft in New Paltz, there are over 30 significant climbs with the highest elevation being around 2,690 ft on the road to Slide Mountain. There are long stretches through remote areas with no services. Even in areas with markets, restaurants, or convenience stores, few establishments are open 24-hours, so please plan accordingly. See the Food and Lodging sections for more information on lodging, convenience stores, etc.

Climb to the Devil's Tombstone

Weather in the Catskills can vary considerably during the course of a 600K ride. It can get quite cold at night, even in the summer. This ride is an almost endless repetition of hot climbing and cold descending with very little moderating flat in-between. Bring a flexible system of clothing so you can quickly add a shell layer, especially for the descents.

There is extremely limited cell phone service in the Catskills. Many of the riders who have ridden this course use a SPOT tracker or similar device so that friends, loved ones, and the route owner might track their progress.

Parking

Beware that parking overnight at curbside throughout New Paltz may earn you a ticket or a tow. Even if you don't see a no-parking sign or a yellow curb, you should avoid parking on a random street in town. Also, sadly, the Park-n-Ride at the Thruway exit has a 16 hour limit.

One possible place for overnight parking near the Start/Finish is the Free Municipal Parking Lot at 53 Huguenot St. This lot is only a few minutes away from the start/finish by bike. It's also very close to the rail trail and sees considerable use by tourists visiting New Paltz. There is no bathroom or potable water available here.

Food and Water

One of many

There are a wide variety of restaurant options in and around New Paltz for the start/finish.

On the course itself, food and water options are sparse. Carrying enough food to survive 200K is advised, especially in the first half of the course. Refer to the RWGPS route and cue notes for food repleneshment opportunities. Be advised that few services stay open late in the Catskills, and you may find that shops will close during weekends or Mondays.

Water is a little more plentiful than food, with some hoses, roadside springs, and beverage vending machines to be found. There is a very convenient and delicious spring on the left at mile 50.1. This is near the top of a 1700 ft climb, just past where Red Hill Rd merges into Sugarloaf Rd. Natural water sources should be considered cautiously, especially creeks and ponds. To be safest, have water purification tablets or a filtering device in your kit.

Some 24-hr Stores on or near the course:

24 miWalmartNaponoch
92 miSpeedwayMargaretville
194 miSunocoRoscoe (off course 0.1 mile)
215 miSunoco/Dunkin Donuts Walton
264 miSunocoDelhi
298 miSunocoGrand Gorge
319 miCumberland FarmsHunter
349 miCumberland FarmsWoodstock (off course 0.1 mile)
Use this list at your own risk. There's no guarantee that these 24 hour stores will be open during the particular hour you arrive. It's wise to always carry enough food and water that you can survive if your intended replenishment spot is unexpectedly closed.

Lodging

There are a wide variety of lodging options in and around New Paltz for the start/finish.

On the course itself, lodging options are sparse. Unless you expect to ditch nap or stealth camp as needed, a carefully crafted overnight sleep plan is advised. Two options seem to have emerged for the first overnight. Either lay up early at Roscoe, or push on to Walton.

Roscoe has the advantage of being passed twice as the course loops here. One could check into Roscoe lodging (perhaps the Reynolds House, or the Roscoe Motel), drop some gear, have dinner at the Roscoe Diner (if it's still open) or the Mobil Mini-Mart, do the loop, then sleep in Roscoe. On the other hand, the town of Roscoe (after the loop) is only at the 300K mark. Those riders who feel they can do more the first day might want to push on to the Walton Motel (mile 213) or even the Octagon Motor Lodge (slightly off course at 255 mi, was passed first at mi 128) for their first overnight. Be aware, however, that what might work for you with an ordinary randonneuring 600K may not work for you on this SR600. The four climbs on the Roscoe loop are soul-sucking and there is are two huge climbs (1000+ feet each) between Roscoe and Walton. Reaching the Octagon for the first overnight would be a prodigious effort.

One's choice of start time affects the choice of overnight. A traditional start would be early morning, but given the paucity of services in the first 200K, some riders have chosen an afternoon start, riding through the most remote sections of course during the night hours. With such a plan, the towns in the middle of the course are reached in the daytime, and reaching Walton or beyond becomes more doable.

Lodging plans for the second night depend greatly on what was accomplished the first day. There are several Lodging spots beyond the 400K mark. The second half of the course is noticably easier than the first half. Faster, stronger riders might consider not sleeping a second night, but those who want to maximize daytime riding, and take advantage of the full 60 hour limit, will need a second lodging spot.

Possible lodging on or near the course:

128/255 miOctagon Motor LodgeHawleys
158/186 miReynolds HouseRoscoe
158/186 miRoscoe MotelRoscoe
264 miBuena Vista InnDelhi
290 miRoxbury MotelRoxbury
297 miColonial MotelGrand Gorge
302 miMoore's MotelPrattsville
308 miBlack Bear LodgeLexington
320 miHunter InnHunter
332 miGraham & Co. HotelPhonecia
Use this list at your own risk. The list is not complete. There may be other options. It's important to call or visit well ahead of your ride to verify these lodging possibilities. Confirm that you can check in and access your room at the time you expect to arrive. Many of these places will not have staff available at night -- some don't have staff always during the day. On the other hand, some places can be very friendly and accomodating, even at 2AM.

Finishers

Gavin Biebuyck
Nicholas Gigliotti
James R Haddad
Hans Evan Jatzke
Chris Nadovich
David John Ophel
Jim Vreeland
Eric Allen Williams
Congratulations to the randonneurs who have finished the Catskill SR600 (details)

For more information, or to attempt the Catskill SR600, contact the route owner.