Event showcases village, brings visitors, closes streets

By Jeanne Tao

The first annual Putnam Cycling Classic, a ride for serious recreational cyclists, will begin and finish in Cold Spring on Sunday, Oct. 14. Intended to simulate a professional racecourse like the Tour de France, the ride will take cyclists throughout Putnam County and will showcase the Village of Cold Spring in particular.

Both long and short routes start on Main Street in Cold Spring, go south on 9D to Route 403, then west on Sprout Brook and Peekskill Hollow Roads. The long route continues west on county roads past Lake Mahopac, turns north at Brewster toward Patterson, then comes east along Farmers Mills Road and Route 301 back to Cold Spring. The short route continues on Peekskill Hollow Road to 301 to rejoin the long route.

John Eustice, of Sparta Cycling Inc., presented to the Village Board at its workshop on Tuesday (Sept. 25) for approval to start and finish the ride in Cold Spring. The event will bring in about 200 to 300 cyclists and their families and friends, with media coming to document it. The group, said Eustice, consists of serious cyclists who know what they are doing and who will be a boon to the area.

The ride will require the closure of streets for varying periods of time in the village and in the county along both the long route and the shorter one for the slower groups (of course allowing emergency vehicles at all times). In Cold Spring, the race organizers requested that part of Main Street, from Kemble Avenue and Garden Street up the hill to High Street, be closed to traffic for the duration of the ride and its setup, from 6 a.m. to about 3 p.m.

When the cyclists are not starting (between 9:30 and 9:50 a.m.) or finishing (11 a.m. to 2 p.m.) on this portion of Main Street, the area will be open to pedestrians and spectators. Eustice explained that the families and friends of cyclists often remain in the village where such rides begin and end, shopping in the stores and patronizing its cafes and restaurants. In addition, the cyclists themselves treat such events as day trips to beautiful spots in the country, often becoming enchanted with the region and returning to visit again. Metro-North, one of the ride’s sponsors, will run dedicated trains from New York City to Cold Spring for visitors to spend the day.

In addition to the Main Street closure, side streets such as Church and High Streets and Kemble and Marion Avenues, as well as portions of Routes 9D and 301, will be closed for brief periods during the event. Eustice would meet with the police department on Thursday (Sept. 27) to finalize the race route and traffic detours.

The Village Board voted to approve the start and finish in Cold Spring, pending approval of the final route by the police officer in charge.

For more information about and to register in the Putnam Cycling Classic, visit putnamcycling.com.

Behind The Story

Type: News

News: Based on facts, either observed and verified directly by the reporter, or reported and verified from knowledgeable sources.

Tao is a freelance journalist and former editor at The Current.

6 replies on “Cold Spring Both Starting and Finish Line for Putnam Cycling Classic”

  1. As a shopkeeper in town, I am shocked that this is the first I’m hearing about the disruption that’s going to be caused by this bicycle race. The unbelievable arrogance of our public officials is exceeded only by their complete disregard for the Village merchants who count on Saturdays to be our busiest day of the week. What genius thought up the idea to close off Main Street for the day and then, to add insult to injury, take away all the parking by closing off the streets to cars. How do they think all these tourists are going to get here, the ones that aren’t on bikes? I guess we shouldn’t worry, at least according to John Eustice (who must be an expert on Cold Spring) because hundreds of people are going to be knocking down our doors to buy our merchandise. I just hope I can find a parking place somewhere on this side of the County so I can open my shop.

  2. Can you please explain to me how you can close Kemble Avenue, even for brief periods of time? How can residents of Kemble, Wall, Constitution Drive and the Boulevard get out? The area of Main Street that is being closed seems like a dangerous situation. Hopefully the fire company will not be needed on that day.

  3. Like I said, a complete disregard for the residents and business owners of Cold Spring. Why wasn’t this project fully discussed in the open, among the stakeholders of the Village? Thank goodness for the coverage that’s available in our local media, else none of this information would be available. We wouldn’t find out until that Saturday when we tried to move our cars and/or get parking. Taxpayers, wake up — you are paying the salaries of your local officials and decision makers. Isn’t it about time to put the “service” back in “public service?”

    1. While we attempt to get current news posted on our website after technical difficulties, I wanted to let you know that the street closures were discussed again this week at the Village Board meeting through the Police Department’s report, and that a portion of Main Street will only be closed while cyclists are starting or finishing the ride on Sunday, but parking on Main Street between Kemble and Church will be restricted most of the day. (Eustice presented a plan at the Sept. 25 meeting pending police approval, and the village police appeared to make sure that closure would be minimal, detours available to all residents, and emergency vehicles assured priority.) There will be an article posted soon on this week’s meeting.

  4. Luckily I realized the event is going to be Sunday, not Saturday as I’d previously commented. Nevertheless, I still feel there wasn’t an effort made to get input from the Main Street business owners and shopkeepers. Although the race is supposed to bring in customers, I wonder how many shoppers we will actually get during the day. If the powers that be want to bring in consistent foot traffic to the Village, there are other things that can be done to bring in shoppers, especially during the upcoming Holiday season. Bicycle races are not high on the list as these people tend to be just passing through.

  5. As a Village resident and one of the participants in the cycling event on Sunday I would like to point out the following:
    -there is a large core of cyclists resident in the area
    -many others cycle into Cold Spring, especially on the weekends, as a destination and refreshment point
    -many participants for Sunday’s event either drove from or took Metro-North from NYC to CS– a pattern that should be encouraged
    -cycling is not an inexpensive pursuit. Bikes cost anything from $2,000-$20,000. So the demographic generally has disposable income and is often partner/family-oriented — the kind of visitors that should be welcomed
    -in the future there could be more and larger events. These will further raise the profile of CS, and bring more visitors
    -I saw spouses of riders who had obviously been shopping in the village that day
    -my wife ate breakfast with friends and family in the village that morning
    -I made event-related expenditures in the Village that weekend
    -all of the people I spoke to who were involved in the event had a very positive experience — that message will be taken home and communicated outward
    -in Europe and other parts of the US, towns/villages crave bicycling events coming to their towns — it is conventional wisdom that it boosts business and raises profiles.

    I’m not saying biking events are the only answer to bringing customers to CS. But I would argue that CS was better off for it on Sunday. And will be again in the future. The disruption was minimal. The policing was excellent. I think we need to look for and build on the positives.

    And businesses like Cathyrn’s that embraced the opportunity should be congratulated and encouraged. The post-ride pasta was great!

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