This route is the shortest on access to the top of Bear Mtn, aka Perkins, via Metro North.
Manitou is a stop on most outbound trains from GCT on weekends, please check that it is on the train you are planning on using. You can only exit the train in the last 2 cars of the train at Manitou. And there is no platform so you need to carry your bike down steps, a rather awkward maneuver. If this does not work for you, you can take the train one stop further to Garrison and go south on 9D, cycling the extra distance.
From 9W to the start of Perkins Memorial Drive you ascend 630' in 2.42 miles for an average grade of 4.8%.
Perkins Memorial Drive ascends 660' in 2.1 miles for an average grade of 6.0%, the average boosted by one short section in its first third that kicks up to around 10%. Therefore most of the climb feels similar to the section below it.
On a clear day you can see the Perkins Memorial Tower from the train/train platform at Peekskill, if you know where to look. The ride difficulty number is misleading as the distance is quite short. Less vigorous cyclists should be able to do the ascent, albeit slower, using their lowest gearing. There are opportunities to stop and rest along the climb. Of course if you are going slower, it is longer...
The ascent and descent offer many views that are unique to our cycling region. If you have never done so, do walk up the stairs in the tower and take in the 360 degree view. Granted, stairs in road bike shoes might prove to be as great a challenge as the cycling.
"Hill repeats" of Bear Mtn start at the turnoff off 9W. Repeat p.r.n. Each repeat will add 9.3 miles and 1290'.
Food, water and restroom services are available on the RWGPS map, located at the Bear Mtn Carousel and Inn, the summit of Bear Mtn, and Garrison Cafe on Rt 9D north of the turn to the station platform. Riders who are not familiar with the area might consider cycling on to Cold Spring, where there are more services and explore the town before taking Metro North home from there.