Sunday, July 27, 2008

Montauk Ride 2008

Photo by: David Y.

Yesterday me and a couple of my friends rode out to Montauk, the furthest tip of Long Island. We had planned on riding in the annual ride that happens in early June, but opted to take a more private tour since we own cruisers, and not pro bikes (well not yet). We were given the map from a friend of ours that took the tour, and tracked it on his GPS. We were set on doing the full 100 miles, and then at the llth hour we decided to cut the trip short due to train times, and this being our first ride, we wanted to give ourselves enough time to finish and get home. We started the day at 5:30 am to make our train to Long Island that left at 7:30 out of Penn Station. We made the train fine, and transferred at Babylon to our destination at West hampton. Off the train we had time to use the restroom, and apply the sunscreen for our trek across the Hampton's and into Montauk. We started out onto Depot Rd. making our way down to the shore and onto Dune Rd. where i saw some of the most beautiful beach houses i had seen in my lifetime. There is something about the pure white homes, and manicured landscaping that just makes my mouth drop. The homes were like something you would see in your favorite home style magazines, or something you could only dream about (for me anyways). We decided that we would stop every ten miles or so and take a 10 to 15 minute break to down some water, snack on something, and re-apply our sunscreen. The first 10 minutes were great, we made it with the greatest ease. We then took Ponquogue Bride up to Bennet Cove where we dismounted and walked onto the beach. This was the 20 mile marker, and i was getting tired. We stopped for 10 minutes had some gatorade, water and some Pasta. The beach was so beautiful, the sand was so white, and looked exactly how i imagined it to be. There were families out playing in the sand with their dogs, and people playing in the surf of the ocean. i took a second to shoot a picture of the home that i used for the title of this post. From here we took the route up to South Hampton where we were making pretty good time, and then right at Montauk Hwy, and Rose St. Latoyia had a flat. i guess there was some glass on the road and she got it in her tire. We took the bikes across the Hwy. to a gas station and began to call around to see where the nearest bike shop was. After a minute of calling around we found one called "Rotations". They wanted to charge us 85. to come and fix it there at the station (which was a 3 mile ride for them), or we could get it to them and get charged 18$. We opted for the 18. price, and had no other choice but to hitch a ride with some guys who had a truck, and didn't mind taking us down the road. We got there and waited for about 20 minutes for them to fix it, and then started back on the road of Montauk Hwy. to our next 40 mile marker. What i noticed, and liked, about the Hamptons and Montauk, was that there was a bike lane the whole route we took. Even on the Hwy. they had the shoulder reserved and marked for bikes. This was a foreign idea to me, down south where i am from originally you never see bikes riding along side the traffic on highways, so to ride along side it the rest of the way was a little nerve racking, but fun at the same time. We made our way to the 40 mile marker and that is when i started to notice my right leg cramping up a bit. We stopped to get directions and down some water before we hit the road again to our 50 mile marker, even with the flat tire episode we were making good time for our 5:30 train back to NYC. We rode out and again saw some beautiful homes and even a vineyard. This is when i noticed that both my legs were really starting to cramp up, we were nearly out of water, and had just a little bit of gatorade left. We decided to take Old Montauk Hwy. all the way out to Montauk Hwy. and then we would see Montauk where it dead ended. We kept going and i was trailing back about 1 mile to the girls, my legs were on fire. i finally had to stop and walk my bike about a mile to walk off the cramps in my thighs. i got back on the bike, thanks to Megan, who wouldn't let me hitch a ride to the train station and finished up the last 5 miles. Once we made it over the last hill, we saw Montauk, it was such a cute town of small white buildings, and a center plaza drive. i regret not being able to see the lighthouse, but we were so tired that we made it to a small restraunt and downed 3 pitchers of water, and took some on the road home. We got back on our bikes and rode 1 more mile to the train, and had time to lay down on the platform and rest our weary legs. We got on the train and took a few pictures of the sunset over Montauk bay.
This ride was an amazing experience, a learning lesson, and a true test of discipline. i couldn't have asked for a better team to ride with, Latoyia with her amazing strength kept us at a good pace, and Megan was a great motivator and navigator. i would recommend doing this ride in the Fall or Spring, not so much in the dead of summer, and if i did it again i would def. want to take a road bike, and plenty of water. The scenery was amazing, and one that i won't forget for a lifetime. i can honestly say that i made a memory, and overcame a hurdle that i will keep with me forever. i hope, if you get a chance, that you try this ride and take time to plan it out with your friends as we did. Happy Biking!

Monday, July 21, 2008

NYC: Preparing Myself, and Griffin for a Century, and A Sneak Peak at Things to Come!

This past weekend i was riding my bike to the local Home Depot. to pick up some hangers (i like the wooden hangers) and on my way home i noticed that Griffin's Left pedal was a bit stiff. I was a block from my apartment (which is all uphill, and steep) when i heard a loud pop, and all of the sudden my left foot slid off the pedal. I somehow managed to snap the pedal off the bar that holds it. When i got home i had to retire the bike to the designated spot. So in preparation for this next weekend, i have to get the pedals replaced. But what can you expect from a 50 yr old bike? he's an old man, and soon i'll have a new one which will allow me to retire Griffin to a Brooklyn cruiser. i am looking at getting a new bike, which i am seriously excited about! it is made by Specialized, a well known name, and is called, "Langster London". i was flipping through my Bicycling magazine this month and noticed a write up about it, and knew that is what i wanted. So next month it will be a reality for me. i am so excited about this new bike i can hardly stand it. i have posted a picture of it above and a link to it if you click on the title.
Also in the upcoming weekend i will be riding to Montauk LI, with my friends Megan and Latoyia. We will be taking the LIRR to the Babylon stop at 7am, and arriving at 8:30am. Our route will be a straight shot and mostly flat throughout the 100 mile terrain. In preparation we will be doing the following:
1. Mapping this route to take with us.
2. Hydrating with H2o the day before
3. Latoyia will be taking her GPS system
4. Marking all the stops of the LIRR (for emergency)
5. psyching ourselves up!!!

i will be taking pictures along the way to show on my next post. Wish us luck on this ride, and pray that weather permits us to finish. Until next week!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Biking: Getting Them While They Are Young; NYC: Century Bike Tour 2008; NYC: Bike Sharing

Recently i read an article in the NY Times about schools encouraging the children to ride or walk to school, but the interesting part was the parents escorting them on their own bikes. i remember when i was younger and living in Texas, the elementary school was about a mile from our house. Together me and my brothers would walk to and from school, as long as we had each other we knew we were safe. i think in this day and age there are so many dangers in kids walking alone, or even in groups, but i think it's pretty smart to have them ask the parents to ride as well. The program has been started in 40 states, and is going strong. For more on the article just click on the link above.

NYC: Century Bike Tour 2008

registration is now open for the Sept. 7th 2008 century bike tour of NYC.......
(click here for the details)

NYC: Bike Sharing Program

NYC dept. of transportation is seriously, and permenently looking into the Bike Sharing program to increase public ease of transportation.
(click here for the details)