A week after marking the 40-mile stretch of Glen’s Ride to Montauk from Brooklyn to Babylon, I rode the remaining 108 miles (or was it 110 miles) from Babylon to Montauk. Yesterday’s ride was not my first century nor was it my first Montauk ride. I won’t wax rhapsodic over the magic of riding on two wheels or the spectacular scenery of Long Island’s southern shore. I also won’t comment on some of the most novel street names you’ll find when you’re used to uninspired street names such as “5th Ave”, “Vernon Blvd”, and “47th Rd.” Once you pedal on a century ride to Montauk, the major parts of each experience become pretty standard. However, there are some minor differences that I absolutely appreciated having done Glen’s ride for the first time.1
Early Drop Off and Late Pick Up
Glen wisely offers early drop off for your bike on Friday and pick up on Sunday. It took me about 45 minutes to drop off my bike on Friday because I, like everyone else, did so after work. However, early bike drop off allows a Queens dweller to board the train at Woodside instead of Penn Station. I didn’t do that, but I know at least one person who did. That move can net you about thirty extra minutes of sleep.
Picking up on Sunday was especially convenient for me. I was able to run an errand at B&H and then pick up my bike on 10th Avenue and 31st St. There was no wait to enter the bike area, and it took me only a few minutes to find my bike.
Beer in the Morning and in the Evening
Having one of the rest stops at Blue Point Brewery was absolutely genius. It might seem ill-advised to drink a beer when you still have about 80+ miles of cycling ahead of you, but it’s fine if manage your intake and eat a big almond-butter-and-jelly sandwich. I ordered a half of an actual pint of the Rastafa Rye and could barely finish it. I just wanted a taste of something else other than Gatorade and energy bars.
I also appreciated that there was free beer at the finish line in Montauk, and that it was from a local Long Island brewery.
Having done a few other centuries, I’ve come to expect the peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, pita and hummus, and apples and bananas as standard cycling food. I appreciated getting tabouleh salad with my hummus and those Larabar energy bars are pretty tasty. But it was the blueberry pie that brought a smile to my face and for a brief moment made me forget about my aching knee and cramped calf. My only regret is that I didn’t get any cheese cake, which I was eagerly anticipating to savoring during the ride. Does anyone know which rest stop had it?
Buses to Montauk Station
As I was riding towards the end of the ride (and of Long Island) it occurred to me that we were still a ways from the Montauk LIRR Station. In the past, we’ve held the finish line party at a restaurant near the train station. Prior to 2008, we would just bike from the restaurant where we had our to the train station.2 After riding 108 miles, I didn’t want to ride another eight to the train station with my bag in tow. Thankfully, there were buses that took us to the train station, and we managed to board the final train of the night. Sweet!
Right now. I’m in pain. This was the longest it took me to ride a century (at over ten hours). My right calf cramped around mile 30, my left knee became very sore, and I just never could get a good strong pace going for long. I also got a
bad mild sunburn because I didn’t apply any sunscreen. However, I had a great time, and I can’t wait to ride another hundred again.
- Full disclosure: I rode the ride for free because I volunteered, but what I have written here is my own opinion. ↩
- For many years, the Montauk Century had staged their party at Ruschmeyer’s. But new ownership did such a bad job in catering our finish line party that the Five Borough Bike Club moved the party elsewhere the following year. ↩