I arrived at Woodside to catch the 8:03 train to Huntington and met Harry, one of my fellow riders. As he and I spoke about the ride and the modifications I made, he said something like, “too bad we couldn’t go to Greenport.” I knew that we had a small group of four guys (including me) for this ride, and I knew one of them well. I said that if everyone was game, I was fine with going to Greenport and taking the late, 6:11 PM train back.
On the Huntington train, we met up with the other two riders, Brian and Joe. Harry and I asked them if they would mind riding an extra seven miles to go to Greenport, instead of Riverhead. Without hesitating, they both agreed.
After arriving in Huntington and exchanging Westhampton-New York train tickets for Greenport-New York tickets, we got on our bikes and, at around 9:30 AM, pedaled east toward Greenport.
Sunday was by far the warmest day of the weekend, with highs around 55° and, for the first time this year, the wind was coming from the west not the east or northeast. That’s right, I finally rode on Long Island without the wind in my face for the entire day.
A fellow club member, who I referred to as a club elder because I’ve seen his name on rides for years, emailed me earlier in the week to suggest taking a few back roads to avoid NY-25A and NY-25. I adopted about half of his suggestions, which added about 400 feet of climbing, and the modified route was absolutely worth the extra effort. The roads had rolling hills, which I personally love to ride, and were for the most part bucolic, tree-lined roads that wound around Long Island Sound. I didn’t take many photos because we were hustling up and down those rollers at a pleasant but accelerated pace.
Because of the tail wind and the rolling hills, we progressed along our route at a very quick pace. For most of the ride, we averaged around 14 MPH and, as usually happens on a Long Island ride, we increased that average as continued further east. Because I was leading the ride, I purposefully kept a slower-than-usual pace, but I still finished with a 15 MPH pace.
We stopped for lunch at a market in Miller Place and, because I promised everyone pie, we stopped at Briermere Farms in Riverhead for a blueberry crisp pie that we all split.
We left Riverhead at around 2:30 and continued for the final twenty miles along Sound Avenue and then on to Main Road in Mattituck. It’s hard to believe that even with a quick bathroom break at a winery in Peconic, we still rode the last 20 miles in about 75 minutes. We arrived by 3:45.
Because we arrived so early, we had over two hours to spend in Greenport. We had our customary burger-and-beer post-ride meal. The other three guys watched football. And then we went to the Greenport Harbor Brewery for a couple of pints and bought a growler for the train ride home. I even had time to greet a friend.
One of the things I like about the New York Cycle Club is its structure. But it’s great when you gather a group that’s up for some spontaneous (and extra) riding. It makes for an unforgettable day.