Remember how I planned to ride from the Bronx to Beacon on Halloween Friday?
Those plans changed on Thursday after I received an email from the NYCC club president. I had proposed a North Fork ride from Huntington to Orient Point, similar to the ride I did in September instead of the NYC Century, but he said that taking the train from Greenport to Ronkonkoma might pose a challenge for a club ride. Indeed, that train from Greenport is a very small one, with only three cars, I think, and last time, we had to cram our bikes into a small area. If more than six riders were to come on my proposed club ride, we would be left scrambling for space and some of us might even be stranded.
He proposed that I lead a fifty-mile loop from Ronkonkoma, which would rely on a train with more regular service and with more capacity for bicycles. He sent me a few cue sheets, and I reviewed them during a break on Thursday. He also suggested, in the interest of adding more miles, finishing in Babylon, which also has more train service. Since I was pressed for time on Thursday, I misread his suggestion and that I should ride from Babylon to Greenport. In my head, that seemed like an equivalent ride to Huntington to Greenport so I agreed to lead that one.
So, instead of riding to Beacon, I decided to scout the ride from Babylon to Greenport. In passing, I asked if the club president wanted to join. He did, and the next morning, we connected on a Babylon-bound train in Jamaica for a Halloween ride towards Ronkonkoma and Riverhead.
This week was peak foliage on Long Island, and the leaves were in their autumnal greatness.
And there were haunted houses ready for Halloween.
And a decommissioned but well-preserved gas station in Yaphank.
After I posed for this photo, someone drove right up to the pumps, expecting to fuel up, until he realized that it was out of service and drove on in search of gasoline elsewhere.
In Yaphank, our two-man riding group split up. He headed back to Ronkonkoma and I continued east towards Riverhead and then to Greenport.
There were more leaves in their full glory.
Further east, there were even more signs of Halloween, such as this corn maze in Cutchogue.
For whatever reason, every ride I did on Long Island this year was with a headwind. This one was no different, and I had the wind in my face for the entire seventy miles. A few miles after Riverhead, I was getting cold and tired. I had planned to scout a hillier route along the Long Island Sound, but the headwind made reconsider. Instead, I followed NY-25 the whole way from Riverhead.
When I saw the carousel in Greenport, one that I had last seen with my mom in August, my exhausting journey on two wheels was finished.