As I noted on Friday, I had planned to ride to Montauk over the weekend. For the first time since 2012, I rode the 108-mile route from Babylon instead of the entire 150-mile course from NYC. I was concerned that rain would spoil the ride, but fortunately, no rain fell on us at any point in the day. Another factor for choosing the shorter course was that I was nursing a cold and didn’t think it wise to ride for twelve hours on a cool, 50° day. Indeed, throughout the ride, I blew snot rockets to relieve my stuffy nose, and the morning after the ride, I had hastened my nasal congestion and developed a nasty cough to accompany it.
Selecting the shorter course allowed my friend Andre and I to cruise all day at a brisk pace, averaging 17 MPH throughout the entire day. We arrived in Montauk in a little under eight hours after leaving Babylon, including about 6-¼ hours of pedaling time. I’m pretty sure this was the fastest ride, over fifty miles in distance, I had ever ridden.
A lot of that was due to finding some other capable riders as drafting partners. For about forty miles, we pace-lined with a group from the Mineola Bicycle Club until one of their riders began to tire and dropped back in speed to conserve energy. For another fifteen miles, from the end of Dune Road to the rest stop in Water Mill, we drafted with two Filipino guys in their twenties. Andre and I—both about forty years in age—kept apace with them, but we separated at the rest stop. I had only worn a short-sleeve bicycling jersey and those budget bike shorts, and I begged Andre to keep pedaling so I could stay warm on a cool and breezy day.
Having done this ride eight times now, I didn’t really encounter any surprises except that the rest stops were stocked as we arrived at each one. As this is a fully supported ride, it was nice to arrive at the rest stops that were still fully stocked. When you ride the longer courses, such as the 150-mile route, those riding the shorter distances arrive earlier and eat everything in sight. By the time you arrive at the latter rest stops, you’ll find that all the food has been picked clean, and the volunteer staffers can offer you nothing more than a little sympathy to power you through the final miles to Montauk. I finally had a slice of pizza at the Westhampton rest stop and fresh whipped cream for my pie at the Amagansett rest stop. Because we were able to eat a substantial amount of food at each rest stops, we bypassed the cookies from Tate’s Bake Shop and the lobster roll at Tully’s in Hampton Bays.
Besides, all the locals seem disheartened with the new ownership at Tully’s, and, if I really have to choose, I’ll pick pie over cookies any day.