Tomorrow, for the eighth time since 2008, I will be riding to Montauk on a bicycle.
This year, will be a little different than recent years because I plan to ride the 108-mile course, instead of the full 150-mile route. Earlier this afternoon, I dropped off my bike at the day-before check-in area on the far west side of Manhattan.
I opted for the 108-mile route, instead of the full 150-miler, this year for three reasons:
- I didn’t do as many long training rides as I have done in years past. Sure, I started the year with a bunch of rides in Southern California, including a century ride on New Year’s Day, but I only rode seven rides since then that were longer than fifty miles. In short, I’m not in good enough shape to comfortably ride for nearly twelve hours when my longest ride over the last four weeks required only five hours of actual riding time.
- The weather forecast calls for rain tomorrow. The only way I can escape the rain is to finish the ride by early afternoon, around 3:00 PM. The earliest I finished the 150-mile route was in 2013, when I finished a little after 5:00 PM.
- As I type, I feel like I’m coming down with a cold or a bad case of seasonal allergies. I have been fighting the temptation to take a nap all day. It might be best to take it easy and ride “only” a century tomorrow.
Though I am riding a shorter course, I won’t miss much. I rode the Brooklyn to Babylon section of the course earlier this week to mark the route with pink circles.
And, with all due respect to the Lynbrook Fire Department, who hosts the westernmost rest stop, and the towns along the Babylon LIRR line, the best parts of the route are east of Babylon, anyway. That’s where you can find things like:
- Beer samples at the Blue Point Brewery,
- Cookies at Tate’s Bake Shop in East Moriches that aren’t available at the local bodega,
- Lobster roll in Hampton Bays,
And, yes, there’s beer and a hot shower upon arriving in Montauk.