The author during one of his bike rides. (Courtesy Photo)
Let's face it, when we were young there weren't many sixty-something folks in spandex on road bicycles anywhere to be found. Times have changed. My wife Cindi and I are in our mid-sixties and we do 10-15 mile bike rides a few times a week this time of year until it gets bitter cold. There is no better place to find some nice moderate to long scenic rides than in the Hamptons. 20 years ago I used to do 100 mile Hamptons bike rides that blanketed both the North and South Fork of the East End every September with the NYAC Bike Club. After living in East Hampton Town for ten years I thought I would share my two favorite bike ride treks.
For many the obvious ride to the Montauk Lighthouse is a favorite trip. Going to Montauk you will experience the best hills on the East End. However my favorite trek is a 25-30 mile total ride that starts at the Shelter Island's South Ferry in North Haven and goes to Orient Point on the North Fork and back. After boarding the South Ferry (I park my car at North Haven parking lot), you land on the South Ferry side of Route 114N on Shelter Island. I love crossing Shelter Island with the ride to the North Ferry by cruising along 114. Then after a quick North Ferry ride to Greenport you ride out of Greenport on 25E heading for the Orient Point Ferry going through the historic towns of East Marion and Orient before getting to Orient Point. This section is an uphill wind sensitive ride. I like to take a fun detour through Orient State Park to see that amazing view of Plum Island, Gardiner's Island, Shelter Island, East Hampton and a glimpse of the high hills of Sag Harbor. On warm summer days I take a quick dip in Gardiner's Bay and sometimes even order a hot dog at the snack bar on the beach in the state park. I just love the two round trip ferry rides of this route! Please remember to buy round trip bike tickets. Also my advice is to monitor the wind speeds when doing this ride because any wind speeds that exceeds 17 MPH can make this ride extremely difficult.
Another favorite ride of mine also about 25-30 miles - a loop visit to most of the East Hampton Town ocean beaches. I love doing this during the week in the summer; I don't recommend weekends for obvious traffic reasons. For this adventure you would park your car at Atlantic Beach in Amagansett and ride west down Bluff Road to Indian Wells Beach then down Further Lane to 2-Mile Hollow Beach, and then to Egypt Beach behind the Maidstone Club. From there via Dunemere Lane to James Lane then over to Main Street you arrive at Main Beach. After that you cruise down Lily Pond Lane to Georgica Beach. Then you cut down Apaquogue Road to get to Georgica Road to get to Route 27 (you should avoid 27 as much as possible) but quickly you get off Route 27 W to turn onto Wainscott Shore Road and head for Beach Lane - that brings you to the Beach Lane Beach. Usually by now I turn around and head home to Atlantic Beach doing the ride in reverse. Attempting this ride in the summer is fun because if you feel it, you can strip down to your spandex bike shorts and go in the water, then use the beach showers to get the sand off your feet before you put your bike shoes back on.
With fall now upon us it's a good time to get the bike out and take a brisk ride and look at the farm land, the forests of colorful trees and yes the always beautiful East End beaches.
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