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  1. #1
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    Anyone live in or near Long Island?

    I will be traveling to Long Island for business from Thursday to Sunday next week and I would love to hook up with someone from the area and ride. I will be driving from NJ and can actually bring my bike on this business trip since I will have evenings free!

    Anyone in or around that area?

  2. #2
    Bike addict, dreamer AdamDZ's Avatar
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    Papa Tom lives in LI and knows the area extensively. But LI is pretty big, so it depends where you're going. Check out the North East forums and Google for bike clubs in LI, many have free rides (no need to be a member). I've done some riding in LI and it's not my favorite place to ride, drivers are usually pretty rude and entitled, in particular along the South Shore, North Shore seems to be more friendly. It can be really pretty though. Oh, and traffic can be pretty bad along main roads.

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    Like Adam said - be more specific about your expected location. I don't live in LI, but I used to live in Queens (technically on Long Island) and visit LI a couple times a year (not willingly) - around the Port Jefferson area. Adam is quite right in pointing out that the main roads can be very busy and a bit intimidating. The secondary roads can be great fun to ride, but at least in the area I have ridden can be super confusing -- lots of twists, turns, dead ends. You find yourself following a road that goes along the shore, and all of the sudden it dead ends. There is actually some really fun mountain biking in the Rocky Point area if your'e interested in that.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Papa Tom's Avatar
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    Chef Isaac:

    Might this be what you were trying to Private Message me about? If you received my response, I advised that, for some reason, I could not open your messages.

    Anyway, while I work Thursday and Friday and have family events on both Saturday and Sunday, I might be able to help you find some places to ride. What kind of riding are you looking for? If you just want to check out the sites, visit my web page (address below, in signature). If you want to get in a good road ride, let me know where you'll be staying and I'll see what I can put together.

    But here's the thing...your PM's were coming in blank, so please contact me here on the forum!

    Tom
    Papa Tom

    "I just need a rest...and by 'rest' I mean a really long bicycle ride."

  5. #5
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    Thanks Tom. Not sure what was up with the PM's. Never had that issue.

    I am staying at:
    Wingate by Wyndham Commack Long Island
    801 Crooked Hill Rd
    Brentwood, NY

    Would love to get in a 20-30 mile road ride (20-25 is best I bet due to time frame in the evenings).

    Thank you!

  6. #6
    Senior Member Papa Tom's Avatar
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    Will you have any day times free? If so, my first suggestion would be to drive out to Greenport (east end on the north fork) early in the day and take the "Across The Forks" ride to East Hampton and back. It's about 33 miles round trip, but includes two short ferry rides, which can either be a plus or a minus, depending on how much of this ride is for exercise and how much is for sightseeing and fresh air. Info about this ride is on my site at http://nyrides.freehosting.net/forks.htm .

    You might also want to Google Map a route to Heckscher State Park in East Islip, where you can spend a couple of quiet hours on a mostly desolate bike path that will take you by the Great South Bay. (Don't be scared by the street view of Cty Rd 13 on Google; apparently, they were capturing the shots while cops were clearing up an auto accident!) If it's a weeknight, you'll probably be all alone at Heckscher, so you can hammer away as much or as little as you choose.

    Unfortunately, the Island is not a great place to ride anymore, unless you head way out east. Nassau and Western Suffolk Counties are very congested with drivers, many of whom are either not paying attention to the road or are intentionally trying to screw with bicyclists. That's why I do a lot of bikeway riding, whether I'm out for a leisurely pedal with my wife or a good aerobic workout. Are you averse to riding bikeways? If I suggested a 4.5 mile bikeway to Jones Beach and told you it's one of the best, most popular rides on Long Island for all levels of cyclists, would you be willing to loop it 6-7 times to make a day of it?
    Papa Tom

    "I just need a rest...and by 'rest' I mean a really long bicycle ride."

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Papa Tom View Post
    Will you have any day times free? If so, my first suggestion would be to drive out to Greenport (east end on the north fork) early in the day and take the "Across The Forks" ride to East Hampton and back. It's about 33 miles round trip, but includes two short ferry rides, which can either be a plus or a minus, depending on how much of this ride is for exercise and how much is for sightseeing and fresh air. Info about this ride is on my site at http://nyrides.freehosting.net/forks.htm .

    You might also want to Google Map a route to Heckscher State Park in East Islip, where you can spend a couple of quiet hours on a mostly desolate bike path that will take you by the Great South Bay. (Don't be scared by the street view of Cty Rd 13 on Google; apparently, they were capturing the shots while cops were clearing up an auto accident!) If it's a weeknight, you'll probably be all alone at Heckscher, so you can hammer away as much or as little as you choose.

    Unfortunately, the Island is not a great place to ride anymore, unless you head way out east. Nassau and Western Suffolk Counties are very congested with drivers, many of whom are either not paying attention to the road or are intentionally trying to screw with bicyclists. That's why I do a lot of bikeway riding, whether I'm out for a leisurely pedal with my wife or a good aerobic workout. Are you averse to riding bikeways? If I suggested a 4.5 mile bikeway to Jones Beach and told you it's one of the best, most popular rides on Long Island for all levels of cyclists, would you be willing to loop it 6-7 times to make a day of it?
    First, thank you for the help! I appreciate it.

    When you say bikeways, what do you mean? A bike path? Is it paved? Paved I am good with, unpaved not so much with my road bike. The 4.5 miler would work, yes.

    For the Hechscher Park, would I just drive to the park and ride? And is it an out and back ride?

  8. #8
    Senior Member Papa Tom's Avatar
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    >>>>When you say bikeways, what do you mean? A bike path? Is it paved? Paved I am good with, unpaved not so much with my road bike. The 4.5 miler would work, yes. <<<<<<

    "Bikeway" is sort of a more manly way of describing a bike path. Yes, many of them, including the 4.5 mile bikeway to Jones Beach, are paved. In fact, when I say "bikeway," I always mean a paved bike path that's usually more than a few miles long and a notch above a multi-use path filled with dog-walkers and kids on tricycles. The Jones Beach (Ellen Farrant Memorial) Bikeway is along the Wantagh State Parkway, crosses three bridges, and leads you to the parking lot for the Nikon Theatre at Jones Beach, where, at the right time of day, you might find yourself part of an intimate group enjoying a sound check by a major artist. Many road riders use it for training, particularly after 5pm on weeknights, when there are no little kids weaving all over it. The only thing you may have to deal with would be roller bladers; however, most are experienced here and know how to stay out of cyclists way.

    For other bike paths on the Island, check out my website at the address below.

    The Bethpage Bikeway is a good one, but the riding will be a lot slower.

    Heckscher State Park (not to be confused with Heckscher Park in Huntington) can be pretty desolate, to the point where it'll just be you and the deer, but that might give you an opportunity to open up a little. You can leave your car anywhere in the park and pick up the path, which is basically a giant loop. I like it because it passes by a nice stretch of beach.

    The ride across the forks of Long Island is mostly on a dedicated bike lane that runs across Shelter Island and North Haven on through Sag Harbor and into East Hampton. Shelter Island and North Haven are very peaceful, lightly trafficked areas at this time of year, although weekend visitors are just now starting to make their way out there. Shelter Island is a good place to stop for a quick tour, but be sure to walk your bike through town or risk a ticket. East Hampton is one of those places you always read about in the gossip columns. You won't be welcomed there if your bike doesn't have a Beemer emblem on it, but it's worth visiting once.

    I guess I assume anyone who wants a "road ride" is looking to burn rubber the full 25-30 miles. Am I incorrect?
    Papa Tom

    "I just need a rest...and by 'rest' I mean a really long bicycle ride."

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    Thanks Papa. I think the Jones Beach bikeway might be the best bet. I just want to get some miles and exercise, especially if I plan to bring the bike.

    Do you happen to have an address of the trail head or the place I would be able to park and ride?

    Thanks for all your help.

  10. #10
    Bike addict, dreamer AdamDZ's Avatar
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    Along the Wantagh Highway? That's a very nice ride, by the way, to Jones Beach, but it may get windy. I also remember there were few spots that were pretty narrow with fencing on both sides that made passing impossible and I had to walk. But these were very minor annoyances. Great views otherwise.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Papa Tom's Avatar
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    >>>>Do you happen to have an address of the trail head or the place I would be able to park and ride?<<<<<

    You start at Cedar Creek Park in Wantagh, which can be accessed from the Merrick Road exit on the Wantagh Parkway (see below or go to my website and look under "Long Island"). When you get to the end of the bikeway, if there's no one in the Jones Beach Theater parking lot, you can take your chances and try riding across the lot to the ocean, but you may get stopped and warned if a patrol car happens to pull into the lot at just the wrong time. Tell him you're from Jersey and you didn't know any better and he/she will probably let you off. Just don't be a jerk about it. If you want to play it safe, walk your bike across the lot (quite a distance). Either way, once you reach the tunnel that takes you to the ocean front, you'll need to dismount.

    As far as AdamDZ's comment about the wind, yes, know in advance that the headwind as you're riding toward the beach can slow you down a bit. But the ride back is usually an awesome pay-off. Cedar Creek Park closes at dusk, so leave yourself some time for a few laps. Or, just head to the beach, relax and enjoy, then head back. Many of us here on the Island do this ride every night in the summer and fall, take a break on the beach end to either swim, listen to a sound check at the theater, grab a snack or a drink, and head back with a monster tailwind.

    If the photos below show up, note that they really don't do the ride any justice at all. The whole trip is about the views of the bay, the boats passing under you, and the smell of the ocean.

    Have fun, and get back to me if you need any more info!

    2. Cedar Creek Park To Jones Beach
    via Wantagh Parkway / Ellen Farrant Memorial Bikeway
    (It’s all about the ride back!)
    Cool off on a hot summer day with this popular bike and roller blade route to one of Long Island's most famous and popular south shore beaches. It's a safe, paved 4.5 mile trail that runs along the Wantagh State Parkway to Zack's Bay, site of the Jones Beach Theater, where major artists perform outdoors all summer long. At the end of the trail, there's a place to lock your bike and walk over to Zack's Bay, where you can enjoy a refreshing dip in shallow, still water.
    Food and refreshments are available when the bay is open, as are picnic facilities. If you don't mind walking about a mile beyond the end of the bike trail, you can walk across the Jones Beach Theater parking lot to the main boardwalk area of Jones Beach, where you’ll find a snack bar with outdoor eating, a gift shop, and, sometime soon, Donald Trump's new oceanfront restaurant. Bicycling is permitted on the boardwalk between October 1 and March 1 only.
    The ride from Cedar Creek Park to the beach is all along the water, so there's always a cool breeze blowing. In fact, novice riders may find the wind a little frustrating, especially when ascending one of the three moderate hills along the route. However, the wind is usually only a factor as you're heading toward the beach. A tailwind usually makes the return trip a worthwhile payoff! One warning: This trail can get very crowded in the summer months and many of the users are roller bladers who need more clearance than bicyclists. Be careful and be sure to let bladers, walkers, and joggers know you're coming!
    To get to Cedar Creek Park, take the Wantagh State Parkway to exit W6 (Merrick Road East). The entrance to the park comes up shortly on your right. Continue until you see a parking field in front of a covered picnic area. The entrance to the trail is to the right of the picnic area. Just follow the riders and skaters.
    NOTE: This path is maintained by the Massapequa Park Bicycle Club. Visit their website at www.massparkbikeclub.org to say thanks!
    Papa Tom

    "I just need a rest...and by 'rest' I mean a really long bicycle ride."

  12. #12
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    Thank you sir!

    I was cruising around the bike club web sites and noticed that all the rides are in the mornings and non in the evenings on the weekday. Perhaps it is the traffic that prohibits that?

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    Papa: Can you recommend any restaurants? I am not picky but looking for GOOD food. Do you know of any sushi places in that area? I LOVE sushi.

  14. #14
    Senior Member Papa Tom's Avatar
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    >>>>Perhaps it is the traffic that prohibits that?<<<<

    Yeah, probably. Also, many people who live out here are commuters who don't get home from Manhattan until too late in the evening for a ride.

    >>>>Sushi place?<<<<

    I'm a strict vegetarian, so I don't eat sushi, but the sushi buffet people rave about in my general area is Minado, at 219 Glen Cove Road, Carle Place, NY 11514. (516) 294-9541. It's too far from Commack, but about 14 miles north on the Wantagh State Parkway from Cedar Creek Park, where you'll end your Jones Beach ride. Check their website for hours of operation, as I think they close for a few hours during the day.


    If you're not too picky, as you say, the Good Taste Buffet at 200 E Jericho Tpke in Commack, NY 11725 is not too far from your hotel. It's probably the best Chinese buffet on the Island and it has an ample sushi bar (though, again, I can't vouch for the quality -- and with a screen name like "chef," I don't know if you're going to like ANYTHING I suggest!)

    So sorry I'm not going to be available to ride while you're in NY, but for the rest of this week, I will be wrapped up in meetings about our upcoming concert season (I work for the local township and we've just been advised that we need to follow through with shows by STYX, Smashmouth, and others with half our regular crew and zero overtime). Then I've got family parties both Saturday and Sunday.


    Have a good time riding and a successful business trip. I will have intermittent access to this site for the next few days, so feel free to post any additional questions.

    TM
    Papa Tom

    "I just need a rest...and by 'rest' I mean a really long bicycle ride."

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    papa: you surrrrreeee you dont have any time tomorrow to ride??????????????????

  16. #16
    Senior Member Papa Tom's Avatar
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    >>>papa: you surrrrreeee you dont have any time tomorrow to ride?<<<<<

    Absolutely sure...except that I'm riding to and from work!
    Papa Tom

    "I just need a rest...and by 'rest' I mean a really long bicycle ride."

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    Thanks for the help Papa. I got in pretty early into LI, did some work, had lunch and went for a bike ride. Found an awesome sushi restaurant called Kotobuki.

    The train was great. You are right, a lot of people and a lot of riders too. And man, was it windy getting further away from where I parked. The bikeway should be called "if you want to suck for the first 4 1/2 miles and then feel like Lance for the last 4 1/2 miles" trail. I did get in 20 miles which was nice and I saw the beach too but I road to it and took my chances!

    Also dropped by a bike shop close by called Brands Cycle. Nice place.

    Then it as about dinner time and I went BACK to the sushi place!

  18. #18
    Senior Member Papa Tom's Avatar
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    >>>>The train was great.<<<<<<

    You mean the bikeway? (cont'd)

    >>>>>The bikeway should be called "if you want to suck for the first 4 1/2 miles and then feel like Lance for the last 4 1/2 miles" trail.<<<<<

    You nailed it!! (cont'd)

    >>>>I did get in 20 miles which was nice and I saw the beach too but I road to it and took my chances!<<<<

    Did you go all the way to the ocean, or did you stop at Zack's Bay? (cont'd)

    >>>Also dropped by a bike shop close by called Brands Cycle. Nice place. <<<<

    Yep. Brand's is my LBS, though there are several closer to me!

    I just got in from work a little while ago and my wife is sick as a dog with a thunderous hacking cough that sounds like it's coming out of a woman three times her size. Been bringing her soup and tea for an hour, so I'm glad I didn't commit to a ride. Tomorrow night, I'll be home about the same time, if I'm lucky. Joining you is definitely out this time around, but I'm glad you liked the beach ride.
    Papa Tom

    "I just need a rest...and by 'rest' I mean a really long bicycle ride."

  19. #19
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    Funny how things in the family history can catch up to you.

    I had planned to be gone from Thursday to Monday on a business trip in Long Island. This was a cool trip cause I got to drive and bring the bike. That made me happy!

    I left the house Thursday with a little back pain but nothing out of the ordinary. It progressed through the drive to Long Island but I chalked it up to the seat in the car. Took a nice ride on Thursday and went to work all day Friday on my feet selling stuff at a show for Costco. Friday the back pain grew a little more and I noticed it was in the kidneys. I stretched and chilled out.

    Saturday I woke up at 5 am to go for a bike ride and while driving to the start location, 10 minutes into the ride, very sharp pains started in the kidneys. I could not sit any longer. I turned the car around to go back to the hotel. I knew something was up and I have only had one experience like that before about a year ago and it was kidney stones.

    So I got back to the hotel, looked up a urgent care just to find they did not open until 9 am. I picked those places because, based on last time, I knew they worked. I could go in, get hooked up to an IV and go through about 4 bags in two hours to wash out the stone. But they did not open in time. I needed to be at work at noon.

    So I went to the ER.

    Long story short, I had to have surgery. They put a stint in my kidneys and I have multiple kidney stones. One stone is too big and I will need to go back to the doc and get it blasted into smaller pieces and then do surgery to remove the stint.

    My wife drove all the way to Long Island yesterday to be there. I had a late surgery, around 5 pm and they kept me over night. urine was dark red but has lightened up a little. I still feel pain in the kidneys and abdomen but not nearly as bad as what it was. I could not sit nor stand. So painful.

    But what I do not get is the doc told me to drink more water. I drink about a gallon and a half to 2 gallons a day. GRRRRRR.

    Doc just did the paperwork at 3 pm and now I am home in jersey. Feels good to be home!

  20. #20
    Senior Member megalowmatt's Avatar
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    Wow that stinks - especially being away from home. I hope you recover quickly!

  21. #21
    Senior Member Papa Tom's Avatar
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    Shoot! It's all that damned sushi, if you ask me.

    Seriously, though, sorry to hear what you ended up going through. I should have given you my cell number so I might be able to steer you toward some urgent medical care.

    Let's hope this is the end of THIS problem.
    Papa Tom

    "I just need a rest...and by 'rest' I mean a really long bicycle ride."

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    Quote Originally Posted by Papa Tom View Post
    Shoot! It's all that damned sushi, if you ask me.

    Seriously, though, sorry to hear what you ended up going through. I should have given you my cell number so I might be able to steer you toward some urgent medical care.

    Let's hope this is the end of THIS problem.
    Thanks Papa. I went to the ER at Good Samaritan. Great freaking place really.

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