Hey everyone. For you long-islanders out there I have a question. I know that alot of cyclists seem to think merrick road is a pretty perilous road to ride, but I've also noticed quite a number of cyclists riding on it recently. Now I know that the only other option along the south shore of the island is sunrise hwy, which I have ridden on part of before. It was fine because that particular section had a shoulder, but i know there are sections which have no shoulder, and I would hate to be riding in a lane of traffic with cars doing 50+ right next to me. So I was wondering, how actually is Merrick road? Since I'm from queens, I'm used to riding on heavily trafficked roads with no shoulder and shariing the lanes with cars, which is basically what merrick road is like. Or is Sunrise a better option? Thanks in advance.
Merrick road is better, not great, or even good, but better than Sunrise. As you mentioned Sunrise has 50+, Semi Trucks, and parts with no shoulder.
Mention your endpoints, and the riders on here may be able to recommend other options for part of the route.
My office is on Merrick Rd in Seaford. I see bikes there all the time, but I wouldn't ride there. Lots of traffic and no bike lane or shoulder.
A lot of suitability questions depend on time of day and the exact portion of the road to be taken.
Here's a link to a LI bike suitability map that's published by NYSDOT.
There's routing on it for a route that goes just north of Sunrise. There are a lot of turns.
The best west -> east route on the south shore is as follows:
Hendrickson - Lakeview - Seaman - Grand (north for 1/8 mile) - Seaman - Babylon Tpk. - Smith - Grand - Wilson - Old Mill - Park - Clark.
This route takes you from Valley Stream to Massapequa Park. It's shown on the State DoT LI Bike Map.
EDIT: This is the route followed by the Montauk Century as well as the Ride to Montauk, as BTW.
Last edited by Steve B.; 08-03-11 at 03:58 PM.
I ride on Merrick Road. It's not wonderful but I don't feel it's too dangerous. Also, there are a lot of 7-11s.
I'll second Steve B.'s answer, although the route I've taken is a little different. I recognize Park and Clark as "the Park and Clark detour".
You can get from Long Beach to Massapequa Park with hardly any time on Merrick, and none on Sunrise, if you're willing to make a lot of turns on neighborhood streets.
Both Merrick and Sunrise fail my safety test.
I see. That's interesting, i never noticed that route before. How busy are those streets that the route follows? I noticed some of them look pretty busy (such as grand avenue) but I'm sure it beats riding on Sunrise.
Thanks for all of the replies/ suggestions.
Last edited by queenscyclist; 08-04-11 at 05:57 PM.
You're only on Grand Ave. for like 50ft, then you head east/west again on the continuation of Seaman. Note that the Montauk Century and Ride to Montauk routes are marked, orange and white this year, starting at Lakeview Rd and Frankline Ave. in Lynbrook as far as Montauk.
Originally Posted by queenscyclist
The distance from the intrsection of Hendrickson at Horton to the end of Clark in Massapequa Park is 14 miles. A good loop takes you north on Parkside Blvd. (adjacent to and just west of the Massapequa Preserve) then a left on Jerusalem heading west. Just past the Wantagh Parkway make a left on Holiday Park, then a right on Beltagh to Camp, then right on Meadowbrook, left on Washington, dogleg left on Allers, left on Babylon, right on Centennial, which becomes DeMott and ends on N Village in RVC. Left on N Village takes you back to Lakeview. That's a 13 mile addition as a loop. Part of this is on the State DoT Bike map.
FWIW, this entire set of roads is pretty much all residential, with few, if any strip malls having cars exiting/entering. As a result it's all good at most times, with some increase in traffic at rush hour. It also links with routes north for long extensions, as well as the east end of Clark feeding into the Montauk Century route, which is another good route east for about 15 miles out to Great River.