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  1. #1
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    Long Island commute?

    It looks like next year I'll be working in Stony Brook and my wife will be in Manhattan, so we'll probably live in Queens and I'll have to take the train most days (this should only be for a year or two, at least). My hours at work are pretty flexible, and I'm thinking I might try to do the commute by bike once a week to get a bit of exercise (maybe out one day, back the next).
    I'd probably be leaving somewhere around Jamaica heading east at around 6:30 or 7 am on a weekday, and then returning from Stony Brook leaving at about 4 pm. Is there any decent way to do this on a bike? I don't mind a few extra miles (up to 60 each way, say), if it's a nicer ride. (And if I get lazy, would I have any trouble getting a bike on the LIRR at those times?)

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    That's a long commute with Google Maps bike directions indicating 47 one-way. So a minimum of 3-1/2 hours each way, assuming you can avg. 15 mph, then deal with lights.

    Can you plan on leaving a car at SB ?, this way you can bike home and back in the morning ?. I would not be doing this everyday, but maybe you are in much better shape then I am, but essentially it's about a century a day and I can't see that as a daily commute.

    The LIRR option is possible, you would have to check on which trains in each direction would be considered off-peak, as you can only bring a bike on board off-peak trains. Drive and park part way is also an option.

    The Google directions are about as good as any for a starting point, but I've no experience in Queens. The LI section I saw is about as good as any and mostly stay's off the LIE service road, which is very busy between Douglaston and Glen Cove Rd. at rush hour and is not recommended, no shoulder among many problems.

  3. #3
    Senior Member mprelaw's Avatar
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    Unless the LIRR has changed its policies since I lived there, it's a reverse commute and both ways should be off-peak for the times in question.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Papa Tom's Avatar
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    That's a heckuva ride to work. I commute to work by bicycle very often on Long Island, but it's only three miles each way. Anything longer than that out here is considered a bike tour.

    My route of choice from Syosset (borderline Nassau/Suffolk County) to Stony Brook uses Pulaski Rd, 25a, and a few connectors in between. If you want my specific route, I can provide it for you.

    Regarding the LIRR, you're lucky that you'll be going against the rush hour traffic. The conductors are a bit more lenient on those trains, but there's still usually very little room for your bike. It's doable, though, but be sure to get a bike pass at http://www.mta.info/lirr/about/Bicyc...yclePermit.htm . It costs $5 and it's good for life. I use mine all the time.
    Papa Tom

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

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Papa Tom View Post
    My route of choice from Syosset (borderline Nassau/Suffolk County) to Stony Brook uses Pulaski Rd, 25a, and a few connectors in between. If you want my specific route, I can provide it for you.
    Thanks! I might take you up on that -- we'll see where I end up living.
    I haven't visited Long Island much at all; both my visits I took the ferry to Port Jefferson and then went straight to Stony Brook. I don't have much of a sense what biking there is like in general; would there be a lot of traffic and not much shoulder at those times? If this ride isn't going to be reasonably pleasant, I'll probably just stick with the train.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by johnl314 View Post
    Thanks! I might take you up on that -- we'll see where I end up living.
    I haven't visited Long Island much at all; both my visits I took the ferry to Port Jefferson and then went straight to Stony Brook. I don't have much of a sense what biking there is like in general; would there be a lot of traffic and not much shoulder at those times? If this ride isn't going to be reasonably pleasant, I'll probably just stick with the train.
    The "nice" routes are on the north shore area, from Port Washington east as far as the north fork. Lot's pf nice cycling roads on a Sunday morning. Not all are as pleasant on Monday at 7AM when all the locals are car commuting, with the roads generally not having shoulders, so you're using the lane. It's really hit and miss on these roads though, some are fine, some are busy and you would really just have to ride them to see, with PapaTom helping with advise on that.

    The Long Island Expressway has a service road that has a shoulder from about Glen Cove Rd. (exit 39) east to the "ride-around" in Woodbury (Woodbury Rd., Sunnyside Blvd., Executive Drive) then you get back on at Round Swamp Rd. and have shoulder all the way to the Sagtikos Parkway, then another detour on Crooked Hill Rd,, thru Suffolk Community College, and Wicks Rd and then back on the service road. It's not as "interesting" as all those nice north short routes, but you're less likely to have space conflicts with cars. Note though that the service road in Nassau, from Glen Cove Rd. west to the NYC/Nassau line in Little Neck is awful at rush hour as a bit of backup on the highway sees a lot of cars and trucks bailing to the service road. There is no shoulder in many places so you are competing in the lane with cars and trucks doing 60. Options include IU Willets and Hillside Ave., which isn't terrible.

    But in reality it looks like a train to ride option, maybe LIRR Jamaica to Cold Spring Harbor, Huntignton or Greenlawn, then east on Pulaski and east.

  7. #7
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    I commute by bike from east meadow to queens everyday. I also work for the LIRR and I can tell you that at those times even a reverse commute[ east in am, west in pm ] is peak. And only bikes allowed are folders.

  8. #8
    Senior Member EGreen's Avatar
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    I ride from Queens to Port Jefferson often. Depending on your fitness level it is not unrealistic to ride there (and back). There are two main ways. 25 to Nesconset which is flatter and less scenic and 25A which is hillier and prettier (the further east you go.) If you want more detailed route info feel free to ask.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by johnl314 View Post
    It looks like next year I'll be working in Stony Brook and my wife will be in Manhattan, so we'll probably live in Queens and I'll have to take the train most days (this should only be for a year or two, at least). My hours at work are pretty flexible, and I'm thinking I might try to do the commute by bike once a week to get a bit of exercise (maybe out one day, back the next).
    I'd probably be leaving somewhere around Jamaica heading east at around 6:30 or 7 am on a weekday, and then returning from Stony Brook leaving at about 4 pm. Is there any decent way to do this on a bike? I don't mind a few extra miles (up to 60 each way, say), if it's a nicer ride. (And if I get lazy, would I have any trouble getting a bike on the LIRR at those times?)
    Have you checked the LIRR reverse commute schedule?

    http://mta.info/lirr/Timetable/Branc...rsonBranch.pdf

    It's pretty bad.

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