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  1. #1
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    NYC to Port Jefferson, Long Island?

    I'm hatching a plan to ride my bike to a retreat at Little Portion Friary in Mt. Sinai, new Port Jefferson, NY. I have no (recent) experience with riding in LI, so I though I'd ask if that seems like a sensible thing to do. This is the route I've come up with so far, which I think avoids most of the scarier roads:

    To Little Portion - NYC, NY

    Does that seem reasonable? Should I believe the little dotted green lines indicating "bike friendly" roads (click on Bike Paths on the upper right; it's the same map as Google Maps bike maps)?

    I'm a relative noob, but I've done plenty of long rides in and around NYC, and a bit in Westchester (on my trusty little Brompton). I'm comfortable with city traffic, but I have much less experience with the suburbs, fast moving arterials, etc. I also gather from other posts here that LI and its drivers are not the bike-friendliest. I just want to make sure that the ride and the route aren't unduly unsafe or unpleasant. It also makes me little nervous not having an easy way to bail out if I get into trouble; in the city, there usually a train to hop or whatever if I get into a pickle (I can change a flat and have basic tools).

    As an aside, I grew up on in Setauket, and rode my bike all around that area as a kid, often enough to Port Jeff for lack of anything better to do. I might take spin through the old neighborhood as a some kind of nostalgia trip. I've hardly been back since, and certainly not on a bicycle.

    Thanks for any input.

  2. #2
    SpIn SpIn SuGaR! FIVE ONE SIX's Avatar
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    it looks fine to me. i used to live around the 23 mile mark of your ride, those are all lightly traveled back roads of Old Westbury, Brookville, ect. the only part of your ride i would be prepared for is around the 39 mile mark, when you cross over New York Avenue, cause that's Huntington Station and that's probably the worst neighborhood on your route that i saw. and by that, i mean don't leave your bike outside unattended if you have to run in somewhere to hydrate, ect...

  3. #3
    Senior Member Papa Tom's Avatar
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    From Syosset onward, I always use the following route:


    • Woodbury Road to Pulaski Rd. 13 miles to Rt. 25A in Kings Park.
    • Make right, 2 miles to fork, straight onto ROSE STREET
    • To LANDING AVENUE. Make RIGHT
    • 2 miles to EDGEWOOD in Smithtown. Make LEFT
    • 2 miles to 25A
    • 4 miles to fork in Stony Brook. Bear left
    • mile to fork. Bear RIGHT and stay on 25A
    • 5.75 miles, pass Setauket, to ferry


    I didn't get to check your map closely, but it appeared you were using 25A a lot of the way. Pulaski Rd is much quieter and flatter.
    Papa Tom

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

  4. #4
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    Thanks for the tips. Real world experience helps a lot.

    Quote Originally Posted by Papa Tom View Post
    From Syosset onward, I always use the following route:


    • mile to fork. Bear RIGHT and stay on 25A
    • 5.75 miles, pass Setauket, to ferry
    At this point I'll bear left, as Ridgeway takes me right past the old neighborhood. Part of the point is to go to Setauket. This part of the ride I can still remember.

  5. #5
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    Pulaski is a bit torn up in the King's Park area. Lately on my rides home from Syosset, I'll take Pulaski, left on Old Bridge Rd, which is the traffic light at the top of the hill before the garbage incineration plant. Old bridge to the end, right on Bread And Cheese Hollow, first left at the stop sign to Sunken Meadow Rd, at the T-intersection stay left on Sunken Meadow Rd, straight all the way to the intersection with 25a, where you can then make a left onto Rose, right on landing, etc.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Papa Tom's Avatar
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    Is there construction on Pulaski at Kings Park, or is it just damaged by the winter?

    Old Bridge Road appears kind of hilly, and it seems to have lots of stretches with barely any shoulder at all.

    Would this save time as an alternate route, or are you only riding this way because of the condition of Pulaski? (Just curious for my next ride out there this summer.)
    Papa Tom

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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Papa Tom View Post
    Is there construction on Pulaski at Kings Park, or is it just damaged by the winter?

    Old Bridge Road appears kind of hilly, and it seems to have lots of stretches with barely any shoulder at all.

    Would this save time as an alternate route, or are you only riding this way because of the condition of Pulaski? (Just curious for my next ride out there this summer.)
    It's actual construction. I think they've been installing a new drainage system on both sides of the valley that's intersected by town line rd/bread and cheese hollow. In this section, there's no shoulder, lots of dirt, potholes, quick asphalt patches, etc. The alternate route is rolling terrain, but it's very low traffic and nice and scenic. I think it adds about five minutes to my commute. This is my route here: Bike Ride Profile | 5/6/14 ride from work near Syosset | Times and Records | Strava

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    The route around Willow Lake in Flushing Meadow Park won't work. Flushing Meadow Park is closed south of Jewel Ave, which includes Willow Lake. The official reason is it's a nature preserve. The unofficial reason is that it's a mosquito laden swamp that the City finds cheaper to quarantine than to make habitable. It's also the nexus of the West Nile Virus epidemic in the US.

    There are many alternates. NYC publishes a bike route suitability map that's available at any bike shop in the City. You can also download it from here NYC DOT - Bicycle Maps

    I hesitate to offer routing advice because everyone has his own preferences.

    There is also a bike suitability map published by NY State for Nassau and Suffolk Counties. It's available at:

    https://www.dot.ny.gov/bicycle/maps

    The age of these publications is a measure of the current administration's commitment to bicycling.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Papa Tom's Avatar
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    >>>>>The route around Willow Lake in Flushing Meadow Park won't work. Flushing Meadow Park is closed south of Jewel Ave, which includes Willow Lake.<<<

    Is Willow Lake the one with the "new" snack bar and the bike path going around it? I hope not. That was always a highlight of riding around Flushing Meadow Park. There was even a bike rental shop there...and that's where they do that Chinese boat race every year, isn't it?
    Papa Tom

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  10. #10
    Senior Member Papa Tom's Avatar
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    >>>>This is my route here: Bike Ride Profile | 5/6/14 ride from work near Syosset | Times and Records | Strava<<<<

    Wow, I like that part that skirts the water near Nissequogue River State Park. I may consider this just to change it up next time!
    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
    Is Willow Lake the one with the "new" snack bar and the bike path going around it? I hope not. That was always a highlight of riding around Flushing Meadow Park. There was even a bike rental shop there...and that's where they do that Chinese boat race every year, isn't it?
    No. The lake north of Jewel Ave is Meadow Lake.

    Due to maintenance and design the bike path around Meadow Lake is frequently under water.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Papa Tom's Avatar
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    So Willow Lake = Mosquitos and Meadow Lake = Floods. Weren't there TEN plagues?

    Anyway, that's right. The lake I like to ride my wife around is MEADOW Lake, which, yes, is frequently all flooded out.
    Papa Tom

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

  13. #13
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    Thanks for the tip on Willow Lake. That could have been annoying. I guess I'll head through on Jewel Ave., unless someone can suggest something better.

    I went to Flushing Meadow last Saturday after work, but I didn't think go around Meadow Lake (I went around it at least once last year). It's quite a scene there on Saturday evenings in nice weather. A friend wants to go, so I may go again this weekend, so I'll check it out.

  14. #14
    Senior Member Papa Tom's Avatar
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    I think I may have missed the post that described a route through Flushing Meadow Park.

    My route from NYC USED TO utilize the 59th Street Bridge through LI City, Astoria, Corona, etc. to the entrance onto the Flushing Bay Promenade, across from LaGuardia Airport. Then I'd ride the promenade to the end and use a tiny footpath to access the Northern Blvd. Bridge into Flushing. From there, I would take some back roads through College Point and into Bayside, where I'd access the Cross Island Parkway bike path and ride it all the way to Northern Blvd. Next, I'd head east a short distance on Northern Blvd to Douglaston Parkway, turn right and take it all the way to the LIE Service Road, which would take me all the way to Syosset.

    Of course, this is open to modifications, so have fun with it if you choose to explore this as an option!
    Papa Tom

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

  15. #15
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    I took the Flushing Bay Promenade and the path along Northern Blvd. going to Flushing Meadow last weekend. It's fun to look over LaGuardia, and the view from the Northern Blvd. overpass is kinda cool. A friend showed it to me once a while ago; I would never have found it otherwise, and as it was I passed it at least twice before I found it again. The path though is now half overgrown with bushes of I think poison ivy, so you have to squeeze really tight to the right.

  16. #16
    Senior Member Papa Tom's Avatar
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    I can't find my old cue sheet for this ride, but there used to be a little dirt path that led off the roadway just east of the Promenade parking lot, in the industrial area. This path took you up to the Northern Blvd Bridge. Is that path still there, or was it eliminated when they rebuilt this area a few years ago?
    Papa Tom

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  17. #17
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    I went that way again yesterday. The Promenade leads you to a little bike lane that goes under the Van Wyck (actually, you have to take the sidewalk, as the lane is full of mud). Just past the overpass, there's a break in the concrete barrier across the street that takes you to a short little sidewalk, that takes you onto Northern Blvd. The big problem is that poison ivy bush. It's bigger than I remember it two weeks ago, and stretches more than half the width of the path, and you really have to squeeze to get by. Pretty soon, it will be completely overgrown and impassible; it's not like you can simply push through it.
    Last edited by wilfried; 07-15-14 at 03:10 PM.

  18. #18
    Senior Member Papa Tom's Avatar
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    Mark WW:

    I may be headed out to Port Jefferson this Wednesday. Is that construction still going on around Kings Park?
    Papa Tom

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  19. #19
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    Oy gott. Just as I was getting around to making plans to take this trip, perhaps next weekend, a LIRR strike looms. I'd want at least the option of making this a one way trip, and have the train to fall back on, but now, who knows? We shall see...
    Last edited by wilfried; 07-15-14 at 02:49 PM.

  20. #20
    Senior Member Papa Tom's Avatar
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    I usually use the train for the ride back, too. Some of those hills are no fun heading west.

    But yeah, I'm a little hesitant to head out there tomorrow, not only because of the weather forecast, but because I'd be ferrying to Bridgeport, spending the night in Milford, then heading back home Thursday. If they decide to call the strike early, I'd be in trouble.
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  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by wilfried View Post
    I went that way again yesterday. The Promenade leads you to a little bike lane that goes under the Van Wyck (actually, you have to take the sidewalk, as the lane is full of mud). Just past the overpass, there's a break in the concrete barrier across the street that takes you to a short little sidewalk, that takes you onto Northern Blvd. The big problem is that poison ivy bush. It's bigger than I remember it two weeks ago, and stretches more than half the width of the path, and you really have to squeeze to get by. Pretty soon, it will be completely overgrown and impassible; it's not like you can simply push through it.
    Looking back at this thread, I just thought I'd mention that I went on the Northern Blvd. path again last week, and someone had done something about the poison ivy bush. There's still some poison ivy threre, but it doesn't block the path. I took a chance a was a little worried I'd get stuck; if you can't cross, there isn't an easy way around.

  22. #22
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    Wow this ride looks like a real blast, Wilfried! Glad you had a good time doing it. It would be cool to get a bunch of new Yorkers to do this together, maybe book a few rooms for everyone in a Port Jeff Hotel. I have an insane summer schedule this year, and I'm not sure that this would work for me for 2014, but if some folks wanted to try to cobble a group ride like this together, I can definitely do it in 2015 and maybe this year, if I can get the time off from work. I have a weird schedule.

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