A bike ride to Montauk has been an idea of mine for years now. Pretty much since I started road cycling almost a decade ago. Why Montauk? Well there are several organized rides now to Montauk. Montauk is over a century ride away from New York City. The course is moderate to flat and once there in the summer, there is plenty to do. Hiking, beach, restaurants, sightseeing, boating, fishing….and so on.
I have racked up a few long rides this season and felt in great shape to ride the 127 miles to Montauk from my home in Forest Hills. There would be many avenues for testing my fitness and race level, nutrition and most importantly any potential bike fit issues from last week’s bike fit with ACME Bicycle Co.
I would leave as early as sunrise permitted, 5:25am in my case and my family would drive and meet me at the Montauk lighthouse. The perfect meeting place for sightseeing and also there is no more biking pass that point but only the Atlantic Ocean 😀. The drive is approximately 2 and 1/2 hours with traffic. The bike I estimated would take me between 7 – 8 hours with stops, photos off course and any bike mechanical issues.
The helmet choice would be determined by the weather, so with such a perfect weather day of little wind and sunshine throughout I opted for my Smith Podium aero helmet. As per wheelset, I went with my HED wheelset. Also I experimented with using a smaller xlab mini saddle bag as opposed to a bigger bag I currently use. All in search for less weight and aerodynamics.
I packed 6 gels and a chocolate bar. 2 aero bottles with water. A behind the saddle bottle with frozen Gatorade and a between aero bar bottle of concentrated accelerade with maltodextrin that summed up to roughly 1000 calories. Each gel is 100 calories. This would be enough nutrition for at least 2/3 The Ride. Approximately 2000 calories in all. My pre ride breakfast was a cinnamon bagel with peanut butter and banana. So I know nutrition wise I would be okay for the first 2 hours on the bike not taking in too much.
As before on my long ride east to Long Island I turned on my phone’s gps once I got to unfamiliar territory and had my ear buds bandaid to my ears so they stayed in place. (Waterproof bandaids to be exact)
Riding via bike route 25A is very quaint and scenic. There are many farms and small family restaurants along the way to stop and enjoy. In my case I tried to keep the stops to a minimum. This was also slated to be a training ride with the aim to stay as aero as possible while keeping 75% FTP.
The gps took me through a bike path at mile 53 called Setauket Greenway Trail. This in my opinion was a must I need to do with the family this summer or fall. Very nice and quiet with smooth pavement throughout. There were a few climbs that got me above FTP goal but for short bursts.
With the absence of any headwind and the moderate to flat elevation I was doing excellent on time. On some sections I was holding 25mph without much effort.
If I was to ever do a self supported IRONMAN I would just swim in Flushing Aquatic center and do 112 miles of this course and run to Montauk. Please copy and credit me lol.
It’s a busy July 4th weekend so entering through each of the Hampton towns were congested with traffic. Those were my slower miles on the course. At that point I was also running low on hydration.
I came up on a CVS at mile 93. It had all I needed. Restroom and plenty of hydration to choose from. I bought 2 waters, a coke and a Gatorade. I have to say coke never tasted so good.
I had made a purchase of a lipstick size charger a few weeks ago in anticipation for today’s long ride. It would be to charge my phone in case it was running low. Fortunately my iPhone 6 Plus battery was still at half charge at the end of the ride and never got to use the charger. But still a must have on such as ride.
Upon entering Montauk I started keeping an eye out for my family as it was approaching 1pm and I knew they should be entering Montauk if not there already. As mentioned before it’s a busy weekend so lots of traffic entering towns. Sure enough I ran into them 5 miles from the lighthouse. It was really nice to see them and being comforted by knowing we all made it to Montauk without incident. I continued on my way as they now would be arriving before me. Still 5 miles to ride. There were some climbs during this last 5 miles but nothing significant. It was still pretty fast minus those climbs, besides it’s nice to mix up the elevation once in a while.
So finally I got to the Montauk lighthouse and reunited with my family in the parking lot. After changing we all had refreshments and a bit to eat. I have to say the grill cheese from the concession stand was deliciously satisfying. We continued the day by touring the lighthouse grounds. Anh and Miles did the climb to the top. I stayed with Norah as infants are not allowed to climb to the top of the lighthouse. Rightly so as Anh would later describe the stair and climb being very steep.