We here at TCI are receiving the usual pre-Christmas suggestions from PR agencies for wish lists. Rather than focus on what they are suggesting we suggest to you to buy, Patrick has elected to discuss the whens and whys of purchasing a new bike or new bike gear. TCI may be a cycling web site that reviews bike products, but we aren’t fans of rampant consumerism. Here’s where we draw the line.
Patria is just back from visiting family on Long Island and had a delightful time using Trailforks to find places to ride that were new to her. Because it’s late fall and with winter approaching she looks at when to stay off the trails and how to think about caring for them so we can ride them next spring.
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Where on L.I., Patria? When I was packing up to leave in 1987 about the only places left that were not developed were on the East End or the state parks. Stony Brook and Port Jefferson were seeing the Mark of the Bulldozer. But there were still great places to ride out east, all on the road for me as I was not into off road riding till the early nineties and then over on Oahu. I bought my first mountainbike, a Bridgestone MB-2, out thataway.
Hi Khal – I started on trails in Bethpage State Park and then followed the trails north. They mostly paralleled a nice, paved bike path, I put together a video of some of the swoopy trails, they left a very positive impression! I had been highly advised to go to Glacier Ridge (prob 25 mins west of Bethpage) as those trails sound awesome and people who advised these trails knew I was on a gravel bike and not full-on mtn setup. I liked the road riding that I did since weaviing through neighborhoods were quiet and then there was the occasional cross over a super highway kind of road, but not a huge problem for all of the other quiet roads that seemed to buy me. It sounds like you lived there during a special time, it’s sad to see the places you like to ride look like they’re being wiped out. I suppose I went in not expecting to find any good riding so when I found perfectly maintained trails and nice people out there on said trails, I was totally blown away. Looks like a lot more to explore when there’s more time and more daylight! Hope you’re enjoying your riding where you live now!
Its great that you find nice riding in Western LI. I lived in Port Jefferson and Stony Brook, where there were great short rides nearby such as out in Old Field. My favorite long rides were on the North Shore out east towards Riverhead and Mattatuck and the like along North Country Road/Wading River Rd./Sound Ave. Was a nice 55-80 mile out and back depending on how energetic we were. My first “unofficial” century length ride was when we left Stony Brook one Sunday morning, rode out to Shelter Island on the North fork, took the two ferries, and came back on the South Fork. I think the three of us could have eaten a whole side of beef with a half field of potatoes at the end of that ride!
Looking at Google Maps, it looks like its still nice out there when you get out East.
Khal, Neat to hear about your century and some of the places you rode! I can’t wait to get back and spend some longer days out east exploring on the bike. Will reference the places you mention and go there. I posted a few photos from my ride and weekend, got a few messages back from Boston friends who expressed deep sentiment for the area (esp Jones Beach) as many people grew up around there and have cherished childhood memories. My father was from Brooklyn so there’s a lot of sentiment on my end for the whole area, in my case, it’s Coney Island as the stories they told about their time on the beach are really special. Nothing like experiencing it all on the bike!
Another good podcast. You folks are really gelling!
Thinking in terms of cold-weather/winter riding, living in Albany, NY, I usually retreat to the gym when it is coldest/darkest. Not going to do that during the pandemic. So, I’m going to have to bite the bullet to get some rides in this winter to try to maintain some fitness. (Hopefully it’ll be a good snow year so I can break out the snowshoes and skis!)
So, I have a choice for which bike I would ride for winter commuting to work – 11.2 miles each way. I could put the studded tires on the mtn bike (full boing 2001 Trek Fuel) or the CX bike (~2006 Blue Norcross). What’s your thought in terms of which would be the better choice for safety and handling? I’d likely get the studded tires you mentioned, since black ice is a real issue here beginning sometime in December. Also, any advice on riding on roads in snowy times? Post snowplow and what not? I can’t completely avoid a few main roads and, I’m expecting that locals won’t really be looking for cyclists during that time of year. I’ve pretty well lit and would plan to take the lights into the house/office when I arrive so batteries don’t suffer from the cold.
Maybe a segment on that kind of thing?
And winter maintenance? Anything specific?
Hi Tom! Thanks for your comments and ideas for a future show. We’ll answer your questions on the next show. I lived in Niskayuna years ago and have a soft spot in my heart for Albany. I look back and wish I had been into winter riding back then, but that’s where I got into bikes in general so was lucky just to have found two wheels. I discovered how amazing cross country skiing is in that area. I dream of being there with the fat bike now! Are you certain that your commute requires roads? Just wondering if there might be some back trails hiding out of the way that would offer an escape from big roads. Do you have neighborhoods that you can link together to bypass the bigger roads?