Ride at your own risk. Helmets are required for all bike rides. Shatterproof eye protection is strongly recommended. Bring 2 spare tubes. Bike gloves not only pad your hands during a ride, but could protect them in the event of a fall. Always bring plenty of water, and enough food to carry you through the day. Sometimes we find food along the way, but you can't count on it. Bring a cell phone if you have it. An entry in your cell phone's address book titled "ICE" (for In Case of Emergency") will tell first responders who to contact. Medical information could be carried on a device from RoadID, or a computer-readable card like this. Basic first-aid supplies are a good idea. In some situations, a bike lock could be useful. Bring a friend to ride with. Remember, stuff happens. We do not provide mechanical support, a sag wagon, or medical treatment. We do provide moral support and occasional laughs. Also - for now - bring a mask.
Beginning in 2021, the early morning phone calls to the Trail Boss Hotline are being replaced by emails. I will schedule a ride a couple of days beforehand, and will send an email then. On the morning of a ride, if it needs to be cancelled, I will send an email then, hopefully before 6AM.
NOTE: Beginning 2021, most of our rides will probably be on bike paths, and probably on Tuesdays.
Info about the park can be found here. Meet at the picnic area parking lot. If the lot is crowded, head to the far right corner. This is new, so I don't have accurate mileage readings as yet. Options include:
LIE Exit 70. South to Route 27 (Sunrise Highway). East, through Southampton and Watermill to Bridgehampton. The Candy Kitchen will be on the right. Google map of location of the Candy Kitchen: https://goo.gl/maps/2B6eV Turn right on School Street (between Bridgehampton Community House and the Candy Kitchen). Make the first left into the municipal parking lot, and park in the back of the lot. Distance from Commack is 60 miles; driving time is 90 minutes. Arrive by 10:00am. Ride at 10:30am. 20 miles. Flat. 4 hours.
The Nissequogue is a tidal river, which means that the current changes direction as the tides change. The trip will be timed so that we will be paddling in one direction, with the current. Canoes should be reserved on an individual basis in advance by calling Bob's Canoe Rental at (631)269-9761. You can inquire about rates when you call. Mention that you'd like to start with George Waldbusser, as per the schedule below. You must have a partner to rent a canoe. Or, you could rent a kayak to paddle solo. Then there are 2-person kayaks. If you wish to try to find another person looking for a partner, send an email to email@example.com. Trail Boss is not responsible for the results of any partnerships thus arranged.
Directions to starting point: Long Island Expressway to exit 53 - Sunken Meadow Parkway. Go north on parkway to exit SM3E, Route 25 (Jericho Turnpike). Take Jericho eastbound 4 miles to Paul T. Given Park on right. Park is just past the Route 25 and 25a merge, diagonally across the road from the statue of the Smithtown Bull. More info at Bob's website:
More helpful info:
Release of Liability - print and bring along one copy for each participant
Dress as you would for the beach.
Be sure to wear something on your feet that you can walk in the water with.
Bring a waterproof bag (or 2 large garbage bags) and rope to tie your loose stuff to the boat and keep it dry.
Bring food and drink - definitely lots of water.
Don't forget the sunscreen and bug spray.
Some have been known to bring water guns. (It must be those rowdy bikers).
Bring cash, exact change - no credit cards or checks accepted. The price runs around $55 per canoe (I forget the exact price). We may get a discount if we have enough boats, and we're able to sign up at the same time. We might try letting Bob's people know when we arrive, but tell them we want to wait for a headcount to see if we have 6 or more before we pay. Trail Boss has known Bob for over 25 years, and good will has always been the way of doing things (in both directions). Please maintain your sense of humor if you are requested to pay the normal rate.
The schedule (8/4/18):(changes for each trip)
1:30pm - Meet at Paul T. Given Park (across from The Bull). Park your car, gather your stuff, and greet your friends. On a nice day, the place can get chaotic, and the parking lot full. (HINT: Arrive early). The parking lot has 2 sections, and cars may be parked in either section. The first section is where you enter from Jericho Turnpike, where the bus leaves from when the tide is heading south (coming in). The second section is beyond that, where the canoes are launched when the tide is heading north (going out). Get together with our group and try to get a headcount before paying, to see if we get a discount. Pay Bob's people for your canoe rental. Bring cash, exact change, as they cannot accept credit cards. A release form (see above) must be submitted for each person. Do this beforehand to save time, and avoid having to find someone to let you use their back to write on.
2:00pm - We either get in the bus or the canoes, depending on which way the tide is going. All boats must be in by 5:30pm.
Notes: Wait until everyone is in their canoes. Try to stay together, and keep the others in sight. We go as a group. Expect beautiful scenery and no rapids. This is not a race. I've seen people get in their boat, take off, and we never see them again. (At least not that day, but they eventually turn up somewhere). We may stop on a beach along the way to hang out, eat snacks, drink (bring your own).
About 2 1/2 hours after getting on the river (or less if people really rush) - Depending on our direction of travel, we will either arrive at Kings Park, where a bus will return us to Paul Given Park, or arrive at Paul Given Park via canoe, where your car awaits you.
Rain or foul weather:
I know what you're thinking. Rain? Impossible! But, just in case, call the Trail Boss Hotline (631-499-3953) less than 4 hours before our meeting time on the morning of the trip, just to be sure. A chance of a shower might not scare us off, but a chance of a thunderstorm should be taken seriously.
Canoe rentals should be arranged on an individual basis in advance by calling the Peconic Paddler at (631-727-9895). Ask to start at 9:30am with George Waldbusser. You must have a partner. There is no group discount. Rental kayaks are not available for this trip. Ask the Peconic Paddler for advice on canoe capacity (2 adults plus a child in one boat is okay). If you bring your own boat, you can make arrangements for transportation with the Peconic Paddler. LIE exit 71. Turn right. Go 4 miles to the traffic circle. Go 3/4 around the circle and turn right. Pass the Peconic Paddler on the left and park in the municipal parking lot on the right. Arrive by 9:00am to do your paperwork. The truck leaves at 9:30am to take us to the starting point. Start paddling at 10:00am. The river will take us back to the Peconic Paddler - usually before 3:00pm at a casual pace. Expect beautiful scenery and wildlife. No rapids. Visit the Peconic Paddler website for more information. Dress as you would for the beach. Be sure to wear something on your feet that you can walk in the water with. Bring a waterproof bag (or 2 large garbage bags) and rope to tie your loose stuff to the boat and keep it dry (just in case). And don't forget the sunscreen. Conditions permitting, we usually hang out at the 'ole swimmin' hole for a while."
This ride utilizes the new stretch of bike path from Captree to Tobay. Captree State Park is here. When you enter the parking lot, head to the left corner so that we might find each other. Starting at Captree will usually allow us to deal with any head wind on the way out, and enjoy a tail wind on the way back. The full trip is about 10 miles each way (20 miles total). Depending on the group, we could either shorten the ride by turning around at Gilgo Beach, which is about 8 miles each way (16 miles total), or continue beyond Tobay for another 3.7 miles to Jones Beach (27 miles total).
There is a snack bar at Captree, which probably should be open. This could be good for after the ride.
NOTE: This is a Nassau County Park, and non-residents may be charged a parking fee. Or, you can look for street parking outside the park.
I suggest arriving at the park by 9:30, and we'll leave from the statue of the bicyclist near the entrance to the bike path at 10:00. The park is big, and some parking lots may fill up. I suggest using either of the first 2 lots on the left as you enter, or the first lot on the right. More space is available further along the road, and even around the other side of the park. Sometimes, the park may close for special events. If you can't find a spot to park in the park, you can try the local streets, but beware of parking regulations. Also, you could try the Wantagh train station area behind the 7-11 on Park Ave & Beech St., and bike to the park. The bike path will take us to Jones Beach (10 miles round trip), and then to Tobay Beach (another 7.4 miles round trip), and/or the West End (another 9 miles round trip).
The path is often used by small children who may act unpredictably. Be prepared for sudden stops, and always give a vocal warning when you are about to pass someone. Sounding a bell or horn sometimes works, but at other times may cause confusion especially around younger riders. Never ride next to another rider. Pay attention at all times. Bring a lock if you want to leave your bike at the racks by the East Bathhouse at Jones Beach, or at Tobay Beach. Bike racks at Tobay Beach fill up and may not always be available. Bring your own snacks, in case the concessions are closed or overcrowded. Biking may now be allowed on the boardwalk all year round, but watch the signs, as this could change at any time. Rest rooms are available at Jones Beach, and seasonally at Cedar Creek Park and Tobay Beach.
This ride begins and ends at Trail Boss's humble abode in Commack. (26 Havemeyer Lane, Commack, NY) Meet at 9:30am. Ride at 10:00am. roughly 14 miles. Some "good" hills. 2-3 hours. Stop by Kings Park Bluffs, and wherever else the mood strikes. The group determines the pace.
LIE exit 73. Go east on routes 58 and 25 for 25 miles. Follow the signs for Greenport and the Shelter Island Ferry. Park at the Greenport Railroad Station. Distance from Commack is 60 miles; driving time is 90 minutes. Arrive by 9:30am. Board the ferry at 10:00am for a 10-minute trip. Rest rooms are available on Shelter Island near the ferry. The trip consists of a 12-mile loop with 3 optional pieces that would bring the total mileage to 30. We may skip one optional piece for a total of 25 miles. Moderate to very hilly. Lots of beautiful scenery and water views. If we're lucky, the ice cream shop won't have closed for the season. Take the ferry back to Greenport by 3:00pm. MAP
Piccozzi's Garage & Bike Shop
Bridge Street, Shelter Island Heights, NY, 11965
Shelter Island North Ferry
MaritimeFestival (annual Fall event in Greenport) (their website isn't always kept up-to-date)
LIE Exit 70. South to Route 27 (Sunrise Highway). East to exit 65 (Flanders Road). South to Montauk Highway (Route 27A). East to County Road 62 (Newtown Road). Left on County Road 62, go under the railroad tracks, and make the first right turn. Go to the canal and turn left. Park along the canal. (Google Maps address "Canal Rd W, Hampton Bays, NY 11946"). Driving distance from Commack is 47 miles, and takes about an hour with no delays. Arrive by 9:30am. Ride at 10:00am. 17 miles. Moderately hilly in Hampton Bays, flat elsewhere. 3 hours. Anyone wishing to double the mileage can proceed West on Dune Road, past Hot Dog Beach, to Cupsogue Beach, and return from there. (As an alternative, such as in the event that Dune Road is flooded, we have another scenic route that will take us through Southampton to Dune Road on the east side of Shinnecock inlet.)
Heckscher State Park has a bike path that circles much of the park. Where the path ends, it's possible to ride on a quiet road just outside the park for a short distance to re-enter the park on a bike path. Going once around covers about 4.7 miles. With multiple loops around the park, it's possible to extend the ride as long as desired.
Information about Heckscher State Park, including directions, is here.
A map of the park is here. Go to Parking Field #1, and meet at the corner furthest from the entrance.
As you drive toward the monument at the end of Wantagh Parkway, keep to your right. Field 4 is the first field on your right after the tower. Enter Field 4 and stop at the toll booth (in season). After the toll booth, drive to the right in a wide loop, going to the side of the parking lot, and head toward the front of the lot. If you're near the underpass, we should be able to find each other. The field may get crowded nearest the underpass to the beach, so try to park far enough away from the crowd so that we may all be able to gather together easily. From the starting point, we will choose any combination of the possible segments: Tobay Beach to the East (7.4 miles round trip) or beyond, the West End (9 miles round trip), and Cedar Creek Park (10 miles round trip). Also, Captree State Park is about 27 miles round trip. The sequence may vary depending on wind conditions and the mood of our group. We'll probably stop at a concession stand, like the one at Field 6.
Some of the riding may be on the boardwalk. Watch for small children who may act unpredictably. Be prepared for sudden stops, and always give a vocal warning when you are about to pass someone. Sounding a bell or horn sometimes works, but at other times may cause confusion especially around younger riders. Never ride next to another rider. Pay attention at all times. Bring a lock if you want to leave your bike anywhere. Bike racks at Tobay Beach fill up and may not always be available. Bring your own snacks, in case the concessions are closed or overcrowded.
Check Jones Beach State Park weather conditions here.
LIE exit 73. Go east on routes 58 and 25 for 10 miles. Pass through Aquebogue, Jamesport, and Laurel. In Mattituck, turn left on Love Lane. Turn left into the parking area by the railroad tracks. Driving distance from Commack is 45 miles. Arrive by 9:30am. Ride at 10:00am. 15 miles. Mostly flat. 3 hours. Easy ride.
LIE exit 73. Go east on routes 58 and 25 for 10 miles. Pass through Aquebogue, Jamesport, and Laurel. In Mattituck, turn left on Love Lane. Turn left into the parking area by the railroad tracks. (140 Pike St, Mattituck, NY 11952). Driving distance from Commack is 45 miles. Arrive by 9:30am. Ride at 10:00am. 25 miles. Mostly flat. 4 hours. This ride covers Mattituck, Cutchogue, and Southold, and is being used as a replacement for the former Southold ride.
This is the first time we’re doing this ride. The information available to me regarding locations and trails has not been simple and clear. There is general confusion between the Dutchess Rail Trail, Harlem Valley Rail Trail, Hudson Valley Rail Trail, and trail conditions. After 66 emails, I have what I believe is a workable and fun ride. If we have any surprises, your sense of humor will be appreciated.
The driving time, from Commack, at the speed limit, with no major traffic jams, is about 2 hours. That’s just a bit more than going to Montauk, and maybe less for some. Some may just drive up for the day and go home, while some of us will stay over Friday night or Saturday night, or both.
Meeting place: Since virtually everyone either has a GPS or can use Google Maps, and there are so many ways to get there, I’ll provide an address: 61 Parker Avenue, Poughkeepsie, NY 12601. There are 2 parking lots. When I visited in September, the one near the road was privately owned, and being used by others to access the Walkway, with no fees or permits. That’s what I did. The other lot, behind the trail, had a vending machine that charged based on time. The choice seems easy, but make your own decision. Rules change, and Trail Boss has no influence with the Poughkeepsie Police.
The Ride: Meet at 10am. Our ride will include crossing the Walkway Over The Hudson at the north end, then turning around and riding to Hopewell Junction at the south end. A restaurant here could be a lunch spot, which might insure a slower return trip. Bring survival food, to allow for spontaneity and flexibility. The Rail Trail is interrupted in 2 parts – where the path is just not completed, and where a bridge is waiting to be built. From what I’ve been able to gather, we should be capable of dealing with these obstacles, and still have fun.
Recommended hotel (Trail Boss slept here, but the commemorative plaque hasn’t been placed yet): http://www.hiexpress.com/hotels/us/en/poughkeepsie/pouny/hoteldetail?cm_mmc=EMAIL-_-Pre_AWA-_-Pre_EX_20120901-_-usen-_-BODY2HOTEL
Check the “What’s Nearby” page for other things to do if you’re staying over.
Links (related to our event)
http://www.daddyosrestaurant.net/ (restaurant in Hopewell Junction - lunch spot?)
Walkway Over The Hudson
Walkway Over the Hudson State Historic Park
Dutchess Rail Trail: Trail Maps
The Palace Diner - Restaurant – Poughkeepsie, New York
Home Of Franklin D Roosevelt National Historic Site
Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome | America's Original Living Museum of Antique Airplanes!
Dutchess County Fair Rhinebeck NY
Vanderbilt Mansion National Historic Site
Bull and Buddha - Modern Pacific Cuisine
Poughkeepsie Galleria – The dominant shopping center and entertainment destination of Poughkeepsie, NY - Home
The Culinary Institute
RSVP: Please be sure that I’m aware of who’s coming, and how to reach you at if I need to (firstname.lastname@example.org).
If you need to reach me during the trip, my cell phone, which is normally off except while travelling, is 631-838-6488.
This page may change without warning, so be sure to check back before the trip.
LIE Exit 70. South to Route 27 (Sunrise Highway). East, through Southampton, Watermill, Bridgehampton, and East Hampton to the village of Montauk. In the center of town is a grassy field on the left side with a gazebo. Just before the gazebo, make a right turn and go 2 blocks to the ocean. The Royal Atlantic Beach Resort will be on the left. The annual tradition (from the 1980s) of meeting on Friday night at O'Murphy's has come to an end as of January 2019, when they closed their doors for good. So many happy memories. On Saturday morning, we will meet outside the Royal Atlantic at 9:30am. Ride at 10:00am. 17-25 miles. Moderately hilly (a few big ones). 4-6 hours (we stop a lot, chat, enjoy the scenery). If you need to, call George Waldbusser beginning Thursday at 631-838-6488 (this number good for this week only). Allow time for me to respond, as I might not answer immediately. Stay for the weekend if you can. On Sunday, we might do a local ride around the Montauk area. The Montauk Bike Shop, our source for bike support for over 30 years, has shut its doors. NOTE: Hotel rooms fill up as early as February - don't hesitate! FOUL WEATHER: Call 631-838-6488 7:00am on the morning of the ride. (This number good for this event only).
Special note, as per Newsday.com Staff March 14, 2016:
Town of East Hampton forbids anyone from wearing headphones while riding a bike, in-line skating, roller skating, or skateboarding. Cheating by only listening with one ear is also forbidden. Cyclists, skaters, and skateboarders on the highway must "ride in single file, and at no time shall in-line skates, roller skates or skateboards be operated two or more abreast, according to the law.
Some other useful links: Montauk Info
This one's for everyone, with no bicycles needed, but optional if you wish. You could think of it
as a family party. As such, we'll try to keep the format of this as flexible as
possible - almost as if it wasn't even planned.
Bring along food and drink, in coolers, as appropriate. Grills are available if you'd like to barbecue. Bring your own chairs if you don't like sitting on wooden picnic tables, or at least a blanket or sheet to provide padding on the bench. A tablecloth will make for a more pleasant dining experience. Bring layers of clothing to be sure you're comfortable. Bring any games that you might want to share with your friends.
Information about Heckscher State Park, including directions, is here.
A map of the park is here. Go to Parking Field #1, and head to the corner furthest from the entrance. There are about 5 bazillion picnic tables, and usually far fewer than that many people. If you're one of the first to arrive to just hang out, grab a table and make yourself comfortable. We could have a few people, or a lot of people.
There's no real start and end time for this, so come and go whenever you want. Trail Boss will plan on being at the park around noon.
on the morning of
Call the Trail Boss Hotline (631-499-3953) after
LIE exit 71. Turn right. Go 4 miles to the traffic circle. Go 3/4 around the circle and turn right. Go over the very small bridge and park in the municipal parking lot on the right. Distance from Commack is 37 miles; driving time is 45 minutes. Arrive by 9:30am. Ride at 10:00am. 20 miles. Flat with some hilly stretches. 3 hours.
Local bike shop: TWIN FORKS BICYCLES, 121 EAST MAIN STREET, Riverhead, NY 11901, PHONE 631-591-3082.
LIE exit 70. South to Route 27 (Sunrise Highway). East, through Southampton. After you pass the Southampton Golf Course on Route 27, watch for a sign on the left to Sag Harbor. Follow that road and the signs to Sag Harbor, and you'll bypass a lot of traffic. Park on West Water Street - use this location to get you there: Sag Harbor Cove Yacht Club, 8 West Water Street, Sag Harbor, NY. Link to Google Map: https://goo.gl/maps/ny6pq Use street parking - not spaces in front of businesses. Distance from Commack is 60 miles; driving time is 90 minutes. Arrive by 9:30am. Ride at 10:00am. Roughly 25 miles, depending on our whims. Hilly. 4 hours. Afterwards, we may have lunch in Sag Harbor, at the festival if it's happening that day. Check Sag Harbor Chamber of Commerce Events here.
LIE exit 73. Go east on routes 58 and 25 for 25 miles. Follow the signs for Greenport and the Shelter Island Ferry. Park at the Greenport Railroad Station. Link to Google Map: https://goo.gl/maps/k6M5zK33fQp. Distance from Commack is 60 miles; driving time is 90 minutes. Arrive by 9:30am. Board the ferry at 10:00am for a 10-minute trip. Rest rooms are available on Shelter Island near the ferry. The trip consists of a 12-mile loop with 3 optional pieces that bring the total mileage to 30. Moderate to very hilly. Lots of beautiful scenery and water views. If we're lucky, the ice cream shop won't have closed for the season. Take the ferry back to Greenport by 3:00pm. MAP
Piccozzi's Garage & Bike Shop
Bridge Street, Shelter Island Heights, NY, 11965
Shelter Island North Ferry
Greenport Maritime Festival (annual Fall event in Greenport) (their website isn't always kept up-to-date)
LIE exit 73. Go east on routes 58 and 25 for 17 miles past Riverhead. You will pass through Aquebogue, Jamesport, Mattituck, and Cutchogue, before reaching Southold. Park behind the Main Street Grill (deli) on the left (north) side of the road (opposite Mechanics Street ). Driving distance from Commack is 55 miles. Arrive by 9:30am. Ride at 10:00am. 14 miles. Moderately hilly. 3 hours. Picnic lunch on the beach after the ride if the weather is good, and it's still legal. (We've gone to this beach for years, and I can't believe they haven't placed any residency requirement on it. It's so out-of-the-way, they probably don't get many outsiders).
This parking lot normally requires Oyster Bay residency (or a ridiculous fee). Off-season we can just park there. This allows for a ride to Captree and back for about 20 miles. This is good when the wind is from the East, allowing for a return trip with the wind at our backs. Or, when the wind is from the West, we can ride through Jones Beach to the West End. After entering the parking lot, head to the left, and the small concession stand near the bike path.
LIE Exit 68 North (William Floyd Parkway). Go past Route 25, to Route 25A East. Bear left on Sound Avenue. Turn left on Hulse Landing Road (about 4 miles from William Floyd Parkway - watch for sign for Wildwood State Park). Continue on Hulse Landing road past the Deli on the left. Follow the right fork directly into Wildwood State Park. Expect to pay a parking fee unless you have an Empire Pass. After the toll booth, continue straight ahead into the main parking lot. Driving distance from Commack is 38 miles. Driving time 45 minutes. Arrive by 9:30am. Ride at 10:00am. 18 miles. Flat & hilly. 3 hours.
This is not a BALI event. But this is one of the largest bike events in the world, with over 32,000 bikers participating. (Trivia: Trail Boss did this ride for each year from 1985 thru 2015). Visit TD Five Boro Bike Tour | Bike New York for registration and tour information. After the trip, it's become a tradition for our friends to meet at Jeremy's Ale House near the Manhattan side of the Brooklyn Bridge. Trade stories of your adventure and celebrate your accomplishment over cold beer. Bring your bike, your helmet hair, and your sense of humor. To find Jeremy's: Take FDR Drive south. Use the Brooklyn Bridge/City Hall exit. Follow the signs to "Civic Center". Go down the exit ramp. Turn left at the traffic light. Go under the bridge. Take the first left turn (Dover Street). Go 2 blocks to Front Street. Turn right on Front Street. Jeremy's is at 228 Front Street between Peck Slip and Beekman Street. Their phone number is (212)964-3537. Helpful hint: Park near Jeremy's early in the morning so your car is where you need it to be later. Try to get there around 6:30am.
Contact Trail Boss: