This Monday I went on what was to be my longest bike ride yet, and first overnight ride: Babylon to Orient Point. Reaching the end of long island had long been on my list of intermediate adventure goals, in my mind somewhat of a stepping stone to being more extended bike trip capable. However, on a sunny early summer day it proved to be more than anything a great way to get out of the city and experience nature. Well, sort of nature. A gradient gradually shifting toward nature over 100 miles anyway.
It’s very flat on the south side of the island. I took the montauk highway to westhampton, went north to riverhead and took 25 all the way to Orient. Counting missteps and the initial bike to Jackson Heights to catch the train, it was about 85 miles the first day, and 40 the second (I biked back to riverhead for the train). Some important lessons I learned:
- At least starting out, there is a HUGE difference between 60 and 80 miles. Like, I felt 500% more tired after this section.
- Arms, wrists, and shoulders will be more tired than legs in the end.
- Eat a lot.
- Even though you are eating a lot, don’t eat 4 macaroons, a bunch of arroz con frijoles and a liter of passionfruit juice at once. You will still feel like insulin induced shit.
- Sunscreen under your shorts. They ride up while you’re sitting, and your legs will look like Neopolitan ice cream if you neglect this fact.
- Bring soap. Always. The grime of 100 miles of exhaust is more than you would predict.
- Stealth camping is awesome, but don’t freak out and book it through a bunch of brush when you mistake a deer for a person.
- Know the train times ahead of time. Most important lesson here.
- 4 liters of water a day is ideal. 3 wasn’t even enough.