Connecting the dots through photos… Authored by Michael Surtees

Cycling from NYC to Montauk

Cycling from NYC to Montauk

For the past couple of years I've found myself riding less and less. There isn't any one contributing factor that I can pin point. For the most part I'm not cycling to work so I'm working out more at the gym. While I'm more active now than before there exercise inside is a different experience from outside.

When it comes to exercise goals, nothing beats cycling. I've enjoyed the challenge and dedication that is needed for the Festive 500 (challenge yourself to ride 500km with Rapha in the eight days between Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve). It was a great way to put the year in perspective and confidence that anything can happen in the next year.

This year I noticed an announcement in an email from a bike store about a Ride to Montauk. Thinking about it - I asked myself how I couldn't do it? As I thought about it, my wife Nina was incredibly supportive of the crazy idea. The only catch was that it was only two weeks away with almost no time to really train on the road before hand. After making a list of what I would need to do—book a hotel room in Montauk, book 2 seats on the Ambassador bus for the ride home and fill out the registration form, I was good to go.

So I only had two weeks to train which meant only one true weekend to get outside. The total distance to Montauk from Penn Station is 150 miles so I would ride a 100 miles the weekend before to get my legs used to things. 50 miles Saturday, 50 miles Sunday to see how I could handle things. I wasn't perfect, struggled a bit near the end on Sunday but having completed the distance I felt confident that I could actually ride 150 miles in a day - even if it wasn't going to be pretty.

The week and night before the ride brought on a lot of anxiety. There were so many unknowns. Could I actually do the ride, could I do this without getting lost, I had no idea where I was going to meet Nina afterwards, plus would I even have enough battery power for my iPhone, GPS computer and headphones.

After not sleeping much I was up at 4a and on the road before 5a. Being up that early on my bike with little to no traffic in NYC was quite the experience–its was so quiet! Not having to worry about all the cars speeding around nor pedestrians was a unique and memorable experience.

After signing in at Penn Station I turned my GPS unit on, turned the cycling app that would give me directions on—I was pretty much off. Below are some of the things I saw from the saddle as I rode 150+ miles from NYC to Montauk (09/15/2018).

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