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Author Topic: Advice on NY / CT / RI / MA Routes?  (Read 1074 times)

jdrouin

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Advice on NY / CT / RI / MA Routes?
« on: November 13, 2008, 03:22:50 PM »
Looks like I'll be storing my bike in Boston for the Winter and I'm wondering if anyone has advice on Bullet-speed, interesting routes in New England. I'm considering two possible routes:

(1) Ride to the end of Long Island on the Montauk Highway (don't know this road), catch the ferry to Block Island, and then another Ferry to Newport, RI. Stop in Providence to visit friends and then ride on back roads to Boston.

(2) Go up Rt. 9 into the Hudson Valley and chart a way up to Hartford CT. Stay with my folks in Wethersfield and then ride back roads to Boston.

Any advice on particularly fun or interesting roads would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,

Jeff

taildraggin

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Re: Advice on NY / CT / RI / MA Routes?
« Reply #1 on: November 13, 2008, 07:43:55 PM »
Jeff:

I live on the North Fork of LI - both forks are prime Bullet country and your idea of going to NE this way is good.  I'm assuming that you are taking your time and scenic (as possible) backroads.

You'll have to go from Orient Pt Ferry, though, the Block Island ferry from Montauk is peds and bicycles only.  The Orient ferry goes to New London, CT and is a nice trip past Plum Island.   You can catch another ferry to Block from New London, but I don't think it carries vehicles, either.  Point Judith (RI) is the only ferry to Block for vehicles, I believe.

Where are you starting from?  I'd actually go thru the city - fun.  It's the outer boroughs that are ugly and challenging. 

From Manhattan, I'd head out on Route 25A all the way to Orient Point to the ferry.  Quite a lot of change from one end to the other.  It is a 'city ride' until Manhasset, then improves with each mile.  This is the road described by Fitzgerald in "The Great Gatsby" (from the Manhattan to Roslyn).

From New London, you have quite a lot of good back road options.  I'd just take any one of the little back roads that spider up toward Boston, perhaps Rt 12 up the Thames to Rt 16  at Webster into Boston.  Route 1 (Boston Post Road) will get you there, through all the coastal towns and a kick over to Newport.  Eastern CT and RI are pretty country, away from the Interstates.

- Charlie
« Last Edit: November 13, 2008, 07:57:22 PM by taildraggin »
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jdrouin

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Re: Advice on NY / CT / RI / MA Routes?
« Reply #2 on: November 18, 2008, 02:24:56 PM »
Well, Charlie, you've definitely piqued my literary interest, so I'm taking 25A. Those passages in Gatsby are some of my favorites. I'll have to reread it before taking the trip. Too bad I'll be doing it in Winter, without the surreal effect of the Summer heat described in the novel.

Also, thanks for the information that the Montauk ferry to Block Island is bicycles and pedestrians only. I finally checked out their website, and they're done for the season, anyway. The ferry from Orient Point seems to run year round.

I'm coming from South Brooklyn, so I'd probably just take local streets up to Williamsburg, Greenpoint, and Long Island City and find my way to Northern Blvd. I could take the BQE, which I ride down to the Belt Parkway to go to Floyd Bennett Field, but it's a little harsh on the tailbone.

Anyway, I'll report back once I've made the trip.

Jeff

taildraggin

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Re: Advice on NY / CT / RI / MA Routes?
« Reply #3 on: November 18, 2008, 04:36:00 PM »
I live a few miles from the Orient Ferry.  They're pretty large ferries.  You might want to catch the Cape Henlopen, their flagship.  She is a converted LST and she participated in the landings at Normandy.   

The BQE has been fixed up recently, so it's...better.  I used to call it the worst piece of road in America, but it's actually just a little tight and scary now.  The Belt Pkwy is now my least favorite and I'd say a dangerous place for a motorcycle.  I'd take Flatbus Ave, if you can.  Bennett Field is a pretty historic place, if you're into aviation history. 

The 'Cradle of Aviation' museum in Garden City is in some of the old Mitchel Field hangars and has some neat stuff.  Roosevelt Field, Curtiss Field and Mitchel Field were adjoined.  (Lindbergh's runway is a shopping mall nearby.)

Yes, the worst bits he wrote about during the ride are now Flushing Meadow - the World's Fair site and Shea Stadium are on the site of the old city dump. 

Don't get confused by RT25 -  RT25A is the one you want.

- Charlie
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jdrouin

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Re: Advice on NY / CT / RI / MA Routes?
« Reply #4 on: November 19, 2008, 12:29:02 AM »
Well, the section of the BQE between the Prospect Expressway and the Belt Parkway has been under construction for a couple of months, with lane closings, potholes and grooved concrete all over the place. At one point you're down to a single lane with concrete barriers on both sides and two nice strips of gravel. That means you have to ride on the center line, where there are raised rectangular sewer grates about every 50 feet. When you're stuck between an SUV and a tractor trailer at +/- 50 MPH, you have to stand and sit at a rhythm that makes you look like you're galloping a horse. All this while turning your head to avoid being sprayed by the sprinkler system in the center of the bridge, where they're doing some sort of heavy construction.

I'm not a bragging sort of guy, but at least I can say I'm not a wimp because I ride a 50 year old motorcycle on the BQE -- and *like* it!

In contrast I find the Belt Parkway to be pretty relaxed. What strikes me the most (I guess since I'm new to motorcycling) is how many people smoke marijuana while driving cars. I find it most frequently on the Belt, but also in other areas. I did have a couple of hairy moments with aggressive speeders this afternoon, though. It's just not cool to do 80 mph in a 50 mph zone and suddenly cross two lanes without even signaling.

Thanks again for the tips. I'll try to catch that Cape Henlopen. And some day I'll make a pilgrimage to those other airfields.

Jeff