Thursday, July 5, 2012

Shelter Island

I wasn't planning to take a bike ride on the Fourth of July, but since I didn't have any better to do....

View Shelter Island in a larger map

On Tuesday I rode around the southern side of the island, from East Hampton to Southampton, and found a lot of traffic. So on Wednesday, I wanted to stick to the northern part of (this fork of) the island, in hopes that there would be fewer cars.

Shelter Island, from the ferry
I didn't get started until about 1 PM. While it wasn't hot, it was pretty warm and the thick humidity was unfamiliar to me. I started off the same way as I had the day before, but took the road up to the Shelter Island ferry. I wasn't sure whether I'd go over that way, but since the ferries obviously ran continuously, I decided to make Shelter Island my target.

I took the ferry road, which is still called Route 114, north. If I remember correctly there's no bike lane marked on the road, but it's a comfortable ride nonetheless. There was, as I had hoped, much less traffic than there had been the day before.

I rode along the east side of the island among woods and houses, and turned right on Ram Island Drive, which is basically a causeway heading to that island. Along this road I started to see a few fellow bicyclists. Traffic took the form of either work trucks of various types, or electric carts.

Ram Island, from the causeway
I rode around the island, returned, and resumed the trip north on the road that follows the edge of the island. It goes by several names, and gives occasional glimpses of the water in between houses. I rode around Dering Harbor, on the north side of the island, and approached another ferry that carries Route 114 to whatever land is to the north. I decided not to cross that gap, and instead headed back south on Route 114. After a quick stop to refill on liquids, that is.

Shelter Island meeting house
Route 114 passes through a little downtown area, right in the middle of the island. I went through that, then took residential roads south, eventually meeting back up with 114 and the ferry. After the ferry ride, I extended the ride a little by heading through Sag Harbor, then down Brick Kiln road and back up Long Beach Road.

Elevation profile
This Independence Day ride was only about 30 miles, with a couple of hundred feet of climbing on short (but sometimes steep) ramps.

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