I’ve been spending some vacation time at the beach in these final days (sigh!) before Labor Day. One of my favorite cycling destinations and hang-outs is Montauk, where a surfer vibe flows from funky T-shirt shops on Main Street to hot new boutique hotels to the storied shores of Ditch Plains Beach.
Bicycles, especially beach cruisers, are a great way to enjoy the ocean breezes and to sail past traffic congestion. To get you to the beach and back with ease, I’ve posted a few finds from out East:
To reach this hamlet on the eastern tip of the South Fork, load your bike onto the Montauk Branch of the Long Island Railroad and take it to The End. (Be sure to note bicycle restrictions on peak trains, though.) For tips on where to eat, shop and ride in Montauk, check out my online travel guide at Momentum Magazine.
Rack It: Parking can be a hassle at the surfing beaches. Bypass the crowds by toting your board on your bike with a rack that attaches to your seatpost (top photo). Bonus: This hauler helps keep your frame from getting dinged. Carver, CRS Mini (for boards up to 8 ft.), $99.
Cruiser Chic: If you like your beach cruiser with a little edge, then check out fashion designer James Perse’s vintage-inspired bikes. The custom-built, limited-edition models stand up to sand and salt with heavy steel frames, 1-speed coaster brake hubs and extra-wide, 2-inch rims with 2.125-inch tires. Available in four colors, $2,500.
Credit for Revolving: A trip to the shore often means hauling a whole family’s worth of bicycles. The innovative design of the Revolver from Thule enables you to swing the fully loaded 4-bike rack away from the rear hatch for easy access to your cargo area. That means no more loading and unloading the bikes when packing coolers and beach chairs. The only hitch is that this rack requires, well, a trailer hitch. Thule, 964 Revolver, $469.95.
Check in for a Ride: Ruschmeyer’s, the summer-camp-themed boutique hotel (above) that opened its doors at the beginning of the season offers guests cute customized Dutch-style bicycles, while the neighboring Surf Lodge stocks a colorful fleet of cruisers.
Top photo: R-3’s Flickr