It’s been a while since I undertook an overnight cycling trip. The idleness of the past few months gave me itchy feet. I was looking at a map trying to find a reasonably distant destination. The Hamptons caught my attention. I have yet to befriend anyone rich and famous residing there, so I’ve never ventured out that way. Pourquoi pas?
I checked the weather, reserved a B&B (I sold my camping gear after the New Zealand trip), and off I went.
The first half of the journey was unremarkable: an endless string of small towns, countless shopping plazas, fast-food outfits, busy roads, narrow shoulders – a reminder how rural America looks like, although a short distance from New York City. Judging by the number of flags on display and the fact that the majority of people didn’t wear masks, I made a wild guess: it’s Trump territory. Pedaling happened to be more difficult than I expected; I didn’t have legs by the end of the day.
Day two started much earlier – I was on the road at 6:30 am – because I wanted to avoid traffic, at least for a couple of hours, and I had a train to catch to go back to NYC. Using smaller streets whenever possible, I passed by many mansions hidden behind tall hedges; it wasn’t hard to notice that the notorious 1% is quite numerous. The surroundings, admittedly, were more pleasant than the day before.
After I passed the last Hampton, I swung by Montauk Lighthouse at the easternmost point of Long Island. Sore legs carried over from the previous day, so at the end I really struggled. Still, I had to cycle back to the town of Montauk to catch the train. It took the train close to 4 hours to bring me back to Brooklyn, whereas in Europe it would’ve taken about an hour.
The sun was shining bright both days, so, even though I put sunscreen on, I got a distinctive cyclist’s tan bordering on sunburns. Oh well, not the first time nor the last.
The Hamptons in numbers:
236 km – distance cycled
190 km – length of Long Island at its most distant points
$248 000 000 – worth of Fair Field, one of the largest estates in the country located in The Hamptons
$649 000 – yearly property tax for the above mentioned mansion