Bikeways, beaches, vineyards and views: Long Island is a great cycling escape.
Powdery white sands, lighthouses, rocky bluffs, regal mansions, and rolling vineyards. Long Island has scenery in spades, and much of it is accessible by its 200-plus miles of bikeways. Take in Long Island Sound on the 27 miles within Caumsett State Historic Preserve, ride the Ocean Parkway Coastal Greenway to buzzing Jones Beach, or explore the interior on the Nassau-Suffolk Greenbelt Trail (there’s a parallel mountain biking trail, too).
Farther out on the island, Glacier Ridge is the top MTB spot, with 12 miles of speedy flow, tight turns, and sandy sections. Also great: the steep climbs and varied terrain of Rocky Point and the spectacular ocean views of Hither Woods.
Gravel is harder to come by on LI, unless you hug the shoulders of the bikeways, so your best bet is to head back to New York City and beyond (the dirt multi-use trails in the Bronx, the backroads and pastoral farms of Westchester, or the woodsy hills across the George Washington Bridge).
With such a large population in the area, the options for organized rides are impressive: the North Fork Century (13–100 miles), the Gold Coast Tour (12–100 miles), the Empire State Ride to End Cancer Long Island (10–62 miles), and Bike to the Beach—a century ride to benefit autism that starts in Manhattan and finishes with a beach party in Westhampton. Too far? There are half-century and quarter-century options, but the party stays the same.