Ride to Montauk saved by deal to limit number of bicyclists

Participants in the 2011 Ride to Montauk at

Participants in the 2011 Ride to Montauk at a stop at the Westhampton Presbyterian Church in Westhampton Beach, in June 2011. Photo Credit: George Nicholas

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Organizers of Ride to Montauk, a popular bicycle ride across Long Island, agreed to limit participants in Saturday's event to 1,500 as part of a last-minute settlement with East Hampton Town and East Hampton Village, which sought to stop the event.

More than 2,000 people had signed up to ride, said Glen Goldstein, owner of event organizer Bicycle Shows U.S.

Some riders start at Penn Station, but others opt for shorter rides starting from Babylon, Shirley and East Hampton. The agreement prevents any riders from starting in East Hampton Town. That effectively cancels the shortest ride, a 30-mile route beginning in East Hampton, and a circular 70-mile route through East Hampton that was set to begin and end in Montauk, Goldstein said.

Goldstein called the reduction in riders financially "catastrophic" for the event, which he said makes little profit after paying for buses, food and other expenses. He said he must refund registration fees -- which the event's website says range from $100 to $300 -- to more than 500 riders and pay the town $5,000 and the village $1,500 to cover public safety costs for the event.

Goldstein said Friday that he was working out how to meet the agreed-upon number.

"I guess in some way we need to inform these people that, as a result of a court order, they cannot ride," he said. "We're in for a logistical adventure."

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East Hampton Town informed Goldstein this week that it would not issue a permit for the annual event, citing technical issues with the company's application as well as concerns over safety and traffic. The town board, at a special meeting Wednesday, directed town attorneys to seek a court order stopping the ride.

Citing similar issues, East Hampton Village also denied the company a permit this week. Village officials did not respond to a request for comment Friday.

The town and company reached a deal Friday in State Supreme Court in Riverhead, less than a day before the first riders are set to depart from Penn Station at 5 a.m. Saturday.


"It's a much better outcome than we were faced with in the application," said East Hampton Town Supervisor Larry Cantwell, who said the company's application called for up to 3,000 riders. "I'm pleased with the outcome."

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