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Gold Coast bike tour barred from Oyster Bay Cove roads

The Village of Oyster Bay Cove has barred the Huntington Bicycle Club from using about 2.6 miles of village road during the club's 32nd annual Gold Coast Tour this Sunday, an attorney representing the club said.

The stretch of the roughly 100-mile ride from Greenlawn to Port Washington would take some of the expected 800 to 900 cyclists from Route 25A, down Cove Road/East Main Street -- a two-lane road in a residential area -- and bring them to a rest stop at Oyster Bay High School, said Michael Kalachman, a member of the club who plans to lead a group of riders on Sunday.

The alternative route would direct riders along Route 25A, a ride Kalachman described as dangerous because of traffic volume and speed. "Cove Road is safer than 25A," said Kalachman, who expressed concern for participants' convenience and safety. " is busier, with a lot less shade, but using 25A is better than having participants go to jail."

The Village of Oyster Bay Cove and its attorney did not return calls, but in a June 25 letter to bike club president Tracy Riedinger, village attorney Christopher Wagner wrote that because the bike tour did not have a permit from the village, village police would "take all necessary precautions and enforcement actions to ensure compliance."

The letter said the village would not grant the club a permit "due to safety concerns."

This is poor public policy, and it makes everyone look bad on Long Island when we're trying to encourage clubs to go out and do things," said Cary Kessler, the bike club's attorney, who plans to ride a leg of the tour.

Riedinger wrote that "no participant will be given any map or instructions to ride over Village Roads within Oyster Bay Cove," in a letter to the village attorney, but Kessler and Kalachman said they do not know whatcourse the club will take on Sunday.Last year, the tour was rerouted after three municipalities, including Oyster Bay Cove, banned riders from local roads. But after contacting them earlier this year to better explain the event, Kessler, said the club's only opposition came from Oyster Bay Cove.

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