For my life, I felt as if I must catch up to him.
"Hey man, how are you?"
"Good, too. Where are you riding from?"
And that is the first what the fuck moment of the ride. Another comes shortly after that. So, meet this kid, Matty, from Brooklyn and he becomes this inspiration in a way. He is 24, young as shit on a fixie on his way out to Montauk keeping a 16mph pace. My god, he was like an angel from heaven. I felt as if I were slowing down……getting tired…..just pedaling. But, this kid coming from the same place, doing the same ride I was, was exactly the jolt I needed….on a single speed fucking bike no less!
We got to talking while riding, hit some hill in East Hampton and right before that happened, he asked me where I was originally from. I told him Pittsburgh. The guy is from the same fucking place. Really? Pittsburgh. Amazing and surreal blood begins to flow through my veins. It didn't matter if I had a hotel booked or not, this shit was happening.
And, to not go into exposition, the conversation Matty and me had was beyond amazing. He showed me photos of his work. Incredible!
So, we keep riding to Amagansett. He has some work that he wants to show to a gallery owner out there. I carry on.
From Amagansett to Montauk is still another 11 miles. Again, I wish I had a photo, at least one. But it was about 6:00 or so then. Sun setting. Miles to ride. On and on, beautiful landscape, focusing too much on pavement as the sun is now down to really focus on it. My phone was down to 1% battery.
Dark now. Really dark. There is a crossroads on Rte. 27. Old Montauk Highway or Rte. 27. I turn to my left, 27. Climb a crazy hill. My headlight on my bike was dying. No phone to see where I really am. Climbing, climbing, climbing. That hill was great at night. I couldn't see its height so it didn't ruin me. So, get to the crest and it's awesome riding, rolling, dipper hills.... Then after a few minutes, I look to my right and see all of these lights. Should I have stayed on the old road? I panic.
Stupidly, I turn around and go back down the hill, get on the other road and take the long ass, scary, nowhere ride on Old Montauk Highway into town.
Upon getting to the circle of Montauk, I am exhausted. Spent. Done. Such a shitty detour. I search my pockets for the original cue I had. Gone. Back pocket, panic. Left pocket, panic……no idea of the exact name or address of where I'm staying as it was all on that sheet of paper.
All I knew is that is was Kenny's?????something?????Inn????
I got directions, was told it was "about" three miles away on the harbor and up a hill. Fuck. Another hill. As I was climbing the last ascent of the ride, my arms were incredibly wobbly. My dying front light was splayed across the road in such awkward directions. Exhausted, and kinda like Alien, a new fear set in. Deer. Every car behind me displayed them. Silent to my right. Scary shit, actually really scary shit. Alas, the final descent and then the hotel. 135 miles or so, 10.5 hours.
The rest of the trip looked like this (the last photo is Matty from PGH, a bit of a knucklehead, but a rare one) :
Passed Through: Southampton, Water Mill, Sagaponack, East Hampton, Amagansett, MONTAUK!