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May 28, 2014 4:37 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press

UPDATE: Ride To Montauk, Reduced And Restricted In Settlement, Will Take Place Saturday

Jun 1, 2014 6:19 PM


The Ride to Montauk will happen on Saturday after all, according to East Hampton Town Attorney Elizabeth Vail.

In State Supreme Court on Friday, the town settled with Bicycle Shows U.S. and withdrew its request for a temporary restraining order to block the event.

The settlement allows the event to continue with stipulations: only 1,500 bicyclists may participate and there cannot be a starting point in East Hampton town or village.

Bicycle Shows U.S. agreed to stick to police-approved routes within the village and the town and agreed to reimburse both municipalities for police enforcement and overtime costs related to the event, Ms. Vail said.

“They did acknowledge they had never had a permit on the record,” she added.

According to East Hampton Village Administrator Becky Molinaro, the village had denied the permit for similar reasons.

The underlying complaint is still before State Supreme Court.

When reached on Friday afternoon, Glen Goldstein, one of the event organizers, said the whole scenario has him perplexed.

“I’m not sure what happened to tell you the truth,” he said. “I don’t understand what happened. They were concerned there wasn’t enough time … I am baffled. I’ve been doing this for 17 years and the ride has been around for 50 years.”

The Narrowsburg native said 2,000 participants will be biking on Saturday, but approximately 700 of those bicyclists signed up for the East Hampton leg of the route. They are trying to figure out what to do with those 700 bicyclists at the moment, Mr. Goldstein said.

“I’m pretty frazzled. All we want to do is ride bikes. We have no political message, we are not protesters. I didn’t realize it’d be so complicated,” he said. “ I cannot say today is the worst day of my life, but it’s certainly fighting for that title.”


The East Hampton Town Board on Wednesday called a special meeting to block a Long Island-wide bicycle ride on Saturday that ends in Montauk—and was expected to draw at least 3,000 people to the area, because organizers didn’t secure the proper permits.

Town officials said that Bicycle Shows U.S., which organizes the annual Ride to Montauk, filed a mass gathering permit application on May 12 for the event, but should have filed a commercial gathering permit instead since the organization is not a not-for-profit. They did so on May 15, but didn’t have the necessary documents, according to Town Clerk Carole Brennan.

Assistant Town Attorney Michael Sendlenski told the board that a mass gathering permit must be submitted at least 30 days prior to an event to be reviewed. Since that was not the case, the permit was not reviewed in time and therefore not granted to Bicycle Shows U.S.

He said town officials were concerned that the event would go on as planned, without a permit, so the town will file for a temporary restraining order on Thursday in State Supreme Court to block the event.

If the bike ride continues, he said Bicycle Shows U.S. could be charged with contempt.

According to Ms. Brennan, when Glen Goldstein of Bicycle Shows U.S. filed the mass gathering permit, it was for 5,000 participants, but when he filed the commercial permit, he said there would be 3,400 participants.

She said he has a permit from Southampton Town, which limited the number of participants to 1,500.

Mr. Goldstein could not be reached for comment on Wednesday.

Ride to Montauk is an annual bike ride that spans from Manhattan to Montauk, with different start locations across Long Island, in Babylon, Mastic-Shirley and East Hampton. There are rest stops in Lynbrook, Babylon, Blue Point, Westhampton, Water Mill and Amagansett, where supporters will wait with food. There will also be a free hot shower mobile at finish line, and free massages, too.

It is not a fundraising event, according to Ms. Brennan, but according to Ride to Montauk’s website, the company donates to the Lynbrook Fire Department, the Westhampton Presbyterian Church, the Amagansett Presbyterian Church, the National Heritage Trust, Leukemia Team in Training and the BULA Project that sends necessities to Fiji.

None of the bike riders need to raise money to participate, the website says, but just pay the ride fee—$100 to $300, depending on which route the bikers choose.

East Hampton Town Police Chief Michael Sarlo said the department has dealt with the event in the past, but it used to be a ride “through” the town.

“Route changes have made this mostly a ride ‘throughout’ the town on many, many rural roads,” he said. “There is much more congestion, a heavier volume of bikes, and many more roads impacted.”

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Absolutely ridiculous. Spending time and money to most likely hire outside counsel and seek an injunction just to stop a bike ridding event. Wouldn't it be a better and more economical use of taxpayer resources to just help this group get the proper permit instead of just saying NO and hiding behind technicalities in the law? And who is this unknown tough guy town attorney threatening contempt charges? Very welcoming for potential event holders. Will he be doing the legal work himself or outsourcing ...more
By Eamonn (17), East Hampton on May 28, 14 7:35 PM
2 members liked this comment
This is a ride through town on the way to Montauk. New York State laws state that Bikes have the same right as cars to travel on roads.
Do the cars need a permit to get to Montauk? Do the people who own homes inThe Hamptons need to get a permit NO!.
This is a breach of NY state vehicular law!
By EdPino (1), Queens, New York on May 28, 14 9:41 PM
If any group organized a gathering of 3-5,000 cars to drive through EH Town, it too would need the necessary permits.
By PBR (4956), Southampton on May 29, 14 3:27 AM
They also have to follow the same rules of the road, which I consistently and constantly year in, and year out watch bicyclists blatantly disregard (full stop at STOP signs, etc.).

"Breach of law"?

You don't want to go there...
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on May 31, 14 7:30 AM
2 members liked this comment
The only bad thing about Bike Rides or really the riders is that in large groups they think they own the road. They don't ride single file and make you go around them but sometimes you can't because of oncoming traffic. They talk and sight see and ignore cars because of the mob mentality.
By lirider (288), Westhampton Beach on May 29, 14 6:51 AM
Reported elsewhere -- EH Town applied for a TRO yesterday in Riverhead, and a ruling is expected today.
By PBR (4956), Southampton on May 30, 14 10:02 AM
Why didn't Bike Rides just follow the rules and do it the right way?
By metsfan2 (163), southampton on May 30, 14 11:42 AM
Perhaps the previous administration's laxity has something to do with this?
By PBR (4956), Southampton on May 30, 14 12:47 PM
Article updated. Mr. Goldstein needs to learn that East Hampton Town's mass gathering permit process is not personal to him.

Thank you to the Town Board for this fresh wind of change.
By PBR (4956), Southampton on May 30, 14 4:44 PM
Whatever the motivation, this was the most ridiculous piece of legal work authorized by this Board so far. The same outcome could have been achieved with a phone call or brief meeting with the applicant. They were never uncooperative or unwilling to work with the Town, but instead the Town hid behind the minutia of the law and felt it was more self serving to haul everyone up to Supreme Court to simply negotiate a smaller event. No matter what your affiliation, this is absurd and defies logic. It ...more
By Eamonn (17), East Hampton on May 30, 14 7:02 PM
Can't wait to find out how much money is actually donated to the amagansett Presbyterian church...... If any
By H2O (85), easthampton on May 30, 14 7:49 PM
I have done the 100 mile Ride to Montauk many times in years past. I also happen to be a litigation attorney. I live on Long Island and have friends in East Hampton with whom I have spent considerable time. I understand the narrow-minded, and sometimes elitist NIMBY mentality of Eastenders, although it is not exclusive to them. Residents get paranoid when they hear that 3,000 cyclists will be coming through some part of their community. I would be willing to be that most East Hampton residents ...more
By HalAluya (1), on May 30, 14 11:00 PM
You missed the mark, counselor, in my opinion. See comments below.
By PBR (4956), Southampton on May 31, 14 5:55 AM
Sorry Hal but it IS a nuisance. They (or you) ride 4 or 5 across on the very narrow roads and pretend cars don't exist. Never have I seen a single one on any of these "rides" obey the laws of the road...i.e.; stopping at stop signs, red lights etc.I don't think residents are paranoid at all. Some of the cyclists think they own the roads. I can guarantee you that a two ton piece of steel will remind them otherwise. Good luck and stay to the right for God's sake!
By squeaky (291), hampton bays on May 31, 14 6:19 AM
1 member liked this comment
Lost count of the number of times a "cyclist" blew through a stop sign, and I had to slam on the brakes.

Can't cops write tickets for "failure to yield" in such case?
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on May 31, 14 7:27 AM
1 member liked this comment
No. They can write a ticket for not stopping.
By VOS (1241), WHB on Jun 1, 14 11:15 PM
The simple solution to this is to not have the event anytime between Memorial Day and Labor Day. Have it in early May or in September or October. This isn't 1975 anymore. Times have changed, the population has exploded, the Hamptons and Montauk are a weekend destination for far more people from Suffolk, Nassau, Queens, Brooklyn and Manhattan than they used to be.
By btdt (449), water mill on May 30, 14 11:01 PM
1 member liked this comment
The town has rules and codes to ensure public safety. If this is an annual event, why did they wait until the last conceivable minute to file for permits? Why were the organizers not aware of town code regarding the number of cyclists?

Don't lay blame on the town for expecting procedure to be followed, and desiring that proper protocol be followed, IMHO.
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on May 30, 14 11:26 PM
2 members liked this comment
Nailed it on Z head!

Want to organize a "mass gathering?"

Apply for a permit per the long-standing laws on the books, in a timely fashion, supply all the required paperwork (also in a timely fashion), and you will probably get a permit of some kind, although previous years' permissions may no longer be the blueprint for future events.


[especially for a repeat event, which should have known better]

Kudos to the Town Board for sticking to The Rule ...more
By PBR (4956), Southampton on May 31, 14 5:52 AM
As they pedaled through sleep-little Eastport this morning, automobile speeds went down, for sure, but the cyclists' prescence failed to qualify as a case of apnea.
By sunsick (4), Manorville on May 31, 14 2:00 PM
So, do I need a permit for me and my 11 year old to ride a bike in East Hampton nowadays? I'm very confused.
By whatapity (106), Tuckahoe on Jun 1, 14 4:31 PM
You may want to ask your 11 year old to read this to you again.
By But I'm a blank! (1283), Hampton Bays on Jun 9, 14 4:43 PM
This country is slowly losing all its freedoms.
By chief1 (2800), southampton on Jun 1, 14 10:48 PM
Most of the comments contain valid points. I participated in the ride and do other rides. As for the legal stuff - whatever. There was miscommunication and all parties could have handled better. As for bike riders and the rules of the road, while on the ride I watched a lot of the cats going through stop signs with less "stop" than many of the cyclists. It seems that everyone wants to have everything their way. Cars want cyclists to obey the rules of the road. But if we ride in their way, ...more
By RiderinMA (1), Ashland on Jun 2, 14 10:51 AM
Cats don't have to stop at stop signs. They pretty much don't have to do anything they don't want to do. Once you understand that, life with a cat is much easier.

So what freedoms are we losing Chief? Is it unreasonable for a municipality to have in place a permit process where resources may be needed, traffic will be impacted, etc?
You just like to complain.
By But I'm a blank! (1283), Hampton Bays on Jun 9, 14 12:48 PM
^^^^^ cats hahahahahah. You know, that point can't be argued
By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on Jun 9, 14 1:01 PM
Glen is 'confused' all the way to the bank.
By ann lombardo (4), southampton on Jun 10, 14 6:38 PM
Glen here -- organizer of the event.

I've been running this event for 17 years. We've never had a problem with an East Hampton permit in all that time. It's always been easy and straightforward, and we have been grateful. There have been group bicycles rides to Montauk for 50 years -- no one could possibly be surprised to see us. (You know when you go to a party and that guy introduces himself and you want to say, "We've met five times before..." Yeah, like that.)

I live in ...more
By gleng1 (1), NARROWSBURG on Jun 13, 14 9:55 AM
1 member liked this comment