Bike tours that take you along the vineyards, breweries and fruit farms of the North Fork
Pedal tours past farms and vineyards have resumed on Long Island, offering a chance to take in the scenes of the North Fork wine country and expand the craft brewery landscape.
“Every weekend I ride from Albertson to Mattituck,” says Nicole DeLaurentis, co-owner of East End Bike Tours in Mattituck. “Every time we reach Highway 24 and see the swamp and then see nature, it makes my heart happy.”
The Pedal Company of DeLaurentis, among others, gives Long Islanders the chance to get away, without traveling far.
“Riverhead is really becoming more of a destination, and we’re creating more of an experience for people to enjoy the neighborhood,” says East Northport resident Victoria Clacherty, whose family founded Brew Crew Cycles. “People really like to take pictures while we’re out there and a lot of drivers honk their horns when they see us. They seem happy to see us.”
Here are three boozy, socially distanced bike tours to try.
BREW TEAM CYCLES
A great match for even the most inexperienced cyclist, this bike tour is a team effort as everyone who comes to pedal will do so while riding a 14 person bike. “Even if you haven’t ridden a bike in a while, you’d be fine…and that’s why we have a minimum of people, so you don’t really have to pedal that much,” says Clacherty.
Brew Crew Cycles is currently only open to private groups to book a tour. Before the pandemic, smaller groups could sign up to share a ride with others. “People could meet on the tours and get to know each other,” says Clacherty. But now, to keep things safer, only one group of 8-14 people is needed to book a tour. Interested parties can choose a “classic” tour that lasts between two and two and a half hours – and stops at various breweries and pubs – or try a shorter, shorter “sunset” tour (1.5 to 2 hours) which also stops at similar places.
The change in how tours are organized hasn’t slowed business, Clacherty says. “It’s a very nice opportunity because it’s outdoors, you’re not so close to people, you’re outdoors and you can have a good time.”
NEWS 205b Marcy Ave, Riverhead; 631-722-1516, brewcrewcycles.com; weekday rates: $300 to $375; Sat.-Sun. : $350 to $450.
BIKE TOURS IN THE EAST
Offering both private and self-guided bike tours, you’ll cycle through some of the North Fork’s rural landscapes on an East End bike tour. “You can spend the day from the seat of a bicycle – which, by the way, is completely different from being in a car – really enjoying the real beauty that is found along the back roads” , notes DeLaurentis. “You can become one with nature.”
Tour stops vary. “We always do our best to make it tasteful and really share the best that North Fork has to offer,” says DeLaurentis. “We always stop at the beach and will do a tasting of infused olive oil and fine vinegar at some point, at a table with linens adorned with a bouquet of fresh flowers. We stop at farms local for fresh fruits and vegetables.”
Themed walks include a ‘Classic Wine Country Tour’, a circuit of approximately 13.5 miles which includes stops at two vineyards, while the longer ‘Brewery and Vineyard Tour’ (approximately 18 miles) also includes a stop in a brewery.
NEWS 13200 Main Road, Mattituck; 631-871-1666, eastendbiketours.com. Prices start at $99 for tours; bikes can also be rented by the day (up to 8 hours), both single ($55) and double ($110).
POUR & PEDAL
Offering open public tours on weekends and private tours on weekdays for groups of eight or more, the walking tours are led by a guide and include tastings at two wineries, a visit to a winery, a picnic lunch with caterer and water, as well as a bike ride in a vineyard. Participants must be able to cycle at a relaxed pace up to 5-8 miles at a time; tours are 13 miles long.
NEWS 10200 Main Road, Mattituck; 516-987-8751, forandpedal.com; The price is $130.