Southold Town Board approves 100-mile bicycle ride event

The North Fork Century, a 100-mile bike ride planned for Aug. 26, has been given the green light for this year, but the Southold Town Board is considering future limitations on the number of for-profit bicycle rides using local roads.

The board voted Tuesday to approve the ride, primarily because the Greenport Fire Department earns between $12,000 and $15,000 for providing food to riders.

Board members said they were unimpressed that the event’s organizer isn’t local and is paid to run the rides.

“Where’s he from, Manhattan?” asked Councilman Chris Talbot. “You go on his website and it’s all about the North Fork being the way the Hamptons used to be. He’s making a living off the North Fork.”

Supervisor Scott Russell said the event’s organizers told him they believe they can use the town’s roads without permits, and that many other groups don’t even inform the town about large bike rides.

He said many events have a solid social purpose, but “every time we say yes, there’s only so much these small roads can hold.”

The board agreed to have the code committee discuss limiting the for-profit use of public roads.

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