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Saturday, March 22, 2014

Bike Camping Brooklyn NY S24O Floyd Bennett Field

3/22/2014 31m
I have long wanted to bike camp at Floyd Bennett Field, which is now part of the Gateway National Park, America's first urban national park. Being in LongGuyLand gave me a chance to go, and I couldn't pass up the chance for a S24O (tumblr) even though the forecast overnight low temperature was expected to be 32F.

Departed Wantagh at about 1330. Rode across Nassau County to Queens, and took Peninsula Blvd into the Rockaways. Rode across the Rockaways to Riis Park and the Marine Parkway Bridge, which took me into Brooklyn. I hadn't biked across that bridge since 1970 (with my buddy John Nelson, in 9th grade), it was funny to be back there again.

Continued along Flatbush Ave to Floyd Bennett Field. One block of hangers is now an indoor hockey arena and sports complex, which is pretty cool. The old control tower/ base ops building is a visitor center. The two NPS rangers on duty were extremely helpful. One ranger, Roberta McAlman, who checked me in and gave me a briefing to the park and procedures, was particularly excellent.




I checked in, rode my bike across the field, and went to my campsite. There was an ample supply of firewood. I set up my tent, got a fire going, and cooked Pad Thai dinner using my JetBoil.

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The camping facilities were really excellent. Nice layout, pretty country, very nice. As always, I'm still looking for a pastoral idyll that has high-speed wifi, but there was excellent 4G coverage on the cellphone spectrum. One discovery that wasn't a problem but might have been: this is a no-hammock facility. Fortunately, on this trip I'd left my Hennessy Hammock home and brought my Big Agnes tent, but I would have been up the proverbial creek if I'd brought the hammock. So: word up.

This was an excellent first-of-the-year shakedown. One casualty: my front fender didn't survive a bike fall when I left it leaning against the BaseOps building. One lesson learned: I broke my normal pattern and left my key ring at my host's house, which had the unfortunate effect of leaving my bike keys behind so I learned about not breaking patterns.

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