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Sunday, March 23, 2014

S24O Day Two

3.23.2014 38m
Woke up at 0500, thought about it for a moment. It was cold outside, probably 30F and boy do I love my Big Agnes sleeping bag. I was so toasty-warm I stayed in the bag and slept until 0800. Stirred outside and made breakfast, oatmeal and Starbucks Via. Struck camp.

Rode my bike along closed Runway 24 to transition from the camping area to the base ops/ control tower building:



Rode across Marine Park to meet my sister and her husband, then we went to a local diner for Second Breakfast which was very good. Western Omelette, etc. Back across Marine Park to Flatbush Ave, to the Marine Pkwy Bridge which is now called the Gil Hodges Bridge.

It's a drawbridge because back in the day, larger vessels used to moor at NAS Floyd Bennett. When I was a kid I remember seeing oilers and either LPH's or jeep carriers tied up there. Crossed the bridge, rode over to Fort Tilden. I spent a bit of time on the beach in Fort Tilden as a kid. Funny to see it demilitarized, with the old wooden barracks converted into community theater and the parade grounds turned into community gardens.

Rode over to Riis Park, which I also used as a kid. I remember learning about Jacob Riis in elementary school, they told us he was a tenement fighter. I remember thinking, he didn't do so much because the slums are still here, maybe they named the beach after him as a consolation prize. If nothing else, New Yorkers (and the Works Progress Administration) know how to build a beach house:


Continued west through Belle Harbor and the Rockaways. I have been apprehensive about riding in NYC only because of the reports of NYPD ticketing cyclists, and finally in Far Rockaway I came up to a red light with a waiting police car and in the block ahead, a van blocking the bike lane - a situation in which tickets are sometimes issued. I pulled up at the red light next to the patrol car and turned and waved and the cops, and when the light turned green I slow-rolled so that they passed the obstruction before I got there. That was really the only point of tension in two days of riding in the city.

I will say that a lot of the passing was done with two-foot spacing, whereas in Pittsburgh with the PA four-foot rule we're more used to seeing 3 or 4 feet. But all these NY passes were reasonable and comfortable, and the difference really only made me realize the change in Pennsylvania conditions.

Navigating across Queens was pretty straightforward, then I took Peninsula Blvd and Sunrise Highway the rest of the way. It was a great ride. The wind was mostly a crosswind out of the north. It continually impresses me how a trip across a known route (today, the second day) seems faster than a trip across an unknown route.

2:40 minutes from Marine Park to Wantagh. A very nice ride.


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