View Down the Shore Bikeway at Erskine in Brooklyn

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Yesterday’s ride was a short one-down the hill to Penn Station on the Brompton for our ritzy train ride up to NYC. Best laid plans to ride across ALL THE BRIDGES were spoiled by a snowy deluge-this cat does not ride on ice- but today it was warm, sunny, and breezy, just perfect for a ride. I wrote down directions from Crown Heights to Jamaica Bay so I could see water, and off I went. My map took me out Eastern Parkway on its busy bike/ped path where you can see the segregated neighborhoods switch over by who is sitting on the benches to a right onto Rockaway’s buffered bike lane filled with glass and double parked cars, and then through the scrap metal district leading to that Brooklyn that looks like Queens to me, all single-family homes with awkward awnings and the lattice work that looks like it’s done with bed poles-you know what I mean if you’ve seen it. I dodged some hairy traffic back on Rockaway, but then I was on the bike/ped path that hugs the shore of Jamaica Bay, and oh, it was smooth sailing. It is still obvious that Hurricane Sandy was here, and much of the ride was sandwiched between the KEEP OUT signs of rebuilding and the cars speeding by on the Belt Expressway. I pedaled out until the path disappeared, got lost in Queens due to my tendency to follow a bike lane no matter what, and then I was 12 miles out, taking a break, performing a quick shifter repair, saying my good mornings to this particular set of dogs, and wondering when they’ll rebuild all the tiny piers outside the homes at 165th Ave. and 99th Street. The ride home was into the wind but worth it as I retraced my steps, and this spot, at least, was downhill. Pedaling along under the NYC sun, yep, I am pretty lucky. Lesson learned again: it is always worth it to take your bike along if you can.

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