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  1. #1
    Senior Member Papa Tom's Avatar
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    NY: The New Bridge on the Wantagh Bikeway

    This is just a minor note, but for anyone who hasn't been informed or hasn't been out there yet, the Wantagh Parkway bike path to Jones Beach is now fully open (has been since Memorial Day).

    The reconstructed, southernmost bridge has a kind of weird pitch to it. The climb is much more gradual than before, so now you feel yourself climbing much sooner. Plus, the great downhill payoff on the other side has been pretty much eliminated. No big deal, though, unless you're just an occasional rider or a young child on 12" wheels.

    I'd still love to start a campaign to push for a lane that goes through the theater parking lot and provides better access to Field 6 at the oceanfront. What the heck are those fancy nautical bike racks doing at Field 6 anyway if there's no legal way to ride a bicycle there?
    Papa Tom

    "I just need a rest...and by 'rest' I mean a really long bicycle ride."

  2. #2
    I am Joe's lactic acid. Big M's Avatar
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    Cool FYI. Thanks!

    I was going to ride my bike to Jones via Wantagh from Copiague on the 4th of July weekend, but was out of town. Might try this weekend. Pack up the beach blanket and make a day of it.

    Do they really enforce the "No Bikes Beyond This Point" at the end of the route? Haven't done that ride in a while.
    If there was a problem, yo, Ill solve it
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  3. #3
    Senior Member Papa Tom's Avatar
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    >>>>Do they really enforce the "No Bikes Beyond This Point" at the end of the route?<<<<

    If there's a concert going on, they definitely do. If there's no concert, it's just a matter of being there at the wrong moment when the patrol comes through. However, they do not stop you if you WALK your bike through the lot at any time.

    It's not that bad a journey on foot. When you get to Field 6, you can either walk your bike onto the boardwalk (not a great idea on a crowded weekend beach day) or lock it near the bus stop. I'm a little wary about doing that, just because a lot of kids hang around there, bored, impatiently waiting for buses, and often just stoned enough to feel like screwing with somebody's bicycle.

    Weekends can get very crowded on this path, and many of the riders on a Saturday or Sunday will be young children. As great as it is to see kids enjoying this ride with their parents, you have to be ready for ANYTHING, as they will swerve all over the place and, occasionally, come to a complete stop at the most unexpected time. Don't go out there on a weekend if you're looking to hammer.

    If you ever see a guy out there on a red GT Outpost, mp3 speaker on the handlebar playing music from the 1930's to the current Top 40, perhaps drumming on his lap but almost always riding no-handed (it's not showboating...I've got a bad back!) that's probably me.
    Papa Tom

    "I just need a rest...and by 'rest' I mean a really long bicycle ride."

  4. #4
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    yes the path is really nice now and makes for an enjoyable ride. I also wish it extended to the beach. I think these are the only boardwalks that do not allow bicycles.

    Anyway, I only ride the path after work on the weekdays. I ride it twice with a few loops around the park to get in a 20 mile ride if time permits. Like already mentioned, weekends on the path can be pretty dangerous.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Papa Tom's Avatar
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    >>>>I ride it twice with a few loops around the park to get in a 20 mile ride if time permits.<<<

    The weird thing for me about this path is that, even though it's so short, when I'm done, I feel like I've really put in a good ride. On any other path, I can easily do 15-20 miles and barely feel it. Here, I'm huffing and puffing and dousing my head with water after 10 miles out (to the boardwalk) and back. It must be the headwinds that kick yer butt on the way down? I'd say it's just that I'm getting old, but it has affected me the same way for the last thirteen years, from age 34 to 46, and my weight and physical condition hasn't changed much in all that time. Hmmmm.
    Papa Tom

    "I just need a rest...and by 'rest' I mean a really long bicycle ride."

  6. #6
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    Yes, those head winds are giving us all a good workout and remember, unlike riding 10 miles on the road, on the path it is constant pedaling.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Papa Tom's Avatar
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    >>>....on the path it is constant pedaling.<<<<<

    Never really thought of that. I do miss the great payoff on the south side of the old, third bridge. That used to propel me about halfway to the end of the bikeway without a single revolution of the pedals!

    Anyway, there's nothing to complain about. It's a great ride. I think the thing that makes this ride so tiring is that it's so satisfying. At 5pm, you're sitting behind a desk, and by 5:30-6:00, you've whisked down a wide, open-air path with the best breeze in the world on your face; you've dropped in on a sound check for an A-list act at the theater; you've been to the oceanfront; you've had a beer or a soft-serv on the boardwalk...How can you NOT be spent at the end of it all??
    Papa Tom

    "I just need a rest...and by 'rest' I mean a really long bicycle ride."

  8. #8
    ..... Jynx's Avatar
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    yea it is extremely tiring from the wind and the non stop pedaling since it is a straight shot all the way down.

  9. #9
    I am Joe's lactic acid. Big M's Avatar
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    So I did the ride on Saturday. According to Google Maps, it's something like a 12 mile ride 1-way from my house to Jones. Not so bad. The best part was not paying for parking.

    And there were surprisingly few people on the MUP for a Saturday afternoon.
    If there was a problem, yo, Ill solve it
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  10. #10
    Senior Member Papa Tom's Avatar
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    >>>>According to Google Maps, it's something like a 12 mile ride 1-way from my house to Jones.<<

    Don't know where you live, but if you're looking for a good route that skips Merrick Road, check out the "Long Island" link on my web site at nyrides.freehosting.net . It includes a route that comprises the Bethpage Bikeway and quiet neighborhood streets that run parallel to Merrick. It also features instructions for using the northern portion of the Wantagh Parkway path to get from Westbury to Jones Beach.
    Papa Tom

    "I just need a rest...and by 'rest' I mean a really long bicycle ride."

  11. #11
    I am Joe's lactic acid. Big M's Avatar
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    I see it, thanks.

    Where I live, it might make sense to get to Sunrise highway via Oak St., or "Old Sunrise Highway" around where it meets up with Carmen Hill Rd...right around the Modell's. Then take Sunrise to Beach St. and follow that to the park. Whether Sunrise is safer than Merrick, I don't know, but I like it a hell of a lot better than Merrick. The traffic is fast, but the bike lanes on Sunrise are way wide, which I love.
    If there was a problem, yo, Ill solve it
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Big M View Post
    I see it, thanks.

    Where I live, it might make sense to get to Sunrise highway via Oak St., or "Old Sunrise Highway" around where it meets up with Carmen Hill Rd...right around the Modell's. Then take Sunrise to Beach St. and follow that to the park. Whether Sunrise is safer than Merrick, I don't know, but I like it a hell of a lot better than Merrick. The traffic is fast, but the bike lanes on Sunrise are way wide, which I love.
    A much better option is to cross Sunrise to the west bound lane of Sunrise from Oak, then a right onto Park Lane and immediate left on Front Street. Then a block west to a diagonal right on Clark.

    Take Clark west for 3.25 miles to the Seaford ObY Exxpressway, go under (straight) and then first left on Park and west a mile to the left at Beech. Take Beech south past Sunrise to Merrick and Cedar Creek

    In any case, Sunrise Hwy is NOT suitable for bikes, especially in the area of Rt135 and I would avoid at all costs. Ditto Merrick Rd.

    Steve B.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Papa Tom's Avatar
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    Biked the path again tonight (Wed. July 15 '09). There's something about the pitch of that new bridge that I don't like. I think it's the fact that we've lost the awesome payoff on the south side, which was one of the few opportunities we used to have to stop pedaling and enjoy a swift, breezy descent. I guess I'm just getting old and lazy.

    Anyway, there was a concert tonight, so the police were all over bicyclists who dared ride into the theater parking lot. I walked my bike across to the ocean, which involved having to wade through a pond-sized puddle below the Parking Field 6 bridge.

    The beach at night just isn't the same this year without the heat and humidity during the day. I miss the relief I used to feel as I approached the ocean. Now the ride goes from windy and chilly at Cedar Creek Park to a-little-too-cold-to-hang-out once you get to the oceanfront. C'mon...gimmee at least a few days of summer!
    Papa Tom

    "I just need a rest...and by 'rest' I mean a really long bicycle ride."

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