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  1. #1
    Senior Member flattie's Avatar
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    Any commuters here that travel from the south shore of Long Island to Manhattan?

    Hi all,
    I am thinking about attempting to commute 1 day a week (starting out maybe increasing to 2 or 3 days a week) from Oceanside to lower Manhattan. Google maps and Ride the City both seem to agree that the preferred route is through Far Rockaway and either up Cross Bay Blvd or out to Floyd Bennett before heading north. It maps out to around 23 miles from Seagirt Blvd in Rockaway.

    Here's a link (hopefully) that will show the 3 routes suggested by google maps

    Seagirt Blvd To Lower Manhattan

    Does anyone have any experience with any portion of this route and can they offer any opinions on Cross Bay Blvd then north or heading out towards Floyd Bennett before heading north?

    I'm guessing it would take 2 1/2 hrs at a decent pace. I have a bike locker at work and a membership at NYSC so I can shower upon arrival (this is not debatable as I sweet like a pig with any physical exertion - always have even as a kid).

  2. #2
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    Good luck to you. This is something i'd do if given the opportunity to commute, but I'll take my 10 miles to and from school. I can't imagine the rash on my nuts afterwards haha.

    PS i don't wear bike shorts for 5 mile rides.

  3. #3
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    Get a NYC Bike Map, that is free in any bike shop of the 5 Boroughs or call 311 with a NYC area code. You can always request it online. In case you run into trouble, the map shows where the bike shops are, plus highlights where the subways are.

    This is totally do-able. I've done this ride in a variety of ways. You link seems fine. I've taken Flatbush Ave, north all the way and went west 2 blocks to the Brooklyn Bridge. I've also taken Crossbay Blvd, to Woodhaven Blvd, to Queens Blvd, onto the 59th St Bridge. For your route, you'd head west earlier, though.

    You can even mix up your commute and take the subway on Crossbay Blvd. or on Flatbush and ride the rest.

  4. #4
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    Flatbush sucks from the Belt north to Ave. U, 3 lanes of commuter traffic doing 50 with no shoulder. I've ridden it a few times and ALWAYS find the sidewalk/bike path on the west side adjacent to the golf course preferable. From Ave. U you have other options.

    That said I've added as an attachment a route that actually starts in Massapequa and goes to the Marine Parkway Bridge in the Rockaway's, portions of which are my commuter route from Freeport to central Brooklyn. Once I get over the Marine Parkway I head up Flatbush on either the road or bike lane, then at the Belt head west on the bike path to to Knapp Street, then either west on Emmons to the Bedford Ave. bike lane and eventually cross to Ocean Ave. (near Brooklyn College) and then up to Prospect Park, then down to the Brooklyn Bridge. Another route is up Knapp to Gerritson to Nostrand, all of which are better routes on a bike then Flatbush. Note that north of Brooklyn College as far as Grand Army Plaza, Flatbush just sucks for bike riding. Flatbush from Ave. U north to the "Junction" at Flatbush and Nostrand isn't terrible, but there are better options.

    My first thought though was the Rockaways are in the wrong direction to get to Manhattan and I'd be heading into Valley Stream then be taking the Montauk Century route in reverse. I'd do some web searching as there's certain to be a site somewhere where somebody has logged it on a GPS tracker. In general, it's NW thru Valley Stream and into Queens, following NYC bike routes as much as possible.

    Steve B.
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    Last edited by Lightingguy; 03-24-11 at 06:53 PM.

  5. #5
    Senior Member flattie's Avatar
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    Thanks for the feedback. While I'm going to Manhattan - it is lower Manhattan so I guess that's why google maps routed me through the rockaways. I also tried RideTheCity maps and they pretty much agreed with the google routes - I suppose it's since they can keep you on either designated bike paths, or bike lanes to a larger extent.

    Anyway - I searched for the Montauk Century route and found someone who had ridden the whole thing from Manhattan to Montauk. It looks like I could pick up that route in Lynbrook on E. Merrick Rd > W. Merrick Rd > Merrick Blvd > Jamaica Ave > Metropolitan Ave over the Williamsburg Bridge. I'll have to plug this route into map my ride or something to see the distance.

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    Quote Originally Posted by flattie View Post
    Anyway - I searched for the Montauk Century route and found someone who had ridden the whole thing from Manhattan to Montauk. It looks like I could pick up that route in Lynbrook on E. Merrick Rd > W. Merrick Rd > Merrick Blvd > Jamaica Ave > Metropolitan Ave over the Williamsburg Bridge. I'll have to plug this route into map my ride or something to see the distance.
    Time of day is also relevant to route selection. The Montauk Century route choice between Manhattan and Lynbrook is predicated on taking it between 5:30 and 7 am on a Sunday morning. The route takes you through Jamaica. Jamaica is a major intermodal transportation center with lots of buses connecting to two major subway stations. That's not a problem on a Sunday morning before the church crowd wakes up. However, weekdays during rush hours are a different story.

  7. #7
    Senior Member flattie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SBinNYC View Post
    Time of day is also relevant to route selection. The Montauk Century route choice between Manhattan and Lynbrook is predicated on taking it between 5:30 and 7 am on a Sunday morning. The route takes you through Jamaica. Jamaica is a major intermodal transportation center with lots of buses connecting to two major subway stations. That's not a problem on a Sunday morning before the church crowd wakes up. However, weekdays during rush hours are a different story.
    Thanks for the tip. Ridethecity routes around that area by taking you south from Merrick Blvd to Rockaway Blvd then onto 101st to Liberty Ave to Bergen to Pacific back to Bergen then up to Vanderbilt to Dekalb then Ashland to the Manhattan Bridge.

    I will trade in the train for a car a few times to try each of the routes by car as closely as possible to see what the conditions are like.

    Going through the Rockaways adds almost 10 miles to the trip but it does seem to be on mostly bike paths or bike lanes as opposed to the long stretch of Merrick Blvd to Rockaway Blvd that has neither.

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    Basically, as long as you head west in the Rockaways and north in Bklyn, you cant go wrong. Yes, Flatbush is a horrible road, but its also the most direct. The service lane of Ocean Parkway is good, but you have to go a bit out of your way to get to it. I have a really good route south of Prospect Park that I take for times when I am not in a rush. If you ever want to take a trial run on a weekend, let me know. I'll guide you through Bklyn. We can set up a group ride from this thread.

  9. #9
    Senior Member flattie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cyclerock View Post
    Basically, as long as you head west in the Rockaways and north in Bklyn, you cant go wrong. Yes, Flatbush is a horrible road, but its also the most direct. The service lane of Ocean Parkway is good, but you have to go a bit out of your way to get to it. I have a really good route south of Prospect Park that I take for times when I am not in a rush. If you ever want to take a trial run on a weekend, let me know. I'll guide you through Bklyn. We can set up a group ride from this thread.
    That's very kind of you. Once I get settled with the bike I may very well take you up on the offer. I am 99% decided on the Jamis Bosanova at this point if the test ride doesn't turn up any major issues this weekend.

  10. #10
    Senior Member FattyArbuckle's Avatar
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    The Rockaways are significantly out of the way, even for Lwr Manhattan. This route (from Lynbrook) is under 22mi: SE Queens to Myrtle Ave

    There are a few zig zags, but you're only on Merrick Rd for a little bit, and you're mostly on wide residential roads until Myrtle Ave. Cars can't floor it there b/c of the light timing, though. And it doesn't go anywhere near the Jamaica station. Just gotta watch out for big potholes on Metropolitan Ave near the end, that area gets a little industrial.

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