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Long Island: Good Ride Today?

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Long Island: Good Ride Today?

Old 09-23-14, 05:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Ferdinand NYC
Wait, you took your bike on the LIRR and got off at Penn Station? I thought the rule was that you cannot get on or off with a bike at Penn Station.

Anyway, don't knock so-called "urban blight". I remember hearing people always deriding Newark. But, when I first visited it on my bike few years ago, I loved it; I have been back many times since. And I recently rode through Trenton, another frequently-sneered-at city, on my way to and from Philadelphia, and I enjoyed it a great deal.

I'll take riding through a city over some creepy mansion-ville any day. I won't deny that this is down partly to my distaste for the type of people who live in mansions, people who'll be the first against the wall when the revolution comes. But, on the aesthetic level alone, gritty urban scenes are so much more interesting than self-conscious displays of ostentation.

So, that leads me to ask: what are these Connecticut cities that you skipped?
*You are probably thinking of the AMTRAK station at Penn Station, which does not have bicycle walk-on service. The LIRR lets you hop on and off with a bike anywhere you'd like, as long as you have a permit.

* I hear you loud and clear on the "urban" thing. I find riding in Manhattan really invigorating, and I've enjoyed biking several major cities across North America over the years. But I've also worked in some of the toughest parts of Chicago, LA, Detroit, and New York City and I can't fool myself into believing that bicycling through a place like downtown Bridgeport and parts of Stratford in a bright orange t-shirt, beige suburban cargo shorts, and brand new electric white sneakers and socks is a smart, responsible thing for a skinny 51-year-old Long Island guy to do on a Saturday. I've done it many times before, and I've also ridden through East Haven and New Haven, CT, on streets where locals came up to me at stop lights and suggested that I change my route to avoid crackhead hangouts. In Bridgeport, itself, I once had a wasted-looking dude try to stop me and take my helmet before chasing me several blocks in his car until I made it onto Lordship Blvd and out of the downtown area.

Yes, I love the whole urban scene, and I'm certainly not a fan of the Wall Street criminals who own many of those sprawling mansions along the CT coast, but on Saturday, I needed a stress-free ride that felt far from home and I gave it to myself.
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Old 09-27-14, 02:05 PM
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i'm just curious, how was riding in the city?! i've heard that since that lady was killed by the guy on the tri-bike last week, that they're giving tickets for anything and everything to cyclist in the city now...
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Old 09-27-14, 02:39 PM
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Did 82 miles @ 14.1 mph.

The last 5 miles was murder... I did too much.

I stopped ont he JB path to help a cyclist that jammed his chain between the spokes and cassette. The bugs were intense, 10-15 on me and I couldn't wait to get out of there. You have to keep your mouth closed or you'd be eating them.
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Old 09-27-14, 04:49 PM
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Originally Posted by FIVE ONE SIX
i'm just curious, how was riding in the city?! i've heard that since that lady was killed by the guy on the tri-bike last week, that they're giving tickets for anything and everything to cyclist in the city now...
If it's me you're asking, I believe my ride was before the incident in Central Park. Either way, it was a very quiet Saturday morning (before 9am), so the city was pretty devoid of pedestrians, cyclists, cars, and cops. I love riding in Manhattan, especially the crazy busy parts, especially during crazy busy times. It's a rush I don't get from too many other rides. Of course, I only do it once or twice a year, so I'm not jaded and I'm not fed up with the whole scene yet.

When you say "anything and everything," what exactly do you mean? They can't ticket you if you're not guilty of something.
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Old 09-27-14, 05:03 PM
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Tooled around Flushing Meadows Park with my wife today (Saturday 9/27). It was quite a contrast to last Saturday's solo excursion, but it was great to be out in the spectacular 80 degree late Fall weather.

I've noticed a marked deterioration in this place since I first started riding here about a decade ago. It seems they whipped it into shape a few years back just in time for the Olympics committee to take a walk around, then they let it go after the committee passed on it. The most dramatic change has been around Meadow Lake, which had become one of my favorite quick spins when the blacktop was new and the grass and brush were kept neatly trimmed. Today, most of the path was under water and the surface was virtually un-rideable a lot of the way. The lake seems to have permanently washed out an entire segment of the path, and another section was closed off completely. The bike rental shop near the children's playground is gone, although another one has opened on the opposite side of the lake, renting quadracycles that can barely make it over all the potholes.

All-in-all, though, this former World's Fair site is still a cool place to take a casual ride within a short drive of what we all consider "Long Island." We extended the ride by taking the service road past CitiField and onto the Flushing Bay Promenade, another former gem that has become run down and unappealing. I never made it to the far end by the Northern Blvd overpass to see if that little path to the Northern Blvd bridge is still there. That was an important link in my Syosset to Manhattan route, so if anybody knows...
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Old 09-27-14, 10:21 PM
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Papa Tom, I kind of did your Joe Michaels Bikeway + Fort Totten ride mid-day today ( nyrides.freehosting.net/queens.htm if posting links is allowed). I rode a leisurely 14.5 miles according to GPS, through local streets up towards the Throgg's Neck Bridge, then poking around Fort Totten, back along the bay, and alongside and through Alley Pond Park to the Vanderbilt Parkway/Bikeway and home. At Totten there was an antique car show, and they had three police cruisers on display from the 50s and 60s I think. All along the route there were plenty of places to stop and enjoy the scenery and the people. If you like to "noodle around" like me, and exercise is a side-benefit, this route is definitely worth your time. And let me get in a plug for Papa Tom's site, there are a lot of good hints for good rides to be found there.

As for Flushing Meadow, I agree that the blacktop is a mess and you need to detour around closed sections, though I can't agree that most of it was underwater, at least, it hasn't been underwater while I was there. (High tide? It hadn't rained, so I dunno.) There are bike rental kiosks elsewhere than Meadow Lake though - I'm sure there's one near the tennis center. Flushing Meadow is good for "noodling" but not for spinning.

Last edited by csi56; 09-27-14 at 10:29 PM.
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Old 09-28-14, 04:39 AM
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csi:

I see a lot of construction at the north end of the Joe Michaels bikeway, too. Is it just the parking lot, or is the path closed?

I was quite surprised to see so much of the Meadow Lake bike path under water. As you said, it hadn't even rained. At one section, the water had completely overtaken the path and the light pole was actually in the lake.

I did not see the usual bike rental booth by the tennis center. Perhaps they packed up for the season already. The only one I saw was the one at the "park" side of the lake, near the snack bar.
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Old 09-28-14, 10:51 AM
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I think they're re-doing the parking lot, but I didn't stick around long enough to investigate -- I was trying to cross the street without getting killed. Those didn't look like curbs on the ground, though - more like foundations for kiosks or something. I'll probably be back in a couple of weeks, or I might just drive past it one day.

The bike rental that I saw near the tennis center was actually a trailer, if I remember correctly, and it was on the east side of the circle near the base of the subway ramp.

I looked at your description of Valhalla to Bronxville and I'm anxious to give that a try one weekend soon!
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Old 09-28-14, 04:19 PM
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Valhalla to Bronxville or (Vice Versa) is a really good ride. I like starting at the south end so that the dam and the park can be destination.
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Old 09-29-14, 03:19 PM
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September 29:

The weather has been so spectacular for the past few days that my ride to and from work has been as exhilarating and satisfying as almost any bona fide bike tour I've taken. Cheez, if this could only last all year.
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Old 10-08-14, 08:58 PM
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Nice weekend coming up, I hope. Bronxville to Kensico looks good. I also spotted on the Jones Beach State Park website: "Biking on Boardwalk: 10/1-4/30. Free." Hey, maybe I can do both on successive days?
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Old 10-09-14, 04:52 AM
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Or you can bike out to the Long Island Fall Festival at Heckscher Park in Huntington (not the state park!).
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Old 10-12-14, 11:57 AM
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Damn... it was cold today.

I planned on heading out at 7:00am but decided to wait till later. At 10:00am I had on 3 layers, sleeveless base, long sleeve and finally jersey. On the bottom I had just my bibs and mid calf socks. I started out with full gloves and brought fingerless for later.

I headed north up the Bethpage path and headed to Cold Spring Harbor. I took the streets back and ran the length of Round Swamp Road.

The leaves are still pretty green so it will be another two weeks before peak.
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Old 10-12-14, 09:14 PM
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My first visit to Forest Park this morning. Unlike Flushing Meadow which is an open meadow, Forest Park is a forest, said Captain Obvious. So the shade blocked the sun pretty completely. Yes, it was a bit chilly but nothing that couldn't be handled with layers, like you did, oldnslow2. And I guess I could also say that unlike the very flat Flushing Meadows, Kew Garden Hills is, um, hilly. A pleasant 12 miles round trip, not ready to hibernate yet.
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Old 10-14-14, 06:48 PM
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Did 30 miles today.. damn it was hot. Mid 70s.
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Old 10-15-14, 02:05 AM
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Originally Posted by oldnslow2
Did 30 miles today.. damn it was hot. Mid 70s.
it's going to be about the same on Saturday too, then drop about 5 degrees on Sunday, sunny both days...
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Old 10-18-14, 02:04 PM
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Great day for a ride. Did a 30 mile group ride from Bethpage to Comack and back. Then did a run to Tobay for a total of 61 miles.
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Old 10-26-14, 10:31 AM
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Did my usual Massapequa - Cold Spring Harbor - Cedar Creek - Massapequa today.

The wind was wicked heading north and west. I would of gone to Tobay but didn't want to fight the wind.

There was a 5K run in the Massapequa Preserve, I wish they put signs at the Linden Street entrance so I would of taken the streets. The last 1/4 mile north of Clark was packed with walkers that blocked entire path. So I uncliped one foot and carefully made my way with them.

The weather was cool, but not cold. I had on bibs, under garment, wind layer, jersey, arm warmers, mid calf socks and fingerless gloves. At 9:00 I took off the wind layer when it warmed up. Starting temps was around 48* and ending was 60*.

Overall a nice ride. Another week or two and the trees will be in full bloom.... can't wait.
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Old 10-26-14, 09:19 PM
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Yesterday I did the Flushing Meadow run again, about 12-1/2 miles. I seem to have gotten into a routine: west on the Greenway from Fresh Meadows through Kissena Park, down around Meadow Lake and back approximately the same way.

It's been two weeks since I rode, for various reasons, but it didn't hurt much. This has been a perfect outdoor weekend - I walked about 5-1/2 miles up the High Line and the Hudson River Greenway today.
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Old 10-29-14, 02:52 PM
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Had a 40 hour work day yesterday so i just when out today for a short ride. Planned on 20 miles and due to the risk of rain, I cut it shorter. 13.8 miles @ 15.1mph.

The trees are almost at their peak, so get out for a ride this weekend.
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Old 10-30-14, 07:42 AM
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The trees are almost at their peak, so get out for a ride this weekend.
Remember to wear gloves and 8 layers of clothing, too.
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Old 10-30-14, 01:31 PM
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Originally Posted by csi56
Remember to wear gloves and 8 layers of clothing, too.
It was rather warm yesterday.... only 1 layer.

Now Sunday will be a different story.
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Old 11-04-14, 04:05 PM
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Too nice not to ride. Did 38 miles @ 15.1mph.

Trees are past prime, but still nice.
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Old 11-08-14, 07:52 PM
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I was riding today on merrick road eastbound in valley stream, when I encountered a police car blocking the right lane. Meanwhile two cops were in an argument with a teenager on the sidewalk. I had a feeling things were about to get ugly, so I decided I should probably turn around and head back. This was an awful idea on my part. It's pretty hard to just do a u-turn on merrick rd, so I went a few blocks and used a side street to get myself turned around. When i got back to where the cops were, there were now three ambulances completely blocking the road. The teenager was running from the cops, who caught up with him and beat him down, all while more ambulances with stretchers were arriving at the scene. After sitting in traffic for about 15 minutes without moving and inch, I eventually gave up, got off my bike, went on the sidewalk, and started walking back to where I came from. I found a random cross street and started pedaling, having absolutely no idea where it was going to take me. I spent the next half hour, now completely lost, trying to find my way back into Queens.

A good ride? I think so.
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Old 11-09-14, 11:25 AM
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Did a quick 22 miles.

Sleeveless, short sleeve and Jersey. Arm warmers, fingerless gloves, bibs and half calf socks.

I was dressed perfectly.

not many good days left. Tuesday looks to be a great day so I plan a long ride.
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