Saturday, July 16, 2005

67.6 miles to Atlantic Beach

This photo of Atlantic Beach was taken from the Atlantic Beach Memorial Bridge. Atlantic Beach is in Long Island, past Far Rockaway.

This was the boardwalk in Jacob Riis Park, which is in Far Rockaway. It's a long boardwalk. They have signs saying you can't bike on it between 10am and 6pm, but a Parks Department person there said you could. There were a few folks on bicycles, and neither the police or the parks department folks gave anyone trouble.

This photo is of the Far Rockaway side of the Atlantic Beach Memorial Bridge.

There was an unpleasant incident on the way there - in Crown Heights, Brooklyn. I got a bit lost and was returning to the route, but the road I was supposed to turn onto went the wrong way. I rode a block on the empty sidewalk and saw that it became a two-way avenue there, and waited for the light to turn onto the avenue. A policeman was crossing the street toward me so I asked him whether a certain street was in that direction. He said he'd never heard of the street. Then he started staring at me with his pupils shifted in toward his nose, so mostly the whites of his eyes were visible. He stared without saying a word, trying to intimidate me but looking very strange. His badge said Kosta. He asked me where I was going, and acted like he didn't believe me when I told him. It was a contemptuous tone, like he was interrogating me, trying to get me to reveal the criminal truth. He asked me where I lived, then wanted some identification, all the while keeping his cyborg stare going. Is this a recent photo? No, I'm getting older. Then he said, "you were riding on the sidewalk." Yes, a block ago I was surprised to find this street went the wrong way. Have you gotten a ticket before? No. Now he tried to befriend me: If I don't write you up ... long pause ... people might think I give preferential treatment. I see, I said. You see, in this area lots of kids get hit by bikes. I looked at that empty sidewalk, on the industrial side of a car-filled avenue, but said nothing. He called in my info over his radio. Then, you need to take care of it by this date. Just explain to them what you explained to me and they'll probably cancel the ticket, he said. If they don't, it'll be just $15 or $20. Okay. Where did you say you're trying to go? You can go down this street, then turn left. His tone indicated that he wanted my friendship, my understanding. I said I appreciated that - avoiding the phrase he craved, "Thank you".

It took me a while to get back into a pleasant mood, and his directions lengthened my trip, but I learned some Brooklyn geography and eventually the pleasant trip resumed.

With the benefit of many wrong turns in Brooklyn, here's a route that's easy and much more direct (probably around 60 miles roundtrip):

1. Cross the Brooklyn Bridge
2. Find Flatbush Avenue, and take it pretty far.
3. Turn right onto Bedford Avenue. Bedford Avenue has a bike lane! Take it to the end.
4. Turn left onto Emmons Street. Take it 0.6 miles.
5. On the right-hand side of the street, the Shore Parkway bike path will start, at Binham street or something similar. Take it - it's quite scenic.
6. Follow the bike path as it turns into a sidewalk and turns right.
7. You'll hit the Marine Parkway - Gil Hodges Memorial Bridge. Apologize, then cross the bridge. Signs say you have to walk your bike over the bridge, but the dozen bicyclists of all ages were all riding across with no problem. You're now in Far Rockaway.
8. Follow the B-169 street which goes in the same direction as the bridge (after crossing a road to get there). This leads to the first boardwalk's start.
9. Go to the end of the boardwalk. You'll then need to detour on the streets until B-129 or so (I forget the exact street) to get onto the next boardwalk.
10. Get on that boardwalk, and follow it to the end - to B-8, I believe.
11. Continue on the streets until you reach the Atlantic Beach Memorial Bridge, which is around B-1. Cross it - you'll need to walk the bike across.
12. You're now in Atlantic Beach. That's as far as I made it, but Long Beach is just around 5 miles away.


Blogger Wil said...

Wow!! GO YOU! These pics are awesome. Just found your blog, and it's awesome too!!!!! I'll be back for sure ;)

7:57 PM  
Blogger Flatman said...

Bike ticket? You have got to be kidding me. He should have let you off...

6:02 AM  
Anonymous metaljaybird said...

I am loving your blog. Soon I'll be getting a road bike (I have a Specialized MT Bike). My wife says I can only spend up to 600.00, so I'm not even sure where to start.

Keep up with these epic rides. They are inspiring.

5:50 AM  

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