Last night while inspecting the route back to Queens from Bensonhurst I noticed the Crossbay Vietnam Memorial Bridge (spanning over a wildlife preserve) on the Map.
Personally, I love bridges as the climbs are good training, the views are awe inspiring, and the roll down the far side is always fun.
Combined with my desire to ride the Shore Pkwy/Belt Pkwy bike paths, explore the Rockaway Peninsula, and the seemingly straight forward route back North from Crossbay I thought this would be the perfect day (weather wise) to check it out.
My average speed was good, regardless of all the stops made to check my map. Most of this trip was fairly flat, with only about 500 feet of total climb over the entire ride. Thanks to a strong tailwind, combined with the slight downhill grade of Crossbay Blvd, I was able to average over 19 MPH for approximately 2.5 miles. That's a very high average speed for me, maybe the highest I have ever been clocked at over such a long stretch. It's nice when you see a path you think might be enjoyable on a map, and it actually turns out to be so.
The worst leg of the trip was certainly Woodhaven Blvd. The directions I was using wanted me to zig-zag around Woodhaven on back streets quite a bit (possibly to avoid some of the more dangerous sections), and I decided that even though it is a busy, tightly packed, and fairly dangerous road to cycle on, that I would likely make better time and greatly lessen the chances of getting lost by staying on Woodhaven. This proved to be an o.k. strategy as long as I was super vigilant of other vehicles as well as avoiding riding through some of the bad spots by riding on sidewalk briefly (Don't do it unless you 100% have to!). This allowed me to hook-up to the more familiar roads further North, eventually connecting to 34th Avenue which is an East/West avenue I use often.