Thursday, April 26, 2012

Astoria to Little Bay Park, and the Throgs Neck Bridge. (39.68 miles)

In my efforts to ride as much of the Brooklyn Queens Greenway as possible, I mapped a route which would take me to Little Bay Park, and under the Throgs Neck Bridge. I had often stared at this point on the map, trying to discern the best route. I eventually decided for safety, familiarity, sight seeing, and not least important of all, access to free water (the Parks), that using the Greenway in both directions, made the most sense. I could have plotted a shorter route, cutting North from Roosevelt Ave through Murray Hill, and unfamiliar back roads, that would have been faster; but I was also interested in adding miles for training purposes.

The weather was not ideal, but far from a problem. Gusting winds, cool temps in the low 60's, and cool intermittent showers meant that when I stopped I cooled down quickly, and if I waited long enough, I would start to feel a chill. Basing my confidence in the weather forecast saying conditions would not get worse, I set out with minimal gear. I left my apartment a little later than I would have liked, and found a fair amount of traffic, which only got thicker as time went on. Riding along 34th Avenue, a man asks me to take his picture, and a friendly cyclist named Sam stops me to talk about my camera, and we talk about cycling, and my blog. When it wasn't drizzling rain, the sky would open up, and offer warm, fresh, green, spring views.

A man asks me to take a picture, I tell him I am shooting video. He asks if I am recording, so I start recording and say, "It's rolling now.", and ride away.

Conversation with Sam, also a photographer and avid cyclist. He inquires about my GoPro camera, and how I feel about it. Which leads to a discussion about my blog, and my plans for my blog.

Kissena Park looks lush, and inviting.

The fastest descent/section of the Long Island Motor Parkway/Brooklyn Queens Greenway.

Once I made my way into Alley Pond Park, I turned off of the Long Island Motor Parkway section, and found the path along 226 Street in the park. Unfamiliar with the path ahead, I was aware that the Greenway would soon follow bike lanes on the back roads heading East and North. Unlike other parts of the Greenway that I found difficult to follow along the streets, I was pleasantly surprised to find that much of this path was well marked by following the bike lanes, and the Greenway signs. After only a few miles along the roads, I found myself near the entrance to the Joe Micheals Mile, which would take me the last stretch along Little Neck Bay, to reach Little Bay Park, and the foot of the Throgs Neck Bridge. The Joe Micheals Mile follows the Cross Island Parkway and is fairly exposed for the most part. The tailwind heading North made for light work, but I was not looking forward to grinding back through that wind to head home. Entering Little Bay Park, I soak in the grand panorama, and glide under the Throgs Neck. Here a small street runs along Little Bay to a dead end, fisherman try for dinner, and I roll down to the end to eat a couple cereal bars, drink some water, and enjoy the view of the Throgs Neck, before heading home, along the same route.

Following a path of Greenway along 226 Street.

The Brooklyn Queens Greenway follows bike lanes along the periphery of Alley Pond Park, the Greenway is well marked, and easy to follow at this point.

LIRR train passes as I wait to cross to the Joe Micheals Mile. Long stretch along the Joe Micheals Mile, tailwinds offer a boost.

The end of the Joe Michaels mile. Greenway sign, "you are here".

Passing under the Throgs Neck Bridge for the first time. Cool in the low 60's, moderate to high winds, some light showers.

The edge of Little Bay beside the Throgs Neck Bridge, to the "End" sign.

Shooting the "End" sign a helicopter passes over as I begin the trip back along the Brooklyn Queens Greenway.

Rapid descents along the Long Island Motor Parkway, leading to Cunningham Park.

Lazy people parked in the bike lane on 188th Street park.

Sundown on Kissena Park.

Scooter gang in Flushing

Lucky timing as the 7 train passes overhead approaching Roosevelt Island Bridge, with Citifield in the background.

Citifield gears up for a game.

Ralph Demarco Park, passing under the Hellgate Bridge.

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