Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Astoria to Randalls Island, and the 59th Street bridge. (17.03 miles)

Today I had planned a short utilitarian ride to some local wholesale stores, and also wanted to get a decent ride in before the sun went down.

As I checked over my bike before leaving, I noticed that the faint scraping sound coming from my back wheel, that started about a week ago, was getting worse. I had thought that I had possibly knocked my rear brakes out of alignment, so I brought my bike to Tony's BIcycles to have it looked at. Upon inspection, the mechanics tell me that my rear rim is worn, and bent, and will have to be replaced. Having purchased my bike at Tony's my maintenance, and often labor costs, are waived, and I sometimes leave having only paid for parts. Thankfully today was one of those days, and in short order they had the new rim on, ready to go. I paid the 87$ for the rim, tipped the mechanic 5$, and got my receipt. After paying, the mechanic asked me if I had received my pass to the Ride To Montauk. I told him I had not. He then hands me a laminated pass:

Very pleased with this outcome, I made the ride to the stores, and picked up some general household supplies. I then returned home, took a quick shower, grabbed a couple of cereal bars, and hit the road for my real ride. I decided to cross the Triboro Bridge and soak in some of the views on Randalls Island before crossing the 125th Street Bridge to ride the East River Esplanade, and return via the 59th St bridge.

Some unusual sites today, firefighters doing a burning house drill, homeless completely blocking the path on the 125th Street bridge, sitting in the path with shopping carts, drinking Cobra from the can, and likely huffing spray paint, by the smell of it. Approaching the East River Esplanade, I see white Police Tape and a single officer standing near what seemed to me from a distance could have been a body under a sheet. I asked the officer if it was a body, who said it was not, and as I got closer, that was apparent. Also, when I reached the sculpture park in the shadow of the 59th Street bridge I found a Fashion shoot in progress.

A finished stretch of the Hellgate rail trail.

Retracing my path back along the Hellgate rail trail.

Riding back along the riverside, I crest a small hill to find a firefighters drill in progress.

I approach a scene blocked off by police tape cautiously, and question the lone officer, "Is that a body?", before passing through.

Riding a busy stretch along the river, I lean down to better shoot a trotting Chihuahua.

Approaching the 59th Street bridge I aggressively climb the hill up to the sculpture park, and find a fashion photo shoot in progress.

The entrance to the 59th Street bridge, and my commentary regarding it's rightfully negative reputation.

Descending the 59th Street bridge, my frustrations with other riders are vocalized. Realizing I am pacing/passing a tow-truck on the bridge I proclaim, "Faster than a Tow-Truck! More powerful than a Golf Cart!"

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