Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Astoria to Pulaski Bridge (11.17 miles)

This afternoon I had the pleasure of taking a short scenic ride along the waterfront route on Vernon Blvd with my special lady. I wanted to show her part of the ride I take to get to her apartment, while also showing her some of the unique parks, and paths, along this route. Though it had rained in the morning, the roads were fairly dry, and there weren't many puddles. Slowly tooling down Vernon, the Boulevard was busy, but bike lanes on both sides make this a decent road to ride on day, or night. As we made our way through Long Island City we came upon the first of a few scenic locations, the waterfront leading to Goodwill Park. This is a short bend around some housing projects starting at 21st Avenue and 1st street, that offers some beautiful views of uptown Manhattan, the tip of Roosevelt Island, and the Queensboro Bridge.

Once you exit at Goodwill Park, you are now riding on Vernon Blvd, and soon arrived at the Socrates Sculpture Park. A small but beautiful space, this park had some quirky statues, and some projects that looked as if they were being installed for an upcoming exhibit. Signs in and around this park touted the many events they host, including being the starting point for the LIC Bike Parade June 9th. A small community event that hosts free bike repair, and free helmets, as well as a short ride to Queensbridge Park for a waterfront celebration. Riding along Vernon Blvd again, we come upon Rainey Park, which was unfortunately closed for renovation. Which left the last park along Vernon Blvd before you approach Pulaski Bridge, Queensbridge Park. This park had recently under gone a renovation of it's own, and featured slick new bike lanes and pedestrian paths. The view of the bridge from this park is quite awe inspiring, and it seems that they still plan to do more work to help bring the park back up to it's potential. After exiting Queensbridge Park, we rode down Vernon Blvd until we came upon Pulaski Bridge. I thought it would be fun for my girlfriend to at least set foot in Brooklyn for a moment so we proceeded to cross. Views of the skyline from the bridge were interesting, as thick gray clouds hung just over the tips of the tallest buildings. Now standing in Brooklyn I decided it was time to turn around. and after crossing the Pulaski Bridge back to Queens again, we stopped at a small park in the median of Vernon Blvd, and shared a protein bar. Heading home, we made a small detour cutting directly through Astoria Park, which then left us near my doorstep.

Waterfront Route leading to Goodwill Park. NYC skyline, and Roosevelt Island are seen.

Socrates Sculpture Park.

Queensbridge Park.

Pulaski Bridge to Brooklyn.

Pulaski Bridge to Queens.

Vernon Blvd, approaching the Queensboro Bridge.

Graffiti on Vernon Blvd.

Astoria Park.

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