Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Astoria over the East River via Triboro, Wards Island, and Queensboro Bridge. (11.05 miles)

Today's ride was intended to help work the kinks out of some new gear. I had sent my camera back to the manufacturer because of a background noise my camera was producing when recording with my external microphone. In the meantime I had purchased a completely different type of microphone and was also given a chest mount for my camera as warranty fulfillment to longer than expected. Having received my replacement camera and chest mount today, I decided on a short ride to test them out, along with a different kind of microphone (Unidirectional, externally powered).

Unfortunately I must warn the viewer that there is a new sound "artifact" on most of the video for this ride. I need to experiment more with this new type of microphone and mount and see if I can figure out what makes the new sound. Otherwise, I'm fairly certain that I should have no trouble using my other Omnidirectional self powered microphone, which does seem to have superior sound quality but has the added battery pack and wires which make it more inconvenient.

One of my favorite local training routes involves using a combination of the Triboro Bridge, Wards or Randalls Island, and the Queensboro Bridge. When I began exploring Wards and Randalls Island last year I realized that once the East River esplanade was completed to the Queensboro Bridge, one could effectively do laps over the East River by joining the Triboro, Wards Island, and Queensboro Bridges. I would estimate that at least 75% of this route is MUP, and bike lane making it safe training grounds with plenty of climb, less than a half mile from my apartment. Up until this month either the esplanade or the Wards Island Bridge were under construction and made this circuit less appealing as you had to use the 125th Street Bridge and ride on Manhattan streets.

Cresting the Triboro Bridge.

Descending the Triboro Bridge to Wards Island.

Today, for the first time since late October of last year, I was able to cross the Wards Island Bridge to connect to the East River esplanade at 103rd Street! I had been on the mailing list for the project but never received word that it had completed construction. This also makes using this route to access midtown much more appealing. Though it adds a couple of (very scenic) miles to the route, it is far safer than riding through Long Island City over the Queensboro Bridge.

Discovering that the Wards Island Bridge has been reopened, crossing to the East River esplanade.

The East River at 79th Street

Riding along the East River from 79th Street to 59th Street.

From the 59th Street sculpture park to the foot of the Queensboro Bridge.

Descending the Queensboro Bridge to Long Island City.

Tomorrow will be my last day to test gear before my first century ride (actually 108 miles this year), The Ride to Montauk Saturday. I will likely ride to Brooklyn to visit with my girlfriend, and ride home that same afternoon. Friday I plan to drop my bike off for early check-in so I can just start riding almost as soon as I arrive at Babylon Saturday morning.

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