Sunday, August 5, 2012

8-2-2012 Astoria to Throgs Neck Bridge (46.6 miles)

Last week I had made plans to ride with my friend Juan on Thursday. He had expressed interest in riding with me up to the Throgs Neck bridge for a training ride and so I could show him the Brooklyn Queens Greenway as it stretches North, and East.

We set the time for 10:30am and the place would be the Wards Island/103rd Street bridge. We both arrived at about the same time, and were anxious to set out on our journey.

The temperature at this time was just over 80 and the humidity had only just begun to rise so conditions were as good as they were going to be all day. After a short discussion regarding the route I thought it would be good to show Juan around the Wards Island Loop before setting off for the Throgs Neck Bridge.

Descending the Triboro, using the Wards Island loop to reach the 103rd Street bridge.

Meeting Juan on the 103rd Street bridge.

Giving Juan a short spin around Wards Island before heading off to the Throgs Neck.

Stopping on our way over the Triboro Bridge we pause so I may take some Panoramic pictures. (Unfortunately none of those pics came out good enough to share). Afterwards we made our way along my usual route past LaGuardia, Citifield, and through the heart of Flushing, entering the Greenway trails at Kissena Park.

Driver cuts us off, so I film his license plate number.

Passing in front of Citifield, crossing the Roosevelt Island Bridge.

Kissena Park.

Passing through the parks that the Greenway connects few people clogged the lanes as we continued East. I try to name the points of interest to Juan as we pass through, and name the different towns to give him an idea of where he is on the map.

Slowly the heat and humidity climbed, slowing my progress and forcing me to pace myself so that I do not succumb to cramping. Juan, being more than 10 years younger than I, kept trying to inspire me to push harder, and I had to remind him that this was likely not a good idea, and cramping would make a slower ride turn into a dead stop if I had to nurse my legs on the side of the road.

St Francis Prep.

Stopping just short of some steps in Alley Pond Park.

Emerging from the Greenway trails in Alley Pond (after becoming somewhat lost and dragging poor Juan through some crappy trails), we followed the well marked bike lanes that continue to weave North and East, and soon connect to the Joe Micheals mile which is the last stretch of Greenway before we reach our turn around point, Little Neck Park, and the Throgs Neck Bridge. At this point I realized my rear tire was losing air at a rather alarming rate and decided that I would have to stop at the small bike repair shop on Roosevelt Ave near 108th street.

The Joe Michaels mile.

Little Neck Park.

Little Neck Park continued.

Little Neck Park.

Little Neck Park.

Little Neck Park.

Little Neck Park.

Now heading back along the same path we arrived upon I stopped for a cola at a fast food restaurant to get a quick infusion of caffeine, and a quick cool down. At this point I was feeling even more sluggish as it was the hottest part of the day and the humidity did not seem to be improving. The Joe Michaels mile is fully exposed for the most part offering no relief from the blaring sun so I was relieved when we were following the Greenway once again.

Heading back along the bike lanes we reached Alley Pond once more, and I entered where I was confident that I would not lose track of the trail, and we quickly found the Long Island Motor Parkway again. Here is where I was able to show Juan why I enjoy this section of the Greenway so much as the succession of rolling hills allows you to cruise at high speed while cresting each hill that follows.

Rapid descent on Long Island Motor Parkway to 188th Street park.

One of our planned rest stops was to be at the famous Lemon Ice King of Corona and we both looked eagerly forward to the sweet cool treat we could find there. Reaching Roosevelt once more I rolled up to the little repair shop and let Juan conduct most of the business for me as the mechanic seemed to only speak Spanish. It turns out, I not only needed a new tube, but I had broken spoke as well!

2 ride a BMX on Roosevelt Avenue.

With a new tube and spoke installed, Juan and I finally made it down to the Ice King of Corona where I purchased a Pina Colada ice and Juan bought a cherry flavored one. Soon after devouring our treats and grimacing from the brain freeze, we were back on the road and into Astoria where I pointed Juan towards the Triboro and headed back home where I changed into swim trunks and had a relaxing dip in Astoria Park pool.

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