Sunday, September 28, 2008

Biking to the Boroughs

After I started riding in NYC, I quickly discovered I could get pretty much anywhere within Manhattan or the inner areas of the boroughs within 30 minutes. I was also able to explore the neighborhoods along the way, a luxury I would miss out on if I took the subway.

QUEENS: My first reoccurring out-of-Manhattan ride was to Long Island City for a class. I could get there from 86th & Lex (where I work) in about 20 minutes, shooting down 2nd Ave and over the Queensboro Bridge. I also found it wasn't bad getting out to Woodside, which I did once to visit some friends.

BROOKLYN: I started attending Pratt Institute for grad school this fall, and decided I would bike there until it got too cold. Thanks to the fact the the U.N. hates bikers and wont allow the East Side path to extend continuously down the east edge of Manhattan, the quickest way to get down town to the southern bridges is 2nd Ave. With little to moderate car traffic, I can get to Delancey St and the Williamsburg bridge in 20 minutes, then another 20 through Brooklyn. Coming back at night with no traffic and a strong desire to get home and go to sleep, my quickest time is 30 minutes flat (7.5 miles, average of 15 mph). I thought this would be a dangerous ride at first, crossing through the fringes of Bed-Sty, but I quickly discovered that far more dangerous than one of the more dangerous ghettos in the Unites States are the dark-coat-wearing Hasidic Jews who tend to jaywalk at night without looking both ways, almost trying to get hit by a cyclist. The ones driving cars aren't much better, and they can do even more damage.

BRONX: Are you kidding me? I'm not that stupid. Harlem, maybe, but not the Bronx. MAYBE if I was a Yankees fan, even then, I'd probably just take the 4 train...My reasoning has nothing to do with time it takes to get there...I did technically poke through during the 5 Boro bike tour which was a 1 mile little section, but that doesn't count.

STATEN ISLAND: You know, this almost happened during the 5 borough bike tour which turned into the 4 Boro Bike Tour (I was going to take Brooklyn Bridge as a shortcut back instead of Verrazano to Staten Island) which turned into the 2 Boro bike tour when the bottleneck over the Queensboro was so unappealing that I just decided to go home, shower and go to church instead. I hear the ride down Sunset Park and over the Verazano is pretty amazing though, so maybe next year I'll start that ride earlier and not get caught waiting around (AND I THOUGHT MT. FUJI WAS BAD!).

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