Friday, August 14, 2015

BSNYC Field Trip: NYC Century Preview Ride!

[Note: The BSNYC Friday Fun Quiz has been fun-postponed--for fun!]

On Sunday, September 13, 2015, Transportation Alternatives will present the 26th annual NYC Century Bike Tour:

There are various route options, but the full century covers 100 miles without leaving the city limits, and only Staten Island will be spared the indignity of this Lycra-clad procession:

Which I'm sure comes as a great relief to Diane "Find a Fucking Bike Lane and Get In It" Savino:

(The censored word is "Fucking.")

Ironically, she doesn't even need to yell at us, because getting into a bike lane is all most of us are trying to do.

You can register for the Century here--and the price will increase on August 18th, so be sure to register before then.  (Unless you like paying more for stuff, moneybags.)

Anyway, Transportation Alternatives recently asked me if I'd help spread the word about the event, so I agreed to go preview a section of the course for two reasons:

1) I took part in the NYC Century once back in the '90s (you know, before cycling was cool), and I have very fond memories of the event--apart from the overzealous Fred* who rear-ended me when I had the temerity to stop for a red light at a busy Queens intersection;

2) The course goes right by where I live, so I figured I could just take a stroll around the corner, snap a few shots, and get right back on the couch.  I wouldn't even need to bother with the bike--or shoes and pants for that matter.

*[Yes, I realize "overzealous Fred" is arguably redundant, as Freds are by definition overzealous.]

However, TA had their own ideas, and instead they suggested I do some reconnaissance of this section in eastern Queens, which starts over 20 American miles from my home:

So on a morning that was so absurdly lovely it was almost a parody of a perfect summer day, I embarked upon my journey to Queens, which I attained via Randall's Island and the Triborough Bridge:

Technically it's been the Robert F. Kennedy Bridge since 2008, but it will always be the Triborough to me.

Robert Moses's bridges generally offer one of two types of non-motorized access: either wildly inconvenient, or else completely nonexistent.  The Triborough features the former, and the pedestrian path (assuming you're able to find it) is enclosed in this chainlink hamster tunnel:

Which as you enter it evokes either the cockpit of the Millennium Falcon:

Or else that rat cage Richard Burton put over John Hurt's face in "1984:"

There's also this sign:

Yeah, right.  I'll walk my bike across the bridge when the drivers are also required to push their cars.  Until then I'm riding.

Keen readers will also note the prohibition against photography, which means I've already violated two laws and I haven't even made it to Queens yet.

By the way, see that massive bridge span way in the distance?  The one vanishing into the distant horizon?  That's how far the Triborough Bridge And Tunnel Authority expects you to walk your bike:

That's the funniest thing I've heard since Bicycling magazine declared us America's Most Bike-Friendly City.

I do admit though that as I rode across the span my defiance backfired on me, because that guardrail is pretty low and I'm kind of afraid of heights:

Indeed, I was tempted to dismount and walk--or, if I'm to be totally honest, crawl--but there was no way I was going to succumb to the will of the Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority.  It would take more than a sign, a rat cage, and a perturbingly low guardrail to get me off my bike.  Instead I pressed on, stopping only briefly to take in the Manhattan skyline:

And the Hell Gate Bridge:

And it wasn't long before I was kissing the ground in Queens.

Queens is the largest New York City borough by land area.  It's also famously diverse.  Certainly all the boroughs of New York City defy easy categorization, but this is especially true of Queens, where you'll find everything from urban density to lazy beach towns, as well as representatives from pretty much every culture on the planet.  Therefore, it's difficult to find a single iconic image that embodies the essence of Queens, so I had to make do with the Unisphere in Flushing Meadows Corona Park:

("I will crush you.")

The Unisphere was built for the 1964–1965 New York World's Fair, and it embodies the endearing undercurrent of Jet Age optimism that still runs through the borough.

A few miles past the Unisphere is Kissena Park, home to the Kissena Velodrome, where my century preview route would begin in earnest:

There wasn't a race underway, but there were some riders stretching their legs:

By the way, the track at Kissena Velodrome is 400 meters long, so if you want to do the NYC Century while skipping all the fascinating neighborhoods and scenery then all you have to do is ride around it 402 times:

East of Kissena Park the landscape becomes decidedly suburban:

Complete with basketball hoops mounted to utility poles:

I'm guessing the Honda's there to reserve the court, and when you want to play you just yell, "MA, MOVE THE CAR!!!"

Here's some vintage New York City bicycle infrastructure:

Note the bike route sign says "Dept. of Traffic" on the bottom.  As far as I know, the "Department of Traffic" changed its name to the Department of Transportation in 1977, probably because someone finally realized using "traffic" in the name was defeatist--like calling the Department of Health the Department of Barfing.  If so, this would make the sign at least 38 years old, and therefore evidence that human beings actually rode bicycles in the 1970s.

When they weren't cowering in fallout shelters, that is:

Back then, all that Jet Age optimism was augmented by a healthy dose of Cold War paranoia.

Here's some decidedly more contemporary bike signage:

And here's the Long Island Motor Parkway, which is a highlight of this portion of the route:

The Long Island Motor Parkway, also known as the Vanderbilt Motor Parkway, survives today as a bicycle path, but began as America’s first limited-access road for cars.

Originally started in 1908 by the railroad mogul and financier, William K. Vanderbilt Jr. (1878-1944), the parkway was the prototype for today’s superhighways.  It was the first long-distance, concrete highway, utilizing bridges and overpasses to eliminate cross traffic, super-elevated curves for safety and speed, and was the first high-speed route from Queens to Suffolk County.  The parkway’s history is filled with extraordinary racing cars, bootleggers, public controversy and historic preservation efforts.

Here's what it looked like then:

And here's what it looks like now:

By contrast, here's the nearby Long Island Expressway:

Even Old Man Vanderbilt would have plotzed.

Maybe one day the LIE will become a bike path too.

Yeah, right.

The Long Island Motor Parkway runs though Cunningham Park, and it was at this point I took a little detour from the official century course:

Because Cunningham Park happens to contain a network of mountain bike trails:

And so I headed in for a couple of laps.

After my crime spree on the Triborough bridge I felt bold and invincible, and so I went right ahead and violated three (3) of the Parks Department's dire warnings:

That's right--no glasses, no friends, and an inappropriate non-mountain bike:

(Rider is a semi-professional bike blogger, do not attempt.)

Cunningham Park is perhaps the most fun place to ride a bicycle inside the New York City limits.  There's something for everybody.  If you want you can hit the dirt jumps and launch yourself out of the forest canopy, but if you prefer your offroad cycling to be a bit more genteel there's also plenty of flowing singletrack:

I'm sure some baggy-shorted doofus out west is saying, "That's not real mountain biking."  But is your mountain bike trail accessible by both subway and LIRR and fully within the boundaries of one of the greatest cities on the planet?

I didn't think so.

Once I'd finished "getting rad" I returned to the century route, following the Long Island Motor Parkway for awhile and then heading north along the western edge of Alley Pond Park:

Between the quiet neighborhood and the newly paved street--complete with freshly striped bike lane--it's easy to forget you're still in New York City.  Yes, New Yorkers love neighborhoods that feel nothing like New York, which proves that we're crazy to live here.  See, in other cities the inhabitants actually like their city for what it is, whereas in New York City we're constantly looking for a way to escape without leaving.  This explains much of what's happened in Brooklyn over the last couple of decades--it's basically a bunch of people trying to delude themselves into believing they live in Berkley.

Before long the smell of low tide filled my nostrils, and I headed onto to the "Joe Michaels Mile" along Little Neck Bay, another highlight of the route:

According to this congratulatory sign, I was technically starting at the end of the trail:

As for the bike, I can only assume someone was so happy to be finished working out that they simply abandoned it and swore never to ride again.

Either that, or someone's hiding a spare bike for the Century.

Here's another sign explaining that the salt marsh is "Nature's Water Purifier:"

Though I suspect all the emissions from the Cross Island Parkway have voided the warranty:

It's like pouring Gowanus water through your Brita filter.

Still, even though you're about two feet from the Cross Island, his particular stretch of the Brooklyn-Queens Greenway is extremely pleasant:

And before long I spotted a pier in the distance:

I was still shy of the NYC Century designated "pit stop" area, but I figured this was a good place to pause for refreshments:

So I allowed my bike to mingle with the locals' rides:

("Where are your reflectors?  You're not from around here, are you?")

And sat down by the fishing and crabbing pier to enjoy some food, sea air, and harbor views:

Though I couldn't fully relax as I was being watched:

I figured these were agents for a rival century and they were trying to steal the route from me.  This seemed like a waste of time and resources on their part since it's right there on the website.  Then again, I do always carry my cue sheets in a suitcase handcuffed to my wrist, so I can't blame them for thinking it was all a big secret.

After a protracted gunfight (my assailants escaped on jet skis) I returned to the greenway and pressed on to Little Bay Park, where I ventured out onto a jetty offering sweeping views of the Throgs Neck Bridge (no pedestrian or bike access, thanks Robert Moses):

And Fort Totten:

I also poked around on the "beach:"

Where I observed egrets fishing in the background and pigeons feasting on a pile of trash in the foreground:

This natural/urban dichotomy encapsulates the spirit of Queens far better than the Unisphere.

Here's the undercarriage of a dead horseshoe crab:

Horseshoe crabs are considered living fossils, like Dorothy Rabinowitz and Denis Hamill.

And here's the Throgs Neck Bridge again, like a necklace strung across the throat of the Long Island Sound:

After that I bid a reluctant adieu to the greenway and its colorful fauna:

And took up the optimistically named Utopia Parkway:

Where it should be noted that you are allowed to make a right turn on red at the intersection with Willets Point Boulevard:

This is important to know, because New York City motorists have few legal opportunities to make a right on red, so if you deprive them of one by inadvertently blocking them while you're waiting for the light to change they will go ABSOLUTELY FREAKING INSANE.

So spare yourself the honking and subsequent agita and make sure you leave these people plenty of room to turn.

Hey, it's all they have.

Of course I'd hate to have to report that a street named Utopia Parkway doesn't have a bike lane, but fortunately it does:

It's also lined with tidy side streets evoking that Unispherian sense of optimism, and where you'll find such bits of Americana as picket fences (albeit vinyl ones):

Three Stooges lawn ornaments:

And sweet, sweet rides parked in front of tidy Tudors:

Damn right it's got the fuzzy dice:

In fact I was tempted to buy my own slice of the American Dream™ right there on the spot:

Except all I had in my jersey pocket by way of a down payment was $14 bucks, a mini pump, an EpiPen® (or its generic equivalent), and a half-eaten energy bar.

Finally I left Utopia and reached the end of the preview route:

Yep, that's Queens--just turn a few corners and you're out of suburbia and back in the city:

And halfway around the world at the same time.

[Click here to register now for the NYC Century, and beat the price increase on August 18th.]


Anonymous said...

Suck it

Anonymous said...

And Twice

Anonymous said...

Everyone asleep today?

Kraig said...

Always a bridesmaid

James said...

Insomnia last night? Oh scranus.

leroy said...

So that's why they didn't need me to help mark the route this year.

Oh well, the best volunteer job on the tour is leaving a couple of hours before the start to ride ahead checking for last minute route issues and touching up markings. NYC at 4AM on a Sunday morning is a cool place to ride.

Anonymous said...

Cool, Snob! The suburban/urban interface has always fascinated me (much like the terrestrial/marine interface) and your blogging about it is very nice. Colorful, downright. Did I mention there were single speed bikes on the Price is Right for the contestants to bid on? And a rather older, larger man one the pair. I doubt he rides them.

Top 10!

really, am I a robot?

Anonymous said...

West coast represent BITCHES!!!

Unknown said...

wow top ten. who says using a car isn't faster than a bike

Gloated all the way to 11

Buffalo Bill said...

Nice urban ride, but a distinct lack of mountains. Should be fun.

babble on said...

Yawwwwwwwwwn! Holy carp that's an early posting!!

P. Bateman said...

jesus early bird christ.

they get all the good worms.

P. Bateman said...

and how on earth am i supposed to read all that?

cant you make these EPIC posts into something easy like an infographic? actually, a porno would be ideal.

BamaPhred said...

Epic, I dare say Baronial, travelogue. Maybe the best yet. One of my childhood wardens was stationed at Fort Totten. I learned to ride a bike there. All I really remember is that Chubby Checker was all the rage.

ken e. said...

what the? lucas is a biter, tarantino too.

P. Bateman said...

i'm with you BikeSnobNewYorkCity on the crossing big bridges.

my route includes a causeway over the indian river and i have this nightmare of having a blow out, and taking a header right through the rails on the outside edge of the bridge which are plenty big enough, then falling the..i dont know, like 5 stories maybe? to to the water, being clipped by a passing boat prop, and then being devoured by a variety of alligators and sharks.

but other than that its a pretty view and a nice stand in for the Alpe D'huez since its kind of flat here.

JB said...

Yay! Photo journal 'zine!

JLRB said...

Wowza - someones been busy - need to save this one for lunch

PotbellyJoe said...

"I used to go for walks there when people hated me." ~John Lindsay

Come to think of it, maybe Mayor Lindsay tenure is the real impetus behind DeBlasio's Vision Zero. Billy De is trying to also have zero people think he is "excellent" as a mayor.

I'm sure the missing, or inadequate, pedestrian and bike lanes on the bridges were due to engineering considerations by Moses.

Grump said...

$70 for a century ride?....That is almost a "fondo" price.
You can still find $25 century rides, here around Chicagoland.
Call me cheap, but there is no friggin way that I'd drop $70 on a Fred ride.

Grumpier said...

I won't drop a squat on an "organized Fred ride. People annoy me.

McFly said...

I incorporated some off roading on my plastic road bike Wednesday. It was going GREAT until I traversed 3 consecutive roots the diameter of a mature python.

My teeth went clackity clackity clack along with my back.

Standard Izedatest said...

I practiced for the quiz all week. What happened?

BikeSnobNYC said...


Of course if you want to ride 100 miles you can do it for free.

I think the idea here is to benefit an organization that does good work.

--Wildcat Etc.

leroy said...

Dear Mr. Grump --

Well this is a coincidence. My dog has been disinvited from several organized rides for squatting and dropping.

But he's always minded his manners on the TA ride because it's a hoot and a half. It's the big annual fund raiser for the City's premier bike/pedestrian advocacy non-profit.

It's a great way to really see the City.

(And ride safe all!)

Andy Scherer said...

Damn son, you toured my old hoods. Rode Alley Pond and Cunningham as a kid, then lived a few blocks from Kissena out of college. Spun that track many times. You hit all the high points.

N/A said...

Snob has the whole world in his (disembodied) hand!


Anonymous said...

vsk said ...

So early!


OK, reading time!


crosspalms said...

That was a lot of fun, makes me jealous of you NYers.

Nik Nerburn said...

Alerting you to Skull Dude and his 3-foot commuter bar -

bad boy of the north said...

sir snob...thanks for the reconnaissance.what a long strange trip it was.(apologies to the grateful dead)robot says commercial trucks.

balls™ said...

Great post, but there was hardly any naked people.

Anonymous said...

Record number of photographs. No ta ta's though :-(

Anonymous said...

Woke up, got out of bed, dragged a...holy crap, thirty something comments, WTF, going back to bed on the Leftist Coast.

Anonymous said...

vsk said ...

I have to agree that Transportation Alternatives / TRANSALT / TA (Not Traction Avant!) is a great group. Not nuts, and really advocate for sensible improvements.

Ride stuff -
The forested Fondon't was a nice change from the shore ride stuff I usually do. My regular nemisis is the wind ... because I can't / won't get up early enough. I don't get tired of looking at coastal ride pix though. My old boat (whatever happend to Fred of the Sea?) is along the Hilpster Highway / Great Circle Silk route on Flatbush Avenue between the golf driving range and the Marine Parkway Bridge (ok Gil Hodges). So a ride I'll do every now and then is midtown Manhattan to there (15? miles of urban mess), or from Bay Ridge to Breezy Point (17 miles one way) to the boat to chill out or my house to Point Lookout after crossing the (really small WALK IT ONLY) bridge to Atlantic/Lido?Long Beach (34 miles one way). OR Along the Belt Parkway path down Cross Bay Blvd to Beach Channel Drive back up the MP Bridge.

Of course all pancake flat! Yummy!

Why we keep coming back ... I never knew there was a bike ( / pedestrian) path on the TriBoro Bridge. Thanks for the info and illegal pix !!

Happy Friday !!


See the USA in Your Chevrolet said...

"By contrast, here's the nearby Long Island Expressway:"

A photograph of the LIE (a misnomer if there ever was one) taken when the cars are actually moving, normally it resembles a parking lot.

Peter said...

I'm agree with that Transportation Alternatives.And it's also a nice blog and group.Keep blogging like this.
Thank you.

BikeSnobNYC said...


The very small bridge is the Atlantic Beach Bridge. It used to have a pedestrian toll complete with turnstile.

--Wildcat Etc.

Anonymous said...

they say rape isn't funny, but they didn't say you can't make a few bucks off of it

babble on said...

After having fallen four stories once, my body objects to bridges with wide gaps under the railings. The Alex Fraser bridge here is enormous, and the bike path is sort of tacked on the outside of the main deck, so that you can see a gap between the bridge and the sidewalk, and another on the outer side, below the railings. I am not afraid of heights but my once bashed, twice scared stiff body has its own ideas, and I go into a full on panic attack every time I cross the fucking thing. I have done it four times already this year, though, and every time I do, it gets a little bit easier.

"Face your fear," they say.
"Shit your own pants," I reply.

ha. Have you heard abo Rock Creek's living nightmare? Holy Uckfay, Batman. A literal firestorm. in a narrow valley with strong winds. Literal balls of fire raining down from the sky. Trees exploding in fire. three roads in and one road out? OMG. Living fucking hell... that guy who had to drive through fire to escape? Can you imagine? OOooooohhhh. Yuck yuck yuck a fuck. Shudder. 8-S


babble on said...

I have a solution. We should get nekkid on Wreck this weekend and do a HUGE raindance! We are actually expecting a sprinkle this afternoon, though there are thunderstorm warnings all across the province and very little water on the way.

We are creating hell right here on Earth, right now. It's time to change our fucking priorities already. Get it right. We need a leader to unite us as a global community. We must reinvent our role in this world. I love Tracy Chapman's song Heaven on Earth. Not the music as much as the thought behind the song.

K-Bo said...

Nice travelogue! That's not mountain biking though.

DB said...

Thanks, Wildcat.
That was outstanding.

Bryan said...

Wildcat Etc Etc,

Thanks for the travelogue! Always my favorite blog posts. Looks like a fairly nice ride

P. Bateman:
Indian River in DelaWHERE? If so, I love that area.

David G said...

Outstanding weblog "post", WRM, and a yeoman's job making the NYC Century seem as enjoyable as I remember it being.

I did the event twice, a few years back, though the second time was one of the shorter loops. The year I did the full deal the route was actually a non-trivial distance greater than 100 miles, so good for us. It's such a nice event, I think, with just the right level of organization, which means not too little, but just as importantly not too much. Also there's a T-shirt.

It goes right by where I live in regular New York as well, but the special appeal definitely lies in those endless miles through Brookweens, so enticingly portrayed by our host today.

kuat ereksi said...

nice trip..ride a bike also making healthy

Anonymous said...


P. Bateman said...

@bryan -no, down here in central-ish florida.

wild_fire_resident said...


I imagined forest fires like "Oh yeah, a really really big bonfire, okay.."

But, it's not. The wildfires travel very fast and are extremely hot. I live near an area that burned twice in the same wildfire on different days. That's how fast this kind of fire moves.

There were places where some of the blackend brush is left, the ground underneath has no char. None. It's as if someone painted all the brush black. It's that fast and hot.

And then people bid top-dollar for the old houses near the open areas that are not fire-code compliant because they look really charming not-fire-code-compliant and are shocked when they burn to the ground.

Something has to change there. I don't know what it is.

cheers_mate said...

Top marks for Fredly local history geekery.

Beavis said...

"rear ended by a Fred", heh heh

babble on said...

Yikes. Yeah, even here on the coast we've had a few fires in the city limits, but nothing like that. Yuck.

It IS a stellar post, Snobi Wan. Kudos to you, sir. xo

JLRB said...

WCRM - Very cool - but you appear to have failed to have listened to oatmeal-nuts-Bob - you rode a bike on UHmerican roads!!!

That ride does look like a good way to explore NYC environs - too bad its the same weekend I'll be civil-war-centurying 'cause I like to support T&A as much as possible

JLRB said...

oops - wrong link - here is the T&A Link

(not what you'd think)

Anonymous said...

Berkeley (not Berkley).

Also, there is a generic version of an Epipen? The Epipen sellers (Mylan Pharmaceutical) are extortionists. Last time around when they insisted on selling me two when I only needed one I sent the 2nd one to my mom for her perscription. There is an alternative? Tell me more!

JLRB said...

These are the most boring TITS ever

BikeSnobNYC said...

Anonymous 12:53pm,

Sorry, I just looked, it's actually a name-brand Epipen. I though it wasn't for some reason.

--Wildcat Etc.

JLRB said...

Long Island Motor Parkway old-timey-photo - not a tree in sight

Off-brand Epipens are known to have tainted substances in them - like horse meat

McFly said...

I am not sure about getting nekkid on the beach. We do indulge in the occasional romp of Night Time Nekkid Fishing on the boat, though.(No actual fishing...because hooks) It's always good fun. Had a couple of actual fisherman last time that were a little too close for comfort.

recumbent conspiracy theorist said...

Are you sure this isn't a professional bike blog?

I'm just messing with you. Ain't my first rodeo.

Nice ride and pics. Thanks for sharing. And you better get to putting in some more range time. Letting enemy agents get away is sloppy.


Queens: where you'll find everything from urban density to lazy beach towns, as well as representatives from pretty much every culture on the planet.

Never trust someone who will give you the shirt off his back said...

He became so skilled that he accomplished the so-called “Super Slam of North America,” hunting and killing all 29 approved hunting species listed by the Grand Slam Club -– it’s an accomplishment only two dozen bow hunters in North America have achieved. A 2009 New York Times profile of Palmer described him as “capable of skewering a playing card from 100 yards,” and refusing to carry firearms as a back-up weapon on bow hunts.

David Pearce said...

Darn right it's a nice ride & pics!

And to think, I was going to write you a nasty note and correct you, that it was Anthony Hopkins in "1984"! But what a surprise, you are right & I am wrong! Who knew? Wow: Burton really had lasting power!

Anonymous said...

& etc, Scranus, & nice ride, thnx!

Anonymous said...

Perturbingly long post, my eyes hurt.

David Pearce said...

Okay, Wildcat,

You're an incorrigible law-breaker and rabble-rouser. And your pointing out the "Department of Traffic" signage is illegal as well, and not at all welcome! You completely ignored the other sign, RIGHT THERE, which decrees NO DUMPING!

P.S. Your bike looks nice.

Pathetic Old Cyclist said...

K Bo 11:31

We don't have mountains on Long Island, but we have 'singletrack so tight you can ride up your own ass'.

Schisthead said...

Did you catch anyone with a silly huge bike there?

Always my favorite part... the 120-160mm 'trail' bikes on trails with no rocks.
Those are the people who aren't mountain biking.

--baggy-shorted doofus out west

Dooth said...

Wildcat, what route did you take to Randall's Island?

Unknown said...

vsk said ...

Sr. Snob,

Yes that little Atlantic Beach Bridge and surrounding area is cool. I believe it's not that far from the area of your humble beginnings.

Jamaica Bay should have a canal that joins up with Reynolds Channel / East Rockaway Inlet. If I want to take the boat to see some friends in Oceanside, I gotta go out around Boozy Point then head back East.

Funny to approach Reynolds Channel and that bridge from the ocean. You can definitaly see the change in the tax base on the Nassau / Atlantic Beach side vs. the Queens side at Far Far Rockaway. Although Malverne and Edgemere are a couple of new 'places to be' if you believe the marketing.

I would be into hosting a small contingent of intrepid souls for a ride and cruise and ride if it would be in the cards. The Fondon't vibe was great.


Anonymous said...

Epipens - Thanks for checking. Rant on...

I looked on the web of truth. Of course Epipen is a brand name, so there can be no Generic Epipen, but there can be a Generic Epinepherine auto-injector. That exists, though everyone likes Mylan's rule of only selling in pairs, and the price is probably still way high - I'll look harder when my current one gets 2 years beyond "good by" date. I'm not that allergic, and 1/2 strength is enough. List price for the minimum Epipen purchase is at least $330.

My first epinephrine kit, an "Ana-kit" only cost $20, in 1984 dollars. More here:

David Pearce said...


The Fun-Quiz wasn't cancelled, only postponed! Yippee!

When can we expect it to be rescheduled? Can't wait for two Fun-Quizzes in one week!

Anonymous said...

I will have to take a ride out to Queens. Usually reserve that trip solely for food, but now I see it has some lovely biking as well. thanks wildcat.

BikeSnobNYC said...


I used the pedestrian path you pick up around Bruckner Blvd.


Yes, that is very much my childhood backyard.

I vote YES for Fondon't II: Multimodal Edition.

--Wildcat Rock Machine

Dooth said...

Thanks, Wildcat. Ya mo be there, (an appropriate time to quote Michael McDonald of the Doobie Brothers).

Tire Fred said...

I've just gotta ask it, what tires are you running? I'm looking for something other than my 32mm Gatorskins. When they wear out, of course.

BikeSnobNYC said...

Tire Fred,

My favoritest tires nowadays are Panaracer Paselas. (The folding ones.) They come in various widths, ride nicely, and work for pretty much everything.

--Wildcat Etc.

Stupid questions said...



Anonymous said...

You're no doubt aging more gracefully than most NYCers. But air quality, noise and light pollution, and day to day stress (e.g. competition for physical space nearly everywhere you go) was enough to get me to pack my things and leave NYC.

(Some of these blog entries are causing me to second-guess my decision!)

BikeSnobNYC said...

Anonymous 3:03pm,

Where did you go?

--Wildcat Etc.

Roille Figners said...

It's weird - when I think of NYC, I tend to think of stuff like "Times Square" and "burnt pretzel smell," and forget that it's all surrounded by saltwater (or brackish anyway) with seagulls having lovelytimes and salty breezes and the whole bit.

Roille Figners said...

Also interesting (probably only to me) is the dual meaning of "suspicious." If you say I look suspicious, it could be about your suspicions of me, or it could be about my suspicions of you. But these two look suspicious both ways.

Roille Figners said...

Actually you know what, guess who else always looks suspicious both ways: law enforcement. Look at that goddamn camera lens. Those dudes are on a stakeout for sure.

bad boy of the north said...

vsk...a fondon't too.hmm..intriguing.the first won was a goodie.....lotsa fun.maybe a fall or winter one as well...well,i guess we'll leave it up to lob.

Roille Figners said...

What's in all the bags on & under the bench?
Why two bags? Because two guys, who are together?
But they seem to be trying not to appear so.
What's in Plaidy's front-right shorts pocket?
Pinky has some serious arm-veins indicating a rigorous workout regimen.

OK OK, sorry, didn't mean to ruin it.

JLRB said...

In my version of Utopia, there are no hairy-shirtless-plumbers'-crack-cyclists.

JLRB said...

Roille -

Plaidy-man is definitely packing, but I am not sure which side of the thin blue line they are walking ...

Anonymous said...

Excellent memories coming back of Cunningham Park in the years before anyone bieked... My old neighborhood where I mostly got high, no bieks. Thanks snob for bringing glory to Fresh Meadows, Queens.

Anonymous said...

vsk said ...

Daydreaming out the office window on a Friday afternoon ... thinking Coney Island fireworks tonight.

The Captcha Robot is not working on my work PC. Hmmm, maybe 'they' know!

Anyway, the Route Figure Outer is buzzing...

Prospect Park down Ocean Parkway to Surf Ave to Boardwalk at Coney Island to de Brightan Bich (as I have always heard it), to Emmons Avenue to the Plum Beach bike path (which is there again!) along the Belt Parkway path to Gateway Marina. Post cruise ride to Boozy Point then back.
69th Street Pier in Bay Ridge Brooklyn all along the water to East to Loop around Cross bay Boulevard to Beach Channel Drive to Marina Parkway Bridge (Gil Hodges) up to cruise, then ride back. Mostly off street paths. Can reverse the 1/2 circle around Jamaica Bay if the wind is nasty.
Prospect Park to Ocean Ave or Bedford to Sheepshead Bay to points east. The distance can be ... modulated.

Safe capacity on the 32' is 8.

Big demand would change the dynamic to a decent post ride dock party.

I think I have to mess with my Java on the work PC.


Anon 3:03 said...

Wildcat -

I found myself in Washington DC for more than a few years. Immediately after moving there, I saw a frog on the sidewalk as I was walking to the subway station near my apt. Hard to describe why that was important to me at the time; it symbolized being in a healthier physical environment.

Building height restrictions in the district ensure a view of the sky everywhere. (Thanks L'Enfant!) Architecture in the old neighborhoods is nice. I wound up owning a 115 year old row house with an old oak tree in front - where a family of (non-rabid) raccoons was living. I saw more than a few deer in Rock Creek Park, and it is a relatively cycling-friendly city.

DC has since gone the way of Brooklyn, as described by your blog.

I'm now in a relatively small town in the Nashville Metro area, about 10 miles from 'downtown' Nashville (wife's hometown). I couldn't stand it here at first. Then I got over myself and embraced it. Its the best place for us at this point in our lives, with two young children. Don't believe the stereotypes. Its more diverse than most realize (but it isn't NYC or DC in that respect), most people don't have southern accents, and most people don't listen to country music. There is a very large creative community here, and the primary industry is healthcare, not kitsch. The city is experiencing net population growth. In fact, it is getting more and more unusual to meet a native Nashvillian.

As for cycling, I now have access to rural roads. I ride through five miles of light suburban roads and then I'm on rural roads. (not to mention the Natchez Trace Parkway)

On second that I think of it... Donald Trump was here recently and he said this town is ready for one of his hotels. Ugh. You might want to stay away. Then again, he does live at 57th and 5th, doesn't he?

Anonymous said...

When looking for work in Nashville from my then-current hometown of DC, I interviewed with a guy who grew up in Nashville and had moved to DC for his work. He's Jewish. That was the first indication that my notion of Nashville was wrong. It really is more diverse than many people know.

Spokey said...

i think i would have walked. i learned my lesson the one time i tried to ride in to the paw-paw tunnel and almost went in the drink.

thx for no quiz today as once again i didn't study.

as for the wheel. the other one squeals like a stuck pig as well. i guess i'll check the pivot arms next as i think roille suggested although i have no idea how tight they should be. but i guess bamaphred's idea of emery cloth is no good as the 'new'+- wheel doesn't squeal on the other bike.

JLRB said...

Spokey - That Paw Paw tunnel is like a black hole - negative light - I went through on bike, but had a light on my bars - those without lights shat their shorts.

JLRB said...

94 etc

Atomic Man said...

Ah, Snob, I was hoping you'd do an anti-ride along the lines of the Grand Fondon't. Maybe the Jersey City Century?

I actually did some volunteer work for the very first NYC century. It went off well, except for a slight detour on a Bronx River Parkway underpass, which was closed since there was a dead body down there.

Of course I was happy to help out, since those were the days when TA was a cyclist's friend. Now they're our worst enemy.

Anonymous said...

Is there really anywhere on the Cunningham Park mountain bike trails where "full-face helmets, pads and body armor" are remotely necessary?

Anonymous said...

" fossils, like Dorothy Rabinowitz..."

Genius, sheer genuis.

Anonymous said...

100 miles through the streets of Gotham, Holy Crab Batman what could possibly go wrong? One presumes the course was designed to be free of Dunkin Donuts shops, wouldn't want a stuck gas pedal to take down a line of riders before taking down all of those trays full of Homer food.

BikeSnobNYC said...

Anonymous 6:52pm,


--Wildcat Etc.

poot said...


It's All Greek To Me said...

They should build a bridge over the river Styx, Charon would be pissed, but perhaps he could force you to walk your bike over it and charge you a coin as toll.

BikeSnobNYC said...

Anon 3:03pm,

Surprising abundance of wildlife and sky views up here in my current corner of NYC...

Have never visited Nashville, but always seemed interesting.

--Wildcat Etc.

BamaPhred said...

After last week's east coast death march, I'm surprised there wasn't a toll booth on the pedestrian walkway.

Lee said...

Here's a few things, none pertaining to your post today. Why did Ben Serotta decide to reverse the direction of the shift lever on his city bike design, so it's "backwards" from the already existing fleet? Seems an odd decision to make (though I otherwise love the update on the bikes). Also, what's with the bells on those bikes? Why are they upside down? And why don't they really work?
And what's the skinny on biking city streets that have no lanes? I was under the impression that one was to bike on the left side of one-way streets and on the right side of a two-way street. But bike lanes seem to be sometimes on one side and sometimes on the other on one-way streets, so I'm confused. And what about vehicles blocking the bike lane? Someone letting off a passenger or picking up someone or waiting for someone or just plain double parked– are these ticketable and deserving of a cyclists ire, or not? The cops sure don't seem to care.

Anonymous said...

Your "I"s are too close together. ..

Doc Sarvis said...



"Mountain" biking is a misnomer. It should be called "fucking around in the woods" biking.

Anonymous said...


JLRB said...


Spokey said...


i had a light but it wasn't that great in the tunnel. i got about 20 feet in and hit one of those dirt moguls and went in to the rickety wooden railing. that convinced me to dismount and walk it. went back in 2013 and just dismounted outside the tunnel and walked it. i think walking it takes about 1/2 hour. but better than that 10foot or so drop. i found the tunnels further north on the gap all rideable. and much shorter of course

Spokey said...

happy b-day leroy

at least your dog told me it was today. he says you're doing a 12 mile ride?

Anonymous said...

Missed being #111 by a dogs hair.

The Cheese King of Campania said...

Anom @ 402 Obviously penned by Martin Amis.

Unknown said...

You mean I'm not allowed to pedal across the Triboro Bridge anymore? Everybody does it. After the steps on the Queens side approach is one of my favorite urination stops. Are they also going to take that away from me? Last year, no one was walking bikes on any bridges except on the Cross Bay approach due to congestion on that 90-degree ramp turn. Last year's t-shirts were 30-thread-count garbage that will shrivel up in warm water, so consider ordering up a size. Lastly, I lost my wallet during last year's ride forcing me to sleep in my car on the top level of the Port Authority garage (I came up from Philth-adelphia) until I could get cash wired to me the next day. A resident of Queens found it and contacted me, even after a few failed attempts, and I got everything back. Met the gentlemen a week later at Kissena Park, getting back my wallet, but left him with the $200 cash that was still in it, even though he insisted otherwise. There are some very good people in NYC.

Chopper said...

Q. What's easier to unload, a pickup truck full of dead babies or a pickup truck full of gravel?
A. A pickup truck full of dead babies, because you can use a pitchfork!

Top said...

Department of barfing, -snicker laugh

Anonymous said...

Out of the shadows

babble on said...

K. I babbled on and on, and I posted photos of my plates and spikes as seen in a few x rays a coupla weeks ago.

bp said...

Nice travelogue. And you have much hairier forearms than I'd imagined.

Island rider said...

At last someone has bought and moved the Sydney Harbour Bridge - hope they took those stupid steps as well

McFly said...


McFly's wife said...

...not that kind of fucking around silly

Anonymous said...

You have very small, stubby hands.

BikeSnobNYC said...

Anonymous 9:46am,

Who said it was my hand?

--Wildcat Rock Machine

Roille Figners said...

"Find My Fucking Dick and Get On It," Cyclist Yells at State Senator.

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Christine said...

Queens definitely has some amazing riding, though the pleasant ride will grind to a halt in Flushing's Chinatown. Good to stop and eat there in any case.

My work commute takes me past those Stooges, then over the pedestrian bridge to the marina (lovely view of the concrete plant and river trickle), past Shea (okay, *CitiField*) and onward. If I were ambitious, I'd add a couple of miles and take the Greenway across to the Unisphere and go from there.....just might have to try this.

Thanks for giving our borough some well-deserved props!

P.S. Scranus

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