Yesterday I took a bike ride around the 20 mile journey around Jamaica Bay. At the time I didn’t realize I would see about 3 or 4 parts of the Gateway National Recreation Area. I started my journey in Broad Channel and headed towards the Rockaways. First place I crossed over the bay was on the Crossbay Bridge. I couldn’t have timed it better as a tugboat and a barge were going under as I reached the middle. Next week sometime the space shuttle Enterprise will be going under this bridge. I am guessing I will be in the same spot to get a good picture.
Next I took the the boardwalk to 126th street and then on to the bike path on Rockaway Beach Blvd and continued down to Riis Park. They have a clock on the boardwalk that makes for a great picture.
The boardwalk at Riis park is made of concrete and really a pleasure to ride on.
I have to climb over that bridge to get to Brooklyn. At this point my legs were feeling fine and the wind wasn’t bad and I was ready for the bridge.
It has been a few years since they rebuilt the bridge and this was the first time I was riding on it in about 15 years or so. Although you are not allowed to ride on the pedestrian walkway I did it anyway and it was like riding in the fun house. Everytime a car or a bus went by the walkway felt like an earthquake was happening. I couldn’t get off the bridge fast enough. This is the walkway, odds are I will never be on it again.
The bridge had some amazing views. This is Coney Island and the Verrazano Bridge in the background.
So I get across the bridge and I get on to the bike path in front of Floyd Bennett field. I head down the path and run right into the old control tower for the airport. This tower has seen some history as Howard Hughes and Amelia Earhart both flew in and out of the airport.
Now the field has redone the hangars and they are restoring aircraft inside. They also use the land for other things. Today the circus was in town and the cars were coming in and out of the place like crazy.
I then make my way on to the winding bike path that lead to the bike path that goes along the Belt Parkway. There is a lot of construction going on and I wasn’t sure if it would be open all the way around but I took my chances. I get on the Belt bike path and head towards the first bridge. I think this is called Bascule Bridge. It crosses over Mill Basin and it has an old drawbridge and the walkway is very dangerous as it has no guardrail separating you from the cars. I suggest you get off the bike and walk over it. Better safe than sorry.
You get a great view of Jamaica Bay and the small beach at Floyd Bennett field that I am sure the shorebirds just love.
After a few more small bridges it was on to Canarsie Pier. Yet another part of the Gateway National Recreation Area. I was hoping to get something to eat but all the stores were closed. I guess it is only open in the summer or on weekends. There were plenty of people fishing. I am sure if they put stores there they would sell a lot of items.
I was starting to feel like I was on the home stretch and it was time to get to pedaling. There were a few nice views of the water along here and the beach was right along side the bike path.
Only one or two more bridges and I was done with this ride. I forgot about the long stretch between Canarsie and Erskine street. One of the bridges was nicely repaved which was good for riding. Once again there was no rail between the cars and the path. I felt like I rode in 2 miles of construction as the roadwork from the belt parkway was still going on. I had to dodge a bunch on clam shells as the seagulls like using the hard black surface to drop shells on to get them open.
Leaving Brooklyn and heading into Queens they have a sign that pretty much says it all.
After this is was another few miles down the new bike path to Howard Beach where I got on the bike path towards the Joe Addabboo Bridge. They installed a bike lane one block off Crossbay Blvd. You don’t have to dodge the cars anymore which is nice. Once I get to the Bridge there was a Nation Parks police boat going by. He was heading towards JFK because of an aircraft making an emergency landing.
I cross over the bridge and head on to the bike path that is about two miles long and runs along side the west side of the blvd. It is roomy and I got to see some cool birds along the way. The Ospreys have come back to perch on their nest. I head into the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge and get some water.
A few more pedals and I was back where I started it all.