Bikes, Beaches and Bruises

21 Apr

I have had quite the adventurous weekend. This Saturday I volunteered to help clean up one of the beach parks in the Far Rockaways that was destroyed after Hurricane Sandy. To make this an even more adventurous day, we decided to ride our bikes from my place. According to google, the ride would be about 14.8 miles which is a distance I had never gone on my vintage 60’s, 40 pound, 3-speed cruiser bike before. But I was up for the challenge!

Here is a map of roughly the route from my place to the beach:

far rockaway bike ride

It was a mostly flat ride and the weather was perfect so it couldn’t have been a more pleasant ride. It was incredible to see the beach right next to us with a backdrop of the NYC skyscrapers in the distance!

Bikes on the Cross Bay

Bikes on the Cross Bay

Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge

Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge

Beaches and Buildings

Beaches and Buildings

After a smooth 15 mile ride we reached Beach 30 where we were handed gloves, a broom and a shovel and we got right to work! We had to clean up sand that was covering the park and trees. After a lower body work out on the bike, it was time to get some upper strength going!!

So excited to shovel!

So excited to shovel!

Before heading back¬†toward¬†the mainland, we decided to check out a bit of the surrounding area of Rockaway as well as find a place to refuel after a day of physical activity. Unfortunately, this was when a totally awesome day turned a bit scary. We were riding down Rockaway Blvd checking out the town while looking for a spot to eat when all of a sudden a car door in front of me opened. Since there was a bus passing by on my left, I was closer than usual to the parked cars to avoid being too close to the bus. And then one of my biggest biking fears began to unfold. Before I knew it, I had hit the car door and began losing control of my bike. Somehow I managed to steer a bit away from the bus but completely lost control of the bike and fell, bike and all. I ended up on the ground with my bike on top of me. I don’t know how the Green Monster and I managed to escape with minor scrapes but I was in complete shock. The owner of the car came rushing out to see if I was ok but I could only scream at him to leave me alone and be more careful when he opens his door next time.

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Fresh Wound

 

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Cleaned up – looks like Wolverine got a hold of me

After some brief sobbing and sitting, I managed to get back on my bike for the 15 mile ride home we had ahead of us.

All in all it was an awesome day, despite the scary car door. It’s a risk every time we get on a bike but I was happy not to have been riding alone when it happened.

 

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