It was an interesting ride. Lots of starting and stopping; the bike bath was sometimes there, sometimes not; sometimes across the street with no warning; you had to be willing to improvise. But finally I came across this:
of the bike path. At one point, we sought refuge in a parking lot, until the path
A better glimpse of the Bay:
the bike path went along the Belt Parkway. I thought she must be out of her
mind. The Belt? That incredibly fast (and to me dangerous) patch of road
where I'm always trembling under my seat belt on the way to the airport?
There's a bike path there?! Who would even THINK of riding there?
port, I will wish I were on it instead. Not exactly a rustic trip, but that
wasn't the worst of it. This was the worst of it:
Marcellus Shale to be stored at an LNG terminal in a National Park which
is basically just a barrier island. What could possibly go wrong?? After all
of that, it will likely be shipped overseas. See all the jobs it's creating?
Went past Floyd Bennet Field - now there's something historic!
Knowing that, I'd brought a bike map, had a subway map on my phone - but
I'd left the really helpful map at home, and I was outside an area where GPS
would work for me; phone already losing battery power, and I didn't dare
push it. So between ever shifting bike paths, and no map, I ended up getting
suckered right out of Jamaica Bay, over the Gil Hodges Memorial Bridge
(1936), and smack into the Rockaways. I had no idea where I was going,
but it was such an incredible ride that I had to take it.
This is the bridge. A huge span as you can see.
(right, like that's gonna happen), and the path itself is only a little over 4' wide.
Before me on the bridge was a small platoon of Marines jogging along in single
file - what a routine! The person at the end of the line had to sprint past everyone
jogging to claim their place at the front of the line. One by one they took turns, running
like hell to pass their fellows (both men and women did this) and continuing to jog
It looked horrific. And hot. They did this all the way across the bridge, their leader too.
As I got closer, the leader beckoned me to pass them. That would give
me approximately 2' total space to make my move; but I knew I would never
get past them walking, and after he beckoned me to go ahead, I couldn't chicken
out. I went for it. Gear down, power through!
Thus have my skills been gradually honed. I see now that I can practically stand still
indefinitely, sitting astride the notoriously tippy Lucille, and not lose my balance.
I have more skill than I give myself credit for. Generally, I take the Ninny's way
out in NY traffic. But good to know I have options.
At last I ended up in the Rockaways.
so different from the Pacific. Maybe it has to do with the humidity, or the sea creatures.
All I can say is that the moment I hit this patch along the sea, I was as
transported as Proust with his madeleine, to those Summers in Bay Head
where the smell of the ocean, especially at dusk, evoked such an over-
powering longing within me I wondered I could survive it. The longings of
a life beginning. For life. For glory. For love. For discovery (and self discovery),
for potential without a horizon, as vast as the ocean itself. After all this time,
I still have this reaction to the Atlantic, and think at times of moving back to Bay Head
just to re-connect with that amazing sensation and all that it evokes.
Then I remind myself that moving to the shore - if you don't already live
there - is probably not a wise idea in this day and age; and if I just stay put in
Chelsea, I'll have beach front property soon enough. Sigh...
And this. The house across the street which had been rebuilt.
and make it to the reading by 6:30. I rode like a bat out of hell, back over that
bridge (no Marines this time), back along the Belt (and through that parking lot),
and got my bearings back to the B train. I arrived at the reading with
Lucille (who was much admired when she was folded, although I had hoped
to leave her at home) at 6 :15 sharp. I removed my bike helmet, and replaced
it with a hair bow I'd brought with me in the event I didn't get home to change.
The reading was a pilot for a TV show called "Wolf Island." Think "Lost" with Were-
wolves. Kinda fun actually.