7 Aug 2010 3:18 pm   //   Filed under: Bicycles

Today’s bike ride: Atlantic Beach

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The goal of today’s bike ride was to go 60 miles and average at least 14 miles per hour. I chose a route for smooth, flat, uninterrupted, wide-open riding: The Belt Parkway greenway, continuing to the Rockaways and back. Rockaway is an eerie place, consisting largely of an empty, never-realized street grid of overgrown fields. It’s oceanfront New York City property waiting to be developed. It’s where the city might push if we run out of space. But we aren’t out of space yet.

In my quest for speed, I ran into slowness in a few places. This included a stretch around Plum Beach where part of the bike trail has washed away and I had to carry my bike over sand! (Repairs are underway.)

I decided to tack on an extra hop to Atlantic Beach, Long Island, to get in some extra miles and a bridge I’d never biked before. The Atlantic Beach bridge has an absurd number of stern signs insisting people walk, not ride, their bikes over it—enough that I assumed the town is run by the sort of cranks who would actually make good on the threat to issue you a $250 ticket. So that slowed me down to walking speed for 5 or 10 minutes each way. (An aside: In my experience, towns that post a lot of signs usually suffer from deeper problems below the surface. And Atlantic Beach has a lot of signs: About parking permits, beach regulations, special warnings to drive slow, etc. I don’t know what displeases the BMW-driving population of Atlantic Beach so much, but I tread lightly when I visit a place like that.) On the return trip, I did a lap around Floyd Bennett Field, the abandoned airport, to rack up more miles and increase my average speed. But in the end, I fell short of my average speed goal. Total miles: 64.3. Average speed: 13. Still one more week to train before my century ride on the 22nd.

A map follows. (If you want to see a unique look at my ride around Bennett Field, switch to satellite view and zoom in close on the cluster of dots right in the middle of the ride.)

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