Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Polar Pancake plan

I'm working up a route now for another new ride: Polar Pancakes, on New Years Day 2009. The general idea is go to a really good place for kosher pancakes then hustle down to Coney Island to see the Polar Bear club do their annual New Years dip.

Time is pressing on this one, we've got to get down to Stillwell ave. by 12:30-12:45pm if we are to see the swimmers do their thing at 1 PM but we like to give the day a chance to warm up.

If it was someone else riding sweep I'd start the ride at Columbus Circle. That gives Manhattanites and Queens people a central gathering point so they don't have to ride alone to the start at City Hall Park. But, Ed Defreitas is riding sweep and so we'll start at City Hall Park which is his usual spot.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

A Non-Partisan spin

A nice turnout for this past Tuesday's Election Day ride. The title link gives you the Motion-Based interpretation of the route based on the data recorded by my Garmin GPS. It includes a map, our speed and how much elevation we climbed. The route through the streets of Brooklyn was ok; Eastern Parkway went fairly well. The really good fun was the route through Highland Park, around Ridgewood Reservoir and thence to and through Forest Park. The trees were in full autumn color. Folks also liked zooming down Cypress Hills Street.

Our lunch, at Pita Hot on Main Street, was great. They were very nice to us: they invited us to bring our bikes inside the resturaunt. The food was good and folks liked it.

After lunch, I took the group on a tour through the old Worlds Fair grounds, AKA Flushing Meadows Park. We stopped for a group photo at the Unisphere.

cylists stand in front of the Unisphere
Photo provided by Stanley Fine

As we rode through the park, I pointed out a few interesting features, including the ruins of the NYS Pavilion (used for the location of a scene of a McCloud episode, back in the early 70s before neglect allowed the pavilion to become ruined) and the former Sikorsky pavilion which is now the Terrace on the Park catering hall.

My original route was going along the greenway by the Whitestone Expressway and thence out into Queens, but on the spur of the moment I detoured us onto the Flushing waterfront greenway instead. All enjoyed the lovely waterfront scenery on a nice long stretch of waterfront with no pedestrians or other cyclists in sight on this Tuesday afternoon.

After a few other turns, we got back onto the cue sheet route and headed for the Queensborough Bridge. One tripper from Brooklyn who stayed with us to the end peeled off for home via Queens Plaza North when we reached there after riding down Crescent St., and the rest of us crossed the Bridge back to Manhattan.

We bid farewell to each other on the Manhattan side, and I guided our tandem riders back to Central Park where we too parted ways. Another great day on the bike out with nice people from the 5BBC.