Ben and I were slightly unorthodox because of where we were coming from. From Jersey City we took PATH to World Trade Center. Then we cycled to Brooklyn Bridge where we joined other cyclists to Prospect Park. I wasn’t as afraid this year to ride on the streets. Last year I was a nervous wreck at the start of the ride. I think going out earlier also helped because there was less traffic and we were with better cyclists, so I wasn’t as worried about careless cyclists crashing into me.
Last year I had no idea what to expect, so each mile was uncharted territory. This year I greeted the miles between Prospect Park and Marine Park like an old friend. The early parts of the ride feel more like a party. There are tons of other cyclists. Some of them hook up boom boxes to their bikes and play music. Whenever I came by someone with a boom box, I tried to cycle with them as long as possible. It’s a mobile party!
I love biking along the Verrazano shoreline. This year we continued from Marine Park to Forest Park. Ben had been cycling along with me, but at some point he got a little bored with how slowly I was cycling, so he
abandoned me cycled ahead with my implicit blessing. This particular stretch of the ride was harder because 1) I was tired and 2) there were some steep hills. I got prematurely excited at one of the hills because it was going through a park and I was sure that the rest stop was right there. Nope! We still needed to pedal some more. Finally I reached the Forest Park rest stop where Ben was waiting for me.
We were both quite done at Forest Park, but I wanted to continue a little bit farther to get to the Kissena Velodrome. Forest Park is a really nice urban park. The wooded areas make you feel as if you’re out of the city. I noticed some hiking trails too. I’d love to go back and properly explore it. At the Velodrome I had the fun of cycling really fast around the track. The banks are sloped. I was too scared to go up high on the backs, but I did really have fun cycling on it. I pretended that I was Chris Froome doing a time trial (yes, I know the time trials are not done on a track like this, but I don’t follow cycling much outside of Tour de France). After a spin around the track, Ben and I veered from the century ride route and headed to the Flushing-Main St subway station.
We were sooo tired and so glad to be done. In total we cycled 57 miles in about 5 hours of actual cycling time. We were out much longer than that because of the long rest breaks we took. Another fun day with Ben.