Though I’ve been biking regularly for a month and a half, today was the first day that there was so little humidity that I knew I could bust out a long ride.

After yesterday’s 14 mile ride, I was at 175 total since I started this. I didn’t want to make two trips to reach 200, even though 200 isn’t my final goal. I wanted to round things up. I wanted 200 done…and that meant a ride longer than anything I’ve done except one trip last month when I went to buy the girlfriend a gift.

On Sunday afternoon, I had visited a beach that’s located a good 20 minutes away by car, but it was also on a route that bike paths followed along. I’ve biked part of the way before, and decided to bike to that same area today. I didn’t go to the beach, but I was very happy with my trip on the bike.

This is a bike path beyond a beachy area that runs along a highway. Last time I was on this route, I went for the girlfriend’s gift. Last time through here, I had to carry my bike around a fallen tree. No fallen tree, and as you can see a lot of sunshine through the trees!

About a mile after the tree lined path, I turned left and headed for the Rockaways, the communities located off the coast of Queens, a borough of New York City. To get there, I had to go over the Gil Hodges Memorial Bridge. Gil Hodges was a famous baseball player for the Brooklyn Dodgers and later the New York Mets. He hit the first home run in Mets history.

Here’s the view riding up the side of the bridge. I had the tailwind the whole way. On the return trip, the headwind was so intense, I was pedaling hard despite going downhill! That was crazy. My guess is this is a trip that gets harder in the winter when the winds are whipping up.

This is a view from the middle of the bridge facing Breezy Point. It’s a National Park, but it’s split up and many folks have summer homes here. New York City! How many people not living in NYC know that they have entire communities of beachy neighborhoods? It’s not all city blocks!

After I arrived on the other side, I biked down to the entrance to the beach communities, and then turned around. I had thought that there was another route that connected to the other side of the island, but I couldn’t find it. Turns out I had overlooked a service road.  If I get to the point where I’m doing 40 mile trips, I’ll return to this spot and do what I set out to do and go beyond. The photo above is when I was heading back towards the bridge.

On my return trip, I opted to ride through the city instead of following back along the coast. I didn’t want the headwind all the way home. I’ve found a few routes that are great to combine with streets that aren’t actual bike routes. It helps keep my options open when I want to bike further unexpectedly.

There are a few routes that aren’t recognized as official bike routes, but the painting of the lines on the street suggest otherwise.

This, technically, is not a bike lane. However, that’s exactly what I used it for. A number of streets have this, or similarly lined roads that give extra space perfect for bikes. This was when I was about 3 miles away from home. I really like this road for cutting through the city to get back to my place.

So, 2 hours, 40 minutes and 25.38 miles. Not too shabby!

While riding, I had a thought about cycling in the winter. I’m curious if I would be better off staying outdoors or if I should consider joining a gym so I can either ride stationary or take up a spin class. The benefit of going to the gym for biking is I’d likely try some equipment. The benefit of biking outdoors is it remains free. I’m sure I’ll consider the pros and cons a lot more over the next month or two.

I also saved a total of $5.50 in tolls had I driven a car to where I went today. That’s kind of funny, isn’t it?

My guess is my legs will be sore tomorrow..but if not, I might try a leisurely 10 miler.

Unrelated to my ride, but related to the blog, I was solicited to review a product for a website and I would get a gift certificate to use on the website. This blog will not become a source of income for me, but I sure as hell wouldn’t mind buying a blender for nothing…though ‘nothing’ would be a link to the website in a post before the review and then the review of the product. I’m still discussing things with them, so we’ll see. If done right, I don’t think it’ll be a big deal for me and the content here. We’ll see though. It’s not worth it, if the few readers I do have decide to run away. =)

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