Well, after a week of having a runny nose, sore throat, and itchy eyes – I can confidently say that spring allergies are in full bloom (no pun intended). I wanted to set up my indoor trainer today, but I kept reminding myself that I need to take advantage of this weather while I can, the summer humidity will be here before we know it – riding in that is never pleasant and I’ve learned that my body’s become sensitive to riding in high heat index temperatures.
Today, I wanted to ride out to the Verrazano Bridge promenade to tie in two upcoming posts: 1) Tour de Staten Island and 2) Five Boro Bike Tour. I’ve never done either of these two tours, so I figured this would be the year. I know the later has gotten some negative feedback for being a Five Boro Walk Tour, but I need to expand my Strava heat map and wouldn’t have the opportunity to ride on the Verrazano bridge, unless I decide to become a ride marshall for the NYC Marathon (even then, I think the marshalls start after the bridge).
Nevertheless, the ride down to Bay Ridge was relatively uneventful, but 5th avenue from 15th street down to Bay Ridge Avenue really opened my eyes on why a protected bike lane was crucial for that area, there were double parked cars left and right. To be fair, I’ve only ever ridden down to Bay Ridge in the early morning before the real traffic starts.
Thankfully, the DOT is making progress on implementing a protected bike lane (N/S) on 4th avenue. Having protected bike lanes on 8th and 9th ave in midtown may feel claustrophobic, especially when pedestrians see the bike lane as a sidewalk extension and trucks are unloading in the lane itself. On the other hand, a PBL on 4th avenue in Brooklyn would most likely not experience that same scenario. Implementing a safe route would be a game-change for the area. Right now, the project, if it passes, would extend from Dean St. to 65th st in both directions.
Once I made it down to the Verrazano Bridge Promenade, I noticed that there were no restrooms. Well, there was one, but it was behind a chain link fence. Kind of surprising given the sheer number of people who use this waterfront path. Oh well.
The path itself was not bad – relatively smooth, a few potholes here and there, but there was ideal separation between the pedestrian side and the cycling path! There was also a very nice cool breeze coming off of New York Bay.
In a couple short weeks, I’ll be seeing the view from the opposite end when I attend the Tour de Staten Island. On the way back from the bridge, I took 14th Ave all the way up to Church Ave. The majority of the route felt relatively quiet, although there were a few sections in Borough Park that could have definitely used a dedicated bike lane.
Stay tuned for the next post covering the 30-mile route of the Tour de Staten Island! I could do the full 50, but I figure it would otherwise be a long day / the ferry line will most likely be huge later on (why can’t we have a bike lane on the Verrazano!)