May 31, 2014 | ~48 miles
The plan was to ride to Coney Island. We’ve done it before and enjoyed it. We’ll start early and take a relaxing ride along Ocean Parkway, the tree-lined boulevard from Prospect Park to the Coney Island.
We made it to Prospect Park early enough to enjoy the farmer’s market, which was full and happening.
With some mint ice tea and couple of donuts, we fueled up before continuing to our destination.
At the boardwalk, we sat on a bench, put our feet up and took view of the beach. We’d made it to what was technically Brighton Beach, but if you know the area, you know that Brighton Beach and Coney Island is really one long beach and boardwalk.
It was still early and a decision had to be made. Will we go right on the boardwalk towards the actual activities of Coney Island or will we go left and explore more of Brooklyn? Reading about the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge loop, we decided to go left, but knew that we weren’t going to add the additional 20 miles required to our ride. The Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge loop will need to be another day, but the Rockaways wasn’t too far.
We rode along the boardwalk, along the bay, onto the Belt Parkway bike path and over the Gil Hodges bridge to the Rockaways. We explored a bit of Breezy Point before heading towards Riis Park, where we put down our blanket, played our Jambox and relaxed on the beach. It was a beautiful day and the beach was empty. Just the way we like it.
Off in the distance, a cloud appeared as a bus load of people started to arrive. It was a sign, so we packed up or stuff and made it to our bikes just before the rain began. There was no forecast of rain, but there it was, coming down in buckets. We found a room for shelter where we could see blue and dark skies at the same time.
When the rain eased, we got a hot dog and made it to one of the grilling tents before a longer, heavier rain began. The temperature had dropped significantly and we were thankful to have our towels to keep warm. A family was grilling corn and meat under giant umbrellas. The food smelled and looked tasty. We definitely need to plan to eat more!
After the rain we began our ride back. The Gil Hodges bridge had an amazing view of the wide expanse of water and land. Off in the distance was downtown Manhattan.
We took the same route back to Prospect Park, took a break on the lush green grass, made it to Park Slope for an early dinner, and rode across the Brooklyn Bridge at the beginning of twilight. It’s been a long time since we were on the Brooklyn Bridge at twilight.
We made it back to downtown Manhattan in time to catch the penultimate ferry back to Jersey City.