Mid-Life Cycling

Mid-Life Cycling

30 June 2016

An Adventure To The Familiar

Perhaps you've done something like what I am about to describe.

I packed lunch-- salsa I made myself, with some excellent locally-made tortilla chips--into the front bag on Vera, my green Mercian mixte.  With no particular destination or route in mind, I started riding. 

Add caption

The first few kilometers--along Sunnyside and Woodside streets, under the #7 train, into Corona and Flushing Meadow Park--were all familiar.  They could have taken me to some of the rides I do regularly:  the Rockaways, the South Shore, the North Shore.  But once I exited the park, I turned onto unfamiliar streets in a familiar (more or less) neighborhood.

I knew more or less the direction in which I was riding. But I didn't know, exactly, what I was riding into.  Mind you, I wasn't worried:  I wasn't beyond the reach of civilization or even in a place where I didn't understand the language.  But the rows of houses, surrounded by their patches of lawn and hedges, aren't the best of navigational aids.

No matter.  I kept on riding.  A turn here, another turn there.  Turn around where the road ends, then turn again.  Cross under a highway.  Spot a sign for a pond hidden by trees.  Do I take the path through the park on the left?  Or...are those old railroad tracks on the right?

Before I knew it, I had diagonally traversed Queens and was somewhere in Nassau County.  Mid-island, as they'd call it: somewhere between the North and South Shores.  More suburban developments, except now the lawns are bigger.  Some even have flower gardens. Then I found myself in a downtown area of one of those towns and noticed a sign for "Tulip Bakery".  OK, I guess that works:  cute cookies and pastries in the window, cute name on the sign.  

After running out of bakeries and cafes and boutiques, the street provided another stream of houses with lawns.  And its name:  Tulip Lane.  All right.  That bakery wasn't trying to be so cute after all.  Tip toe through the tulips.  Ride along Tulip Lane.  I continued:  It was longer than I expected, through a couple of places with "Franklin" in their names:  Franklin Square.  Franklin Lake.  Franklin something or other.  Then the Rockvilles.    Under another set of railroad tracks, and across still another.  Faces lightening and darkening and lightening again.  Still on Tulip Lane.

After crossing a state route, it stopped being Tulip Lane.  I didn't notice until much later, when I noticed I was riding on Long Beach Road.  I really had no idea of how far I'd ridden; I had just a vague notion that I'd been riding mostly south and east since I got on my bike.  The suburban houses had turned into garages, boat repair shops, a fishery and a tatoo parlor.  They didn't look like anything I ever saw in Long Beach before, on previous rides.



But the bridge at the end of them took me right into the heart of the town.  Over the bay, to the ocean.  I really enjoyed my lunch--and the unfamiliar ride to a completely familiar place.

9 comments:

  1. Such a mixte up world where such beauties are no longer made... Some of my earliest rides had to be made with no real plans since I spent so much on my bike there was not much left in the coming months for such fripperies as food, college books or maps. Every trip was one of exploration where I would ride at random until I found a signpost back to my town.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Coline--You were even more of an adventurer than I was! Well, at least we have some good stories to carry us into this part of our lives.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Remember that I have read the whole of your blog and it made me feel like I had missed out on so many chances...

      Delete
  3. I will be away for 2 weeks on a biking tour of Central Finland.

    Happy summer cycling, Justine

    Leo

    ReplyDelete
  4. Leo--I'm happy for you and would love to hear about your ride.

    Have a great tour, and summer!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Justine,

      I am hiding down here. Hope you will read this.

      Fine tour, including one day with my 12-year-old granddaughter. I won't be able to keep up with her in a couple of years.

      Would you be willing to contact me personally? We would have much to discus, not the least of which is that I have taught in the legendary Finnish school system for 35 years at several levels. Also other things touched on in the "other blog". I am leoackley (no dot} at a well known e-mail address that begins with the seventh of the alphabet. I will continue to comment no matter what.

      Leo

      Delete
    2. ...seventh letter...

      Delete
  5. Hello Leo,

    The great minds think alike! ;-) I have thought about contacting you "off-blog". I will.

    ReplyDelete