Mid-Life Cycling

Mid-Life Cycling

19 July 2013

On The Dock Of Newtown Creek

So how did I spend the hottest afternoon of the year?  (High temperature:  100F or 38C)  Riding, of course.

At least I know I wasn't the only one.  At the bridge to the Rockaways, I met Hal Ruzal, Bicycle Habitat's mechanic and wheelbuilder par excellence (and a kick-ass musician).  And his girlfried, who looks a bit younger than me (and him) was also on her bike.  Was she showing true love to Hal, or to cycling? Or--well, all right, I won't ask any more unanswerable questions (not in this post, anyway!).

In any event, I sensed that they wanted to ride together, so I coasted down the Rockaway side of the bridge before them.  I stopped in Rockaway Beach, near the site of the old Playland, went for a dip in the ocean and paid tribute to the Ramones.  Somehow I think that if they were all still in this world, they'd've been there to buoy the post-Sandy spirit of the place.

Anyway, I bumped into Hal and his belle again in Riis Park, where the storm leveled the dunes.  From there, I rode down to Breezy Point, across the Bay to Brooklyn and Floyd Bennet FIeld and Coney Island.  Finally, at the end of the day, I crossed back into Queens from Greenpoint:

I'm not sure this is quite what Otis Redding had in mind when he sang, "Dock of the Bay" (one of my favorite songs of all time).  But, it was about as idyllic as one could get on Newtown Creek, which the EPA rates as the most polluted body of water in the US--except in those years when the Gowanus Canal "wins" that "honor."


  1. Otis was on the flip side of my first Jimi Hendrix LP, Live from Monterey, first time I heard that haunting song.

  2. Coline--Jimi and Otis on the same record? WOW!