bicycle_nycMy husband and I love to go on long bike rides, and we always try to include our kids. Last weekend, our friends in Breezy Point, at the tip of the Rockaways in Queens, invited us to their house.

We don’t have a car, and pubic transportation there is virtually non-existent, so I went on Google maps and discovered that bike routes are now an option.  Biking there was about 15 and a half miles (each way).

Reader, we went for it.

It helped that it was 75 degrees, fantastic for an early Spring day, and my 12 year old is in pretty decent shape.  Plus, new bike lanes around New York City (props to Transportation Alternatives) meant some of the less safe roads had new, bright green bicycle lanes.  We were set.

Our old stand-by, the bike lane along Ocean Parkway, failed us, though.  We were cruising along when suddenly chain link fencing appeared, along with a sign “Construction, bike lane closed.”

We turned to head to another bike lane, parallel to this one, but unfortunately we were on a rather commercial street, through a heavily Orthodox area, on the afternoon before a major Jewish holiday.  Traffic was a nightmare.

But we quickly got the other bike lane and headed toward the water.  All was fine until another fence confronted us.  The bike line had been washed out due to ‘storm damage.’  We had to ride through sand before biking up the bike lane again.

Then everything was smooth sailing (cycling).  Over the Marine Park Bridge into the Rockaways and a few more flat miles to our friend’s house.

Coming home was even better.  Our friends took us through the Gateway National Recreation Area, adding a few miles to the journey, but a level of serenity rarely achieved when biking in New York City.  I could scarcely believe I was in New York; it felt like the Outer Banks of North Carolina.

We rode along the bike, on wide, flat, paved paths. We saw rabbits,  coastal grasses, dunes and a few common terns.

The amazing thing is, although Breezy Point has a reputation as being a gated community, it is public land.  There is no parking, but you can park at Fort Tilden and hike or bike along a mostly secluded beach.