For the past two days, I have volunteer work close enough to home so I took the chance to bike to work. Yesterday the work was at Jack Rabbit Sports in Park Slope, to help the Prospect Park Track Club with bib distribution for the popular Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving. It was three days since Brooklyn Marathon and while I could have run the 7+ miles to get to Jack Rabbit, I would be all smelly for the next few hours unless I could somehow find a place to shower. Not socially acceptable. Cycling was the next best option, other than subway, which costs $2.25 each way and involves little exercising.
The bulk of the commute from my home to Jack Rabbit was on Ocean Parkway, a tree-lined boulevard with lanes for cars, bikes, and pedestrians. The last time I rode on Ocean Parkway I was cut off by some car so it was not pleasant. This time I left very early to take a really slow ride for the 12pm-6pm shift. At Church Avenue I got off the Parkway, on the west side, and looked for Dahill Road, which I once ran along from near home to the other end at Greenwood Cemetery. I easily found Dahill and connected to McDonald Avenue, which was not a great move, as there was no bike lane. The reason I went on McDonald was that I can stop by the side of Prospect Expressway to take a photo of this foot-bridge over the Expressway. I just love foot-bridges and this one in particular is elegant and beautiful. Interestingly, all these times I did not know that Bishop Ford High School existed, until this past Monday at the bib distribution at Jack Rabbit near Union Square, that the school was a co-sponsor for the Turkey Trot. Just by chance, after taking photo of the foot-bridge, I noticed that the high school was right across the street.
|Foot-bridge near Bishop Ford High School.|
|Bishop Ford High School.|
When I left Jack Rabbit, it was a little past six and it was already dark. I went to Prospect Park West and enjoyed a safe ride on the protected lane. At 15th Street, I should have gone into the park but unwittingly turned into Prospect Park Southwest, which had no bike lane, just a wider parking lane. It was a little scary, so at some point I turned right and got a little bit lost. I found my way to go over Prospect Expressway but in looking for Ocean Parkway I overshot it and almost got to Coney Island Avenue. Once I found Church Avenue again, I walked the bike to the start of the bike lane on Ocean Parkway and resumed my bike trip. It was dark and cold, the lane was bumpy in places, so I couldn't go fast. When the traffic light was against me, I stopped and dismounted to wait for the light to change. I'm still getting used to prolonged sitting on the hard bicycle seat and welcome the occasional dismounts.
Today, I helped setup the finish chute and surrounding area for the Turkey Trot. I had to be at the Oriental Pavilion in Prospect Park by 6 AM. Left home at 5ish and again traveled along Ocean Parkway. It was still dark but there was little vehicular traffic, so peaceful and quiet along the Parkway. It was easier to get to Prospect Park once the bike lane on the Parkway ended. I got to the Pavilion just as the organizers caravan of van and cars came to a stop. Over the next few hours, I helped erect the finish chute, the finish arch and banner, time mat, crowd-control, and photographing. There are over 200 photos at
Even though I mostly photographed runners wearing PPTC clothes, or costumed runners, I might have captured you if you ran in the race.
I started to head home around 11. I went through Center Drive to get to West Drive and exited the park at its southwest corner. I discovered the bike path that ran along the bridge to get to Fort Hamilton Parkway. Last night I actually went up the pedestrian ramp and had to walk the bike along the bridge. In daylight, it was easier to see what's where, and since I still remember my mistake from last night, I was able to get to Ocean Parkway quickly.
Each of the bike trip took between 45 minutes to an hour. Sharing the road with cars was not as good as running on foot along some waterfront inaccessible to cars, but cycling got me where I needed to be faster without being smelly afterward. It is a bit of a hassle to get the bike out of the shack in the backyard, make sure there's enough air in the tires, adjust the helmet-mounted rear-view mirror, lock the bike, unlock the bike, etc. For today and yesterday, I saved a little money while burning lots of calories covering the 20 or so kilometers. I can get used to commuting by bike, as long as it's time- and money-efficient.