14 December 2012


I recently went out to the Rockaway to do some volunteer house-cleaning work.  Muck-out is the term they use.  The houses got flooded during the storm, especially the basement, everything is ruined and needs to be thrown out.  It was sad to see boxes of stuff containing memories precious to the owners being tossed to the curb.  Or a whole room with bookcases tipped over, content from the shelves spilled haphazardly all over the floor.  For a pack rat like me, it was quite a horror.

One thing I love about running and cycling is to know the amount of time it takes to go to a specific place.  I admire people who can look out at the horizon and roughly estimate the distance to a place.  I have to personally travel over the distance with some measuring device, or measuring the distance afterward on a map.  With my regular running, I now know how long it would take me to run to a certain point in my neighborhood.  I am still relatively new to cycling and often wonder how long it would take to go to the Rockaway.  Years ago I went as far as Breezy Point gate or some other street on the east side of the peninsula, but I don't remember now how long it took me, or how far the distance.  For this week's trip, the distance from my home to Beach 129ish and the main road was about 16 km (10 miles).  It took me about an hour and 15 minutes.  I am happy to report that there was no sign on either approach to the Gil Hodge Memorial Bridge reminding cyclists to dismount and walk their bikes.  Maybe the signs were knocked down by Hurricane Sandy and the government hasn't gotten around to re-erecting the new ones.  All the times I used the bridge, only once did I see someone walking the bridge, I don't see the point of not letting cyclists ride on it.  Supposedly in the summer fishermen use the bridge but then cyclists can just common sense to walk the bikes past these guys, no?

The trip back took a little longer, both because I strolled on Plum Beach's newly reclaimed beach and because of heavier traffic.  Not long ago, beach erosion has encroached so much of Plum Beach, where the bike path enters the parking lot, that sandbags had to be placed to temporarily to hold back the water.  A few weeks ago, before Hurricane Sandy, I noticed that the sand went much further out into the water.  It's good to see that the beach was reclaimed but too bad the bike path is still under lots of sand.  Perhaps that's one effect of Sandy, doh!

I headed home during the evening rush hours so once I got off the bike path near Knapp Street, there seemed to be no way of avoiding vehicular traffic.  Emmons Avenue is bike-unfriendly, so was Avenues Z and Y.  How I wish the Boardwalk is open to bike traffic outside of 5 AM to 10 AM.
Two things I like:  large solar panel and my bicycle.
Star of Hope reads: Courage is every virtue at its testing point. (Yes, I took the liberty to correct the wrong use of "it's".  I also removed the contact info for the electrician, don't want to give them free advertisement.)
Group photo, with the house owner, after a day of mucking.  Who cares?  New York Cares!
Plum Beach with a few tons of sand recently dumped on it to reclaim the beach from erosion.  Not that far ago, mere meters from the highway was where the water has approached.
Sandbags to salvage the beach.

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