The Heights

I roped M into riding the TD Five Boro Bike Tour with me, and we’re just now starting this thing called training.

Part laziness, part yo-yo weather, there’s been a lot of grand talk about how we’d prepare ourselves for the 45-mile-ish ride. The most daunting part that M wants to prepare for is getting up and over the Verrazano Bridge. (Is it that bad?)

On Friday, we took an evening ride out into the heights.

We started out in the early evening. The sun was still up as we made our way down Flushing Avenue, towards the Brooklyn Bridge. Once we got to Old Fulton Street, we made a left hook onto Henry Street hill!. After a few more turns we happened upon the Fruit Street Sitting Area.

The view from here of the Manhattan Skyline was amazing. The sun was setting and the sky had this trippy, inverted horizon look to it.

We walked along the sitting area which connected with the Brooklyn Heights Promenade. The sunset view was even better from this angle. Holy Cow.

View from Brooklyn Promenade.
View from Brooklyn Promenade
click to embiggen

Until Friday, I’ve always biked along the pier front, and wondered how people got to the promenade. I’ve been stopped a few times by others with the same question, but I had no answer. Until now that is.

Now I know how to get there. You go up that hill off Henry Street and just keep going until you hit the promenade. (That’s a really crude way of putting it, yes.)

After walking the promenade, we reconnected onto Henry Street via Remsen Street, and headed towards Gowanus.

The sun had passed the horizon line, and the transition from light to dark was making things look fuzzy. I thought I lost my contacts but nope. They were still on my eyeballs.

As nice as the homes and apartments were in Cobble Hill-Carroll Gardens area, there was a bit of stodginess to the air.

In Red Hook we did a loop-de-loop near the recreation center, and followed Hamilton Avenue further south. We probably could’ve kept going until we hit Bay Ridge, but at 22nd Street, I thought we were further south than we actually were.

Given the dark and the time, we decided to head inwards a bit, towards Prospect Park. Fourth, Fifth, then Sixth avenues. We hit a lot of hills in this area. The hill going up 23rd Street, towards the northern corner of Greenwood Cemetery was insane—especially if you don’t usually go up many hills to begin with. I was about to just give out and call it quits.

But, of course, we didn’t quit. We kept biking. Up along 6th Avenue we went, towards the Grand Army Plaza Arch.

The streets were really empty for a Friday evening. There was more night life on the corner of Knickerbocker and Melrose than any piece of Carroll Gardens and Park Slope we rode through. (I was just informed the reason for the lack of street life during our ride is because we weren’t on the more active streets of Court or Smith streets.)

We followed the bicycle loop around the Arch, and made our way home towards Bushwick.

Total time/distance was ~1 hour, 45 minutes; ~15 miles.



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