08/07: And Now It Is FOUR! And the Northern Passage Is Finally Discovered!
So I headed out the other morning to test out a new route from Baldwin to L.I.U. C.W. Post, where I work M-W-F. Before I had pedaled a quarter mile, It happened! Number four!
Those of you who know me know that I have been hit by cars three times. Well thanks to another upstanding citizen of Beautiful Baldwin, deep in the heart of Nassau County, New York that claim is no longer true. It's now four! THANKFULLY I escaped unscathed and all the rolling stock emerged intact, but the verbal exchange was colorful to say the least. Did I lose my cool? Abso-friggin-lutely! So I stopped (briefly) for a stop sign, for a school crossing no less, and on the other side of the sign was this driveway to this house. As I am pulling forward (pulling about 30 lbs in a trailer, this driver begins backing out of her driveway. (This is the google 360 degree photo of the spot at Chestnut and Seaman Ave along the route)
I Notice her backing out from behind the fully leaved bushes that block her view of Seaman Ave. I holler, I shout, I scream, and she keeps on backing out directly into me and the trailer. I'm fading left and she's moving reasonably slow, so the ultimate outcome is a glancing blow and an overturned trailer, that and a pantload of verbal abuse. Her excuse, "There's a stop sign." I suggested that this did not equate to "Stop here and wait for Aunt Tilly to emerge at will with utter disregard for cyclists!" Of course the discourse was far more colorful and explicit!
Well, onto the pleasant part! I have also been known, by those of you who actually follow this whining diatribe, to mention upon occasion that Nassau County is, at best, difficult for cyclists. To that end the various routes I have tried to allow me to arrive at Post alive have proven very unreliable in that regard. Well in comes Google Earth, and after some searching, I have a route that looks good on the screen. This morning I tried and Viola' I have a route!!!
Now this route is not without its exciting parts, BUT, there are actual sections that are down right pleasant by Long Island Standards. The trip is about 14.5 miles one way. The morning trip has me pedaling North from the South Shore where I live up through Freeport, Roosevelt, Uniondale, East Meadow, Carle Place, Westbury, Old Westbury, and ultimately Brookville. The trip takes me from 18 feet elevation up through Roosevelt Field ( a shopping mall on the historic site of Lindberg's Flight across the Atlantic and Mitchell field, an old WWII Army Air Corp Base which is now a series of Museums and the Home of Nassau Community College. this is at 98 feet of elevation and the Wind literally never stops. The morning has an off shore breeze that flows briskly into my face from inland (North to South) and in the afternoon it is an onshore breeze which kindly reverses the trend. This persistent wind is the reason that they chose this spot for the airfields. It is also that and the traffic that make this the worst part of the trip. The rest however is sweet. Especially the climb to the highest elevation of 300" just before I turn onto campus, where I finish the ride in with a great coast back down to about 170 feet.
Try out the google Earth stuff if you follow the links, upgrading to the most recent version and there are These Camera thingies called "Street View" you should be able to see a lot of the route. Sadly the northern most extremes are missing for the beautiful Long Island Gold Coast views! I'll try and take some shots on the way for posting here.
Anyway, I have finally found my route to commute, one which I am largely happy with, and I am enjoying some decent work outs
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