Biking to the Rockaways — Brooklynian
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Biking to the Rockaways
Any suggested routes from the hood to Rockaway Beach?
The only biking that I've done in that general direction is taking Ocean Pkwy down to Coney Island.
Just an FYI, google now has bike paths mapped out in the area -
Looks like there's a lane on Bedford, but I couldn't tell you if it's separated from regular car traffic, or not (Ocean is separated) . If no one else chimes in, take a minute to search the regional sections of cycling forums (like
) - lots of cyclists go out to Floyd Bennett field to ride, so I've sure that the "best way to get there" question has been asked and answered there.
Pick up a copy of the free NYC Bike Map at most bike shops, or check it out online:
Bedford's bike lane is not separated; only the routes marked in green are, like Ocean. Flatbush is not bad below about Avenue J, and is a much more direct route to the Rockaways.
My mother lives in the Rockaways, so I drive down there weekly. There is a bike lane along Bedford, but it is definitely NOT separated from traffic.
By car, you would take Bedford all the way down to the intersection of Flatbush, make a left, then take Flatbush all the way to the end, over the Marine Pkwy Bridge. Its pretty straightforward.
However, by bicycle, I wouldn't necessarily recommend this particular stretch of Flatbush... the "Junction", where the Target is, is a nightmare snarl of traffic, illegal vans and angry, angry drivers. You should look at that previously recommended NYC Bike Map. However, once past the Junction, Flatbush Ave becomes relatively pleasant just past King's Plaza, near where the airfield is. I believe there is even walking paths/bike lanes along here. And the Marine Parkway Bridge is pedestrian/bicycle friendly. Good luck!
I swear by RideTheCity.com. It always provides the best route to take depending on your level of comfort. (You can choose direct routes, or safe or safer routes.)
I usually take 4th or 3rd Ave to Bay Ridge Ave/69th Street and hook a left on to the Owls Head Park Pier. From there I take the Belt Pkwy Promenade to Caesar's Bay and go up Shore Pkwy to Cropsey Ave. Make a right on Cropsey, a left on Neptune, which turns into Emmons Ave and hop back on the Promenade again. Take the Promenade to the Rockaways/Floyd Bennet Field exit and follow the signs to the Gil Hodges Bridge.
It's double the distance of Ocean Parkway/BedfordAve/Flatbush, but you're not competing with vehicular traffic (except for the ride from the Slope to Owls Head) and it's scenic.
Ride to the bottom of Prospect Park then take Beford Avenue and/or one of the local streets like E.26th all the way to the end of the line. You'll hit the greenway that runs along the Shore Parkway. Take that to Flatbush Ave and the Gil Hodges Bridge.
Similar route as suggested by Union Street. Ride Pros Park to Fort Hamilton exit. Navigate to Ocean Parkway. Ride that greenway all the way to Neptune. Left at Neptune. Ride all the way to the Shore Parkway greenway. Ride to the Flatbush Ave Greenway to Gil Hodges.
The Bedford Avenue Bike Route is definitely a great way to go... especially on Saturday (traffic is VERY light because of Shabbos). I ride the Ocean Pkwy bike path all the time if I'm going to Coney Island, but Bedford Ave is actually more pleasant if you ask me.
Then you take Emmons Ave to the bike Shore Pkwy bike trail and down Flatbush... over the Bridge... and you're on the island. There are bike lanes all the way east to the Rockaways.
Don't forget to go to Roll 'n Roaster on Emmons!
(One note -- a small patch of the bike trail on Shore Pkwy was washed out in one of the storms, so you'll have to either walk... or if you have a mountain bike you can probably bike through. But it's squishy sand. It's just about 100 yards. Not a big deal.)
You can then finish the loop by going up the Cross Bay Pkwy trail and back to Flatbush.
FYI -- This loop is about 40-45 miles. A decent ride. So, it's basically... what... 3 or so hours if you ride without stopping.
Bedford to the greenway is definitely the way to go. path is not separated but traffic is reasonable and safe, especially on Saturdays as mentioned. Flatbush is sketchy and not enjoyable at all. The road is full of rutts and potholes and traffic is unsafe. There is no shade. No fun. Ocean Parkway is not great because the path is cobbled, and I also know 3 people who have been hit by cars turning off of Ocean due to the separated path not being very evident to drivers.
I wouild strongly suggest avoiding Bedford between North/West of the Flatbush Ave. intersection. In between all the potholes and the a-holes (drivers) on that narrow strecth, you're going to feel like a pinball.
1 thing to keep in mind is that the bike path (as of 3 days ago) was covered in a foot of sugar sand from the start( end of Emmons) to about Plum Beach. I rode on the belt without any problem but your best bet is take Bedford. Others have said that it is a lil dicey from the where Bedford picks up flatbush..Nostrand is not so bad. I think the green belt is the equiv of @ Ave U
agreed on a lot of this. Bedford south of Flatbush, especially on a Saturday, is some of the best bicycling in the city; north of it, from Eastern Parkway down to Flatbush, you are dealing with some of Brooklyn's most inept drivers--- expect swerving car service cars, double-parked delivery vans, no turn signals and people on cell phones while driving. not enjoyable at all.
Flatbush is an awful bicycle ride the whole way through, though it's entertaining northbound between, say, church and empire as traffic is completely snarled- if you're on a bike, you'll be the only thing moving. Look out for swarms of kids on BMX's riding against traffic though.
The path from sheepshead bay over to the bike path, right by the belt, is indeed washed away (at least as of last saturday) but if you put yr butt into it on a road bike, it'll do. From there, just head across the bridge and head out to the rockaways.
Ocean parkway's not bad but it's got a ton of pleasure cyclists who are unsure of where to go/what to do, and thus swerve-- watch your speed, even on a single gear. If it's quiet, it's a relaxing ride,but the lights are really not timed well. also getting onto Ocean parkway from PP is a little byzantine the 1st few times.
Anyone crossed over from OP to bedford on the side avenues? Ave. P seemed to not be too bad (and reminds me of "really rosie").
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