my very own randall's island adventure

so i know a number of people who've gotten lost on randall's island. this is just what happens when you ride a bike and have to get between upper manhattan, queens, and/or the bronx. so whoever's experienced this rite of passage for themselves will know this story already.

so i was going from harlem to astoria. looking at the map, it was just so much faster to take the triborough than to ride all the way down to the queensboro and back up. and i'd taken that route twice already in the other direction, how hard could it be?

so i set out. found the manhattan side of the bridge NO PROBLEM. i RULE! i just had to remember how to do the rest of it. luckily, at the bottom of the bridge was a sign directing me that queens was to the left. RAWK!

unfortunately, this sign was intended for cars. before i knew it, but not until it was too late to turn back, i was on a highway onramp! oh carp! then i was on the shoulder of a major highway. there's an experience i don't need to repeat. EVER.

but lo! what should appear but a separated pedestrian/bike path! i hopped the cement divider and quickly discovered that this path has been closed for a long time. no matter, i can handle a little trash! and debris! and construction cones... and... broom handles...

what i can't handle is when the path ends and empties back onto the highway. at this point i'm starting to remember DB and NJ's story of their heroic journey from the bronx back to queens last year sometime. so like our motto in ireland ('cows have been here!' meaning, there's cow poop on these rocks so they must be navigable), the thought 'bikes have been here!' was at least a little comforting. that and the realization that a path that has an end must also have a beginning. ...and the hope that that beginning is not a 20 foot drop into sewage or something.

i turn around, re-braving the broom handles, construction cones, debris, and trash, and find my way to the beginning of the path. and it begins at a closed chainlink fence. but through the chanlink fence is a parking lot where i've been before! hoorah!

i find a spot from which to drop my bike (::sniff::), then go and climb over the fence. i retrieve my bike and it seems to have no permanent damage (yay IRO! so tough!).

oh! i forgot! before hopping the fence, there were some very seedy characters driving and running around the parking lot. they were probably just fucking around. but in the dark, with my already-adrenalized mind, i decided to duck in case they were committing some crime for which the only kind of witness they needed was a dead witness. nobody wants to be the next true story an episode of law and order is based on. so i ducked. they left and didn't seem to notice me.

anyhoo, i got over the fence, retrieved my bike, and continued on my merry way. i found the road down the island—the bike safe one!—and saw, in the distance, a blinky light! i followed the other bike, trying to be as un-creepy about it as possible, until it turned on to the queens triboro bike path.

smooth sailing (well, besides those pesky stairs that aren't very well marked and that, luckily, i knew were there) all the way into queens. success!

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