Rockaway Ride

Rockaway Beach umbrellas and towels

We love going to Rockaway Beach, but when we were planning our trip out there this weekend, we decided to forego the monotony of the A train in favor of a more exciting mode of transportation: our bikes.

The day promised to be hot, but we filled our bike basket with lots of water, sunscreen, snacks and other beach-y necessities and headed on our way down the Hudson River Greenway.

Bike riding over the brooklyn bridge in new york city

Our 22-mile route took us over the Brooklyn Bridge, where we dutifully dodged wayward tourists and toddlers, into downtown Brooklyn and beautiful Boerum Hill and Prospect Heights before we headed south on Bedford Avenue.

The ride is mostly flat and there’s actually a lot of shade. We stopped briefly at a fruit stand in Flatbush to drink some water and cool off for a moment, but then we were back on our bikes, the idea of a cool beach breeze enticing us to keep going.

Riding a bikeon the bike lane through Brooklyn Heights in Brooklyn

A fruit stand in east Flatbush, Brooklyn, near Bedford Avenue

After passing through Flatbush and riding by Brooklyn College, the urban hustle and bustle gives way to the idyllic suburb-like homes of Midwood. The beautifully manicured lawns and wide streets, canopied with large trees, made for pleasant riding as we rode closer and closer to our ultimate goal.

Finally, six miles after turning onto Bedford Avenue, the road ends in Sheepshead Bay, right at the water. We were immediately greeted with salty air, screaming gulls, fishing rigs and bait and tackle shops, making it seem like the city part of our journey had come to an end.

Stella Maris Bait Shop in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn

A dock and boat in Sheepshead bay in Brooklyn

We made one pit stop in Sheepshead Bay at Roll ‘N Roaster, a timewarp fast food joint that has been serving Brooklynites roast beef and cheese fries for 40 years now.

Sated with our orangeade and radioactive-hued cheese fries, we made the final push toward Rockaway.

Cheese Fries at Roll n Roaster in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn

Dead Horse Bay bike path in Queens, NYC

We rode over the narrow and windy Marine Parkway Bridge, which ends at Jacob Riis Park, another great New York City beach. Alas, Rockaway was our goal so we turned east and pushed on for a few more miles, taking in the stately homes of Neponsit Belle Harbor before riding down the Rockaway Beach boardwalk.

As soon as we arrived, we snacked on fried shrimp from Motorboat & the Big Banana and housemade rose petal sodas from La Casa de Camba before diving headfirst into the Atlantic Ocean. The water was just the right temperature after hours on a bike, making the ride all the more rewarding.

Laura Ratliff on the beach at Rockaway, Queens

The boardwalk at Rockaway Beach in Queens, NYC

After lounging for a few hours, we tried a beer ice cream float from our new Rockaway favorite, Steve’s Ice Cream. It is just as it sounds—but surprisingly tasty.

By this point, the sun had begun to set so we, deservedly, rode the A train back to Manhattan.

– Laura and Ryan

Ryan Smith on the boardwalk at Rockaway Beach

Marc Jacbos Paris Beach Towel

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