2017-05-16 - Scouting Run
The 43rd Great Manhattan Bridge Walk I'm organizing and leading will take place on June 3rd. I decided to run/walk the parts of the route that I changed. For the test time ever, we will be crossing all the bridges around the borough of Manhattan instead of the island of Manhattan! This adds a few more bridges and a few more miles. Earlier in the day I walked from the Penn PATH Station to a Bloomberg Conference near Grand Central Terminal.
After the informative conference was over, I walked to take the F train to the start of the new route on Roosevelt Island.
This was the first time that I had ever been on Roosevelt Island. What beautiful views! I changed clothes and put on some sunscreen before starting to jog the route. This brought me around the western edge of the island towards Roosevelt Island Bridge. I loved the image of a cyclist painted on a container, reminding me of my cross-country bike ride. After finding the staircase leading to the top of the bridge, I climbed up and a quick jog across brought me across the first bridge of the night into Queens.
An enjoyable jaunt near the river's edge brought me across a park and through the wonderful Socrates Sculpture Garden. I couldn't believe I did not come here before. It was a highlight I hoped to share with the bridge walkers in a few short weeks. A wonderful surprise was the artistic graffiti that lined the walls as I walked on 27th Avenue to the turn on 27th Street.
A short walk north on 27th Street brought me to the entrance to the RFK Walkway from Queens to Randall's Island. The bridge felt familiar, having biked it twice before as part of the NYC Century rides. This large bridge was a cool addition, with fantastic views of the river, Queens, and Randall's Island. After arriving on Randall's Island, I followed a reasonable route across a sidewalk and through a garden (with a tiny bit of bushwhacking) to reach the bike and pedestrian path. Before I knew it, I was in the Bronx! You couldn't even tell you were crossing the river! That's three walked river crossings now.
After getting my bearings, I headed west to the nearby RFK Walkway from the Bronx onto Randall's Island. I waved to a homeless person sleeping on the pedestrian ramp as I walked up. The view in the golden sunset hours was brilliant. I found the entrance to the RFK Walkway again from Randall's Island to mainland Manhattan. I saw Willis Bridge in the near distance, the next bridge officially on the route but I succeeded in my quest and headed off to the nearest subway stop instead, finishing the 7.5-mile run/walk.
All in all, I loved this new route. It's unfortunate we won't be walking across the beautiful Ward's Island Bridge nor through the western marsh area but Roosevelt Island, the sculpture garden, graffiti, and pedestrian path between Randall's Island and the Bronx were all great experiences. I thought it also felt more natural and flowed better. I can't wait to share it with the walkers.