Yesterday, my two oldest boys and I went on a bike ride through neighborhood streets and eventually into one of our local bike trails in Massapequa. I was riding my wife’s Trek mountain bike, Giovanni had his new 20″ BMX, and Antonio his orange stinger.
We set off around 9:30am and made our way to our local bike shop, Brands. My father went to High School with the owner. They’ve been around for 40 years or more. When we got there, I dumped off my own bike for repairs and picked up my wife’s which had recently had a tune-up. My mountain bike is at least 25 years old. I got it in High School. For whatever reason, it’s in perfect running shape so I never saw fit to have it replaced. Which is surprising since I spend more money than I ought to. The bike is a bit heavy by modern standards, but built like a tank.
From Brands, we went down Park Avenue in Wantagh. We passed Mulcahy’s, the train station, the fire house, and World Gym. This is where we were confronted with the Seaford Oyster Bay Expressway. We rode north a little ways, parallel to the highway until we reached DeMott Ave. When we cut under the SOB, DeMott turns into Clark St. We took Clark St. through Seaford and into Massapequa. My biggest challenge was keeping the kids safe. I tought them how to stay close to the curb, constantly look back at cars passing them on the left, and how to safely deal with parked cars in their path. We took sidewalks when we could, but often sidewalks disappear in some neighborhoods. The kids were in good spirits and so far the trip was going really well.
When we got into the preserve, there was an easy entrance to the trail from Clark St. The trail went North/South and we wanted to go North so we could visit my friend Joe. Antonio is in class with his son. Going South would have brought us to the beginning of the trail which ends at Sunrise Highway.
On the trail, we saw all kinds of ponds and animal life. In the next two pictures you see a nice view of one of the ponds on the way. After that, you can see the hungry raccoon scouring the side of the road for something to eat.
We made it all the way up to the Southern State parkway where we went on-road again and went to Joe’s house in Massapequa Park. Antonio jumped in the pool and played with their kids for a while. Giovanni and I sat by the pool and talked with Joe for a while. We left after about 30 minutes and headed back.
On the way back, we decided to take the wooded route and do some real mountain biking. It was hard going for the kids. There were lots of mud spots, tree roots, and difficult terrain to deal with. It was mostly flat, though, which made progress pretty steady. Here are a few shots of the kids.
Below is a picture where we stopped for lunch right before the shots above. A man and his dog came by and the dog helped himself to our bowl of Tuna! No worries, it was leftover as we’d already made our sandwiches.
Here is a map of our trek. Each way we biked about 6 miles. I’m surprised the kids made it through a 12 mile bike ride. That’s nothing to sneeze at for an 8 and 9 year old. We made plenty of stops to make sure they were rested and riding strong. I also gave them plenty of sugar. At one point, we stopped and just listened to music on my iPod which sent tunes out through it’s external speaker.