Mountain biking in the city?
Last weekend I took a mountain bike ride in Queens, New York. Now, some folks will tell you that "Geographically, Queens is technically part of Long Island, and everyone knows that Long Island has no mountains, so, what are you talking about!?" Well, it's true. Queens doesn't have mountains, or even real hills, but a group of dedicated volunteers have been transforming what little terrain the city has into some very cool trails. As recently as five years ago, bikes were not welcome to touch tires to dirt anywhere in the five boroughs. In the short time since then, a newly formed mountain bike club, NYCMTB, and one from Long Island, CLIMB, have managed to convince the city it was a good idea, find underused parks, get input from pros, lay out trails, and organize an army of volunteers to build them. At Cunningham Park in Queens, they've done a great job of making miles of challenging trails in a small space and even fostering a sense of community in the big city. A mountain biking stranger stopped to tell me I had "smooth style." Thanks! Check out their ongoing efforts at www.nycmtb.com and www.climbonline.org.
PS: That's me on the log ride in the picture. The whole log is 50 or 60 feet long, and I didn't make it any more than 10. It's scary though! But that's what's great about mountain biking: You can never be an expert. Even after mastering one thing, there's always another piece of trail or technical move that eludes you, to work towards. Maybe next time, log!