Cycling at Cedar Creek Park in Wantagh, NY

I struggle with the bike. Whenever I get on the bike or just about to ride the bike, I have panic attack. I get through it by not letting it get to me. I stand there waiting to clip in. Waiting. Then, I say to myself, “just go….” “go…..” “GO….” “GOOOOOOOO……” And, then I go.

So, the other day, I got up at 6 a.m. and headed to Cedar Creek, which is about 20 – 30 minutes from my house. The trail runs along the Wantagh Parkway and takes you over three bridges, where you see magnificent views of the water, boats, landscape and if you’re lucky, a sunrise or a sunset. After about four miles or so, the path leads you into Jones Beach. That’s the trickiest part of the trail. If you stay on the path, you have to zig zag through a maze that takes you along Zack’s Bay and around to the Tobay Beach path. I always go dreadfully slow there because I’m afraid I’m going to crash into the gates. So, what I’ve been doing is cutting through the Jones Beach Theatre parking lot and catching the path along Zack’s Bay. However, the security people got smart (I guess) and put barricades there too so it almost makes it impossible not to get off your bike and walk it back to the bike path.

Courtesy Noah Lam, photographer

Once I crossed Zack’s Bay parking lot and was on the path again, it was smooth sailing. I could smell honeysuckle. It reminded me of my childhood. I rode a bike when I was a child. Hmmm… why do I have such a fear today?

Although I’m afraid of it, I love riding. I love going fast, well, not that fast, around 15 – 17 mph is a fun pace. When there’s not that much wind, I can easily get to 17+ miles. When there is, I struggle around 13ish…

The one thing that gets me mad is when people are wearing headphones taking up the whole bike path. Or, those who go in groups and ride slow so you can’t get around them! It’s so frustrating when you call out “on your left,” and the folks don’t move over!

I was glad I got there early and there wasn’t a ton of traffic. As I was thinking that I am enjoying this route so much, a bird pooped on me –then another one did the same. Now I’m covered in bird crap (well, not exactly but enough to be disgusted. And, then I start to think about my mom. She would say, that a little bird dung is good luck.)

Mmmm… not sure how lucky I was to have crap on me, but I did feel lucky to have a beautiful ride.