May 20th, 2022 @ 6:32 pm
when i was a kid, i lived in college point. we lived across the street from what we called “the field” aka the college point fields. it was old flushing airport that had been shut down a decade before we ever moved to CP. by the time we got there, there was a hockey rink that was falling apart, a half-assed and quite rundown football field with a running track built around it and some baseball fields off to the right for little leagues. behind it, there were the old airport hangars and an abandoned runway which now serves as a usable street to get to the shopping area on 20th (target, ulta, etc.).
the field’s track was actually asphalt vs. whatever actual running tracks are made of (clay? lol), so we could ride our bikes around it endlessly, which we did for years. we moved in when i was about 7 going on 8 and stayed until i was 12. i guess in the grand scheme of things, that’s not a ton of time, but to a kid – that’s forever. as a kid that moved frequently, that was also a long time for our family to be situated in one spot. i’m even still friends with some of the kids from “the block”, which was a block completely comprised of 3 story high, attached apartments filled with families.
anyways, as i’m now 40 and live in this city with 18,867,000 other goons, everything is more annoying to deal with. the high amount of rent, the number of cars on the road (most households having more than 1 car and also no thanks to uber/lyft), flexible work schedules leaving everyone being out at all times of the day, etc. – it just makes it so annoying to leave the house in general, nevermind to go cycling in the streets. while i’m not fully scared to go riding out on the streets, i don’t particularly love it and i’m def not aggressive like some riders.
i looked it up, and the population was 17,983,084 back then. i can’t remember how it was – if there were less cars, but i imagine in some places that’s the case. when i grew up in college point, there was no target or shopping on 20th ave, it was all just more fields on the other side. just straight up grass and weeds. i remember one time we walked it at night w my mom when we didn’t have a car and i don’t even remember there being street lights. i would like to believe it was less irritating to live in queens then, with less people and less cars, but i digress.
i really wish that NYC would give us a few more flat tracks or velodromes. the only one left in queens is at kissena park, and it’s not exactly NEAR my apartment… but it’s not far enough to super complain. if there were one every 5 miles, that would be ideal. i have no idea where there isn’t one in alley pond park – instead, they gave us a mountain bike adventure trail. i mean, that’s rad, just not really helpful to us track bike riders. my friends that cycle from other parts of the city can’t get there easily, either. there’s not even one in flushing meadow park. i don’t get it. they invest so much money in parks, but they neglect the people on bikes who can’t even get a break in bike lanes. we barely have trails and have no tracks… how is that fair?
if i had a bike track near me, i’d be doing 93793879387 laps a day at like 6AM if i could. ugh, NYC parks, get on itttttt!