Into the Danger Zone

 Into the Danger Zone

By Sean McVeigh

No, not that Danger Zone…

Has anyone else noticed a recent influx of bikers in Rockaway? No, not the gangs of four-wheelers and dirt bikes that we were plagued with last year (we can thank the NYPD and our local elected officials for putting an end to that… for now). I am talking about the pedaling-on-two-wheels kind of biker. A person riding a bike, you know! Oh sorry, do you prefer to be called a cyclist? Well, guess what? I don’t care.

I am a bike guy. Rockaway is a bike town. Just look at the cover of this paper each week! The man who used to own page 5 of this paper (well he owned the whole thing, I guess, but you get the point) practically lived on a bicycle. Heck, he’s currently riding across the country on one! So please do not mistake this as an attack on the bicycle. Rather, please take this as an attack on the spandex wearing, 25 mph riding, hordes of cyclists that appear to have taking a liking to the boardwalk and the bike lanes on Rockaway Beach Boulevard.

You used to see one or two of them riding together, and the dangers of the speeds they were going combined with the lack of adherence to the bike lane were clear and present. But now, it’s 10 to 15 of them and those concerns seem tenfold. I am no stranger to packs of bicycles, but I am more familiar with them as packs of wobbling riders, barely exceeding the speed of a brisk walk, at events like the Mustache Bash or the Tour de Breeze. Not whizzing past you, yelling “on your left!”

Unfortunately, I don’t think there is much that can be done to deter them. Maybe a banana peel here or there? I mean, it is a tremendous route. How can I blame them? I guess all I can say is keep your head on a swivel because I don’t think I have seen these droves hit the brakes once.


Yesterday was Flag Day. I think we can all agree that Flag Day is not the most popular holiday. I don’t think anyone has anything against it (although I am most certainly wrong about that), it is just overshadowed by some of the other patriotic holidays. We just had Memorial Day and we have the granddaddy of them all, Fourth of July, right around the corner. Those are VERY important holidays, but I’m a sucker for the underdog and I think Flag Day is in need of a little more love.

I like to think the American flag is above the fray. It does not have a political party. It stands for everyone in this great country, filled with many people with many different ideas and beliefs. When kids in school say the Pledge of Allegiance each morning, the first thing they pledge to is that beautiful flag. Our National Anthem is practically a love song to the flag!

I’ve accompanied a few people on their first journey through Rockaway. One of the things that strikes a newcomer right away seems to be the number of American flags that smack them right in the face. It is tough to find a block or a main road that is not adorned in red, white and blue. When the beaches fill up, is there anything better than looking from east to west and seeing hundreds of flags standing high above the masses? Thanks for making me proud to show you off yet again, Rockaway. Happy Flag Day.

Rockaway Stuff

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