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Fast and Fabulous

New York's GLBT Cycling Club

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    * Coney IslandConey Island

    Time: 08:30

    We’ll bike down Ocean Parkway to Brighton Beach to hook up with the Coney Island Brighton Beach Open Water Swimmers ( Water temperatures this time of year will be in the lower 60s, yes, brrrrr; we do change on the beach; and you will need a brightly-colored swim cap so the lifeguards can spot you. Meet Patrick Guilfoyle, Nathan Burstein and Bob Nelson across from the Brooklyn Bridge entrance in City Hall Park (just south of the southwest corner of Chambers and Centre St.) at 8:30 a.m., OR at the corner of Prospect Park West and Third St., at the entrance to Prospect Park, at 9 a.m. Grimaldo’s Chair, the lifeguard station where the CIBBOWS swimmers meet, at 10 a.m., is on the other side of the boardwalk from the Volna restaurant on Brighton Fourth St.; there is a concrete pavilion on the beach side with a water fountain; bathrooms are farther west along the beach. The railings by the concrete pavilion are safe to lock up with a chain lock. After the swim, we’ll pick up milkshakes and head back along the Shore Parkway bike path, under the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge and back up to the Manhattan Bridge, for a total ride distance of 30 mi. or so. You will need a bike lock, swimsuit, towel, goggles, sunscreen and money. Questions? Bob Nelson, fastnfab (at) gmail (dot) com or 212-567-7160.

    * Gay GamesGay Games

    The quadrennial Gay Games started in San Francisco in 1982 and have been held all over the world since then — just not in Paris. The City of Light hosts some 15,000 athletes, 36 sports and 14 cultural events from Aug. 4-12, 2018; details at Both road cycling and mountain biking races are scheduled, and the local LGBT bike club, Les Derailleurs ( is pitching in with local bike racing officials to put together time trials, a criterium and a road race, to be held in the royal town of Versailles, some 20 mi. southwest of Paris. Mountain biking will take place in a national park northeast of town. Mister B&B is the official hotelier, but Gay Games officials have said they will provide dorm rooms for participants. If you’re not at the beach this summer Sunday, and like the idea of a week in Paris with queer athletes from all over the work, go to the LGBT Community Center (208 West 13th St. between Seventh and Eighth) from 4 to 6 p.m. for a meet and greet with members of the Paris 2018 team, who will make a presentation about the Games and answer questions. The event is open to everyone, whether or not you have registered for the Games. Bob Nelson is going to Paris and bringing his racing bike; holler at him with logistics questions at fastnfab (at) gmail (dot) come or 212-567-7160.

    * Riis ParkRiis Park

    Time: 11:00

    As part of the Gateway National Recreation Area, Riis Park is not subject to New York City rules and regs, so attitudes towards topless bathing and alcohol consumption are a little more relaxed here. The east end of the beach, next to a shuttered insane asylum, is particularly gay-friendly. Writes one correspondent: “I would actually describe it as uber-bohemian: queers, trannies, radical fairies, topless dikes, the occasional bottomless gay-boy; lots of people of color and working class folks.” Meet Lori Goodman, Carolyna Martinez, Patrick Guilfoyle, Nathan Burstein and Bob Nelson, with companions, on the West Side bike path at Christopher St. at 11 a.m. to get our wheels moving beachward. We’ll make a stop at Grand Army Plaza at noon for Brooklynites; we’ll pick up lunch near the start of the bike path in Sheephead Bay. Then, so fortified, we’ll head over the Marine Parkway Bridge, sometimes called the Gil Hodges Bridge, to Riis. We’ll be at the beach for a few; bring locks and beach gear. Text Lori or Bob for more info; Lori at 646-325-7533; Bob at 212-567-7160.

    * Harlem Valley Rail RideHarlem Valley Rail Ride

    Time: 05:00

    This ride takes you through spectacular and very hilly farm country in eastern Columbia County, New York, as well as the very northwesternmost corner of Connecticut and the very southwesternmost corner of Massachusetts. All eight routes (23, 33, 45, 57, 72 and 80 miles, as well as two centuries, one relatively flat and one not) start at Eddie Collins Field in Millerton, N.Y., then take off down the bucolic, shaded Harlem Valley Rail Trail. Depending on what distance you choose, there are then hills, big hills or mountains to climb. Traffic is minimal and rest stops are plentiful, even for those bringing up the rear. After the ride, take a dip in the pool at Eddie Collins Field, then sit down to burgers and ears of country corn. Three options to handle lodging and transportation: take Metro North to nearby Wassaic the day before the ride and get a local room, which can be pricey; take the train and pitch a tent at Eddie Collins Field, which is a lot cheaper; or get the bus up the same day of the ride. Be warned that the same-day bus leaves Manhattan at about 5 a.m., a time known mainly to vampires, and that same-day Metro North trains won’t get you to the start in time for any but the shortest rides. Despite this schedule, the bus sells out, so register early if you plan to ride the bus to or from the ride. Patrick Guilfoyle and Bob Nelson are riding longish distances and staying at the Inn at Iron Masters in nearby Lakeville, Conn., which, despite its name, is a rather ordinary motel that overcharges mightily in the summer. Register at Contact Bob Nelson with questions at fastnfab (at) gmail (dot) com or 212-567-7160.

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