Saturday, May 2, 2009

Queers take on Queens

Last Saturday, I led a DOBC ride through Queens! We painstakingly chose the beginning and end of the ride based on two pillars of importance: queers and beer.

We started at the Queens Pride House and ended at the Bohemian Hall & Beer Garden in Astoria.

This was the route:

View Queens Ride April 25th in a larger map

I was slightly nervous about leading a ride through Queens, having been there only once to look at an apartment and drink a beer on the sidewalk. Luckily, Queens is quite bike-friendly, and I mapped a route along the main bike lanes, thinking that would be best for a group of 15+ riders. Despite being slightly late and awkward (not to mention looking not as sexy/skinny in my tank top as I had imagined), the turnout was great! I think we managed to coerce a few more ladies into DOBC, which is awesome. I love these girls.

We started out from Queens Pride House and continued west on 34th Avenue, eventually hitting Skillman Avenue. Leading was fun, I just tried to stay in front of everyone, note when we got cut in half by red lights, and look cool. Truthfully I had a folded map that I kept pulling out of my pocket to check and re-check our location, but we rolled smoothly through Queens.

Once we approached the Queensboro Bridge, I stopped and pulled over to consult the map, terrified of leading a group of cute queers mistakenly into Manhattan and not to our beloved destination: the beer garden. We rode through a mini-park with wide streets, which was really pretty and eventually hit the "greenway." This particular "greenway" so was not so much green as adjacent to a large Con-Ed plant which could be mistaken for a prison, given the ferocity of the shiny barbed wire surrounding the place. Eventually, as we stumbled upon the sculpture garden (recommended by a rider), we made our way against the water, riding on a smooth, wide sidewalk that jutted out into the Hudson. This was what I had wanted the entire ride, and it provided the perfect near-end to our journey. We continued through Astoria Park and onto the beer garden.

The beer garden was super crowded. I determinedly waited for 30 minutes in front of a strong, bald Polish dude and implored him for beer with my eyes. I didn't want to shout at him, as I noticed none of the frat-type boys around me were doing that, nor the cute straight girls. So I just stood there, leaning further and further into the draught taps, hoping he might notice me. Eventually, after his co-worker spilled an entire pitcher of sticky stout on the bar, he served me. Three pitchers of Hoegaarden later, I forgave him. I was happy to return to the DOBC table, a crazy group of cyclists/queers among college boys.

Can't wait for the next ride!

1 comment:

  1. yay! looks like the weather was great too ;)
    thanks for sharing these, and kudos for leading the ride. greetings from SF!