Mission accomplished! One of my goals for the summer was to bike to every island in NYC that is accessible by bike, and I think I'm done, unless there are other islands I don't know about. After checking off Manhattan, Long Island, Staten Island, Roosevelt Island, Randall's and Ward's Islands, Coney Island (not really an island), and City Island, I finished it off yesterday with Broad Channel, located in Jamaica Bay.
The first stage of the journey was by subway, and I met up with JA at the end of the R train, in the shadow of the Verrazano Bridge. The sky was overcast with occasional drizzle, so it was perfect biking weather, unlike the last two attempts. We biked around the Brooklyn coast, past Ceasar's Bay [sic] Shopping Center, through Coney Island (hopping despite the weather), Brighton Beach, and the oddly-named Manhattan Beach (which is even farther from Manhattan than Manhattan College is), past Mario & Luigi's restaurant, past the almost-abandoned Floyd Bennett Field (where we saw the Fujifilm Blimp), and over the Marine Parkway Gil Hodges Memorial Bridge to the Rockaway Peninsula.
We locked up our bikes and we were in the ocean! This is a birthday tradition for JA. It was probably high tide; the waves were huge. From looking at the map, I couldn't figure out why the waves were so much higher here than at Coney Island; contrary to our hypothesis at the time, the Coney Island beach isn't actually sheltered as part of New York Harbor. Any ideas?
The ocean is all well and good, but some of us had a mission, so we continued along the peninsula and took the Cross Bay Veterans Memorial Bridge onto the island of Broad Channel. The southern part of the island is a residential neighborhood, and the northern part is part of the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge. (While most of the island belongs to Queens, apparently a chunk of the Wildlife Refuge part is in Brooklyn!) We crossed the Congressman Joseph P. Addabbo Bridge (which is covered in fish guts), and we were back on the "mainland" of Queens, near JFK.
And the rest is history. No more islands.