Since some of my fans enjoy my bike riding columns, I decided to write another this week. I realize that it is a stark departure from my political columns, which usually get more of a reaction. In the October 29, 2020, issue of the Queens Jewish Link, I wrote about an experience I had while riding in the Nassau-Suffolk Bike Challenge. A few miles from the end, I got a flat tire. I was walking my bike back to the starting area when two guys who were riding stopped to change my tire. They were on their way back to West Hempstead. After playing Jewish geography, I found out that one of them is the son of the group leader in the Orthodox teen minyan that was in the Bayside Jewish Center who had an impact on my becoming religious. On May 21, 2023, I went to a siyum made by my future son-in law Dani Miller at his parents’ home. I was talking with one of the individuals present, also a big rider, who mentioned that he rides in group rides including the Nassau-Suffolk Bike Challenge. I told him the story. He said he was the second guy. Neither of us had recognized the other. It’s a small world.

Here is another bike-riding-related story. On Sunday, May 28, I was going to go see part of the air show at Jones Beach while riding my bike from Cedar Creek Park to Captree State Park. I was unsure about whether to daven vasikin (sunrise minyan) or the regular early Sunday morning minyan. One advantage of getting up as early as possible would be to beat the anticipated crowd. The show was listed to go from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

I woke up at sunrise at 5:30, too late for the sunrise minyan and too early for the regular minyan. I looked for alternatives and found one that was a little earlier than my regular minyan, so I decided to go there. It had been a long time since I had davened at that shul. When I got there, I met someone who also didn’t know the combination to the front door since he also had not been there for a while. We rang the bell and the person who opened the door said he was only there because he was visiting his parents. With the three of us, they had exactly a minyan. Here we were, three people who were placed in a situation so that there would be a minyan.

After I davened, I ended up getting to the park around the time I wanted. I figured I would make two round trips from Cedar Creek Park to Captree Park, making sure to be by Jones Beach at 2:45 for the finale. Last year it finished at 3:00 p.m. and I was right by the beach with a good view of the Blue Angels flying over me. This year, I ended up riding faster than expected, so I ended up at Jones Beach at 2:25. My first reaction was that maybe I should leave, since I did not want to wait another half hour. However, the Thunderbirds had started. It was fortunate that I did stay, since they were the last part of the show, which ended early at 2:40 p.m.

I read in one of a daily newspaper’s dueling columns as to whether it is proper to have an airshow on Memorial Day weekend. Firstly, it was not on Memorial Day. In any event, it is proper, since it shows the military in a positive light with their fancy weapons. It is used as a recruiting tool.

I also have heard similar complaints about the Little Neck-Douglaston Parade held on Memorial Day. The parade is an upbeat parade involving civic organizations, schools, religious organizations, and political organizations, but few, if any, active soldiers and veterans. This is the largest Memorial Day parade in New York City, lasting for one hour. This year, I went with my daughter and granddaughter. Congresswoman Grace Meng was present even though it was not her district. George Santos, whose district is where the parade was held, was a no-show.   

Both events have one thing in common. Both events had large crowds. No matter their political views, those who came are supportive of those who are participating. The parade had a broad swath of the community participating. There were a number of American flags. In how many events in this divided country can we say this happens? The best way we can honor those who gave their lives for this country is to show that we believe that this country’s continued existence was worth fighting and dying for.

Warren S. Hecht is a local attorney. He can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.