Sunday, March 9, 2008

Back from NYC

I spent the last week visiting my hometown of NYC. Even though it was officially a working trip to meet with many magazines and other media folks, I definitely took time to enjoy all that i love about NYC such as the food, people-watching, museums (ok, well just The Cloisters for the last ten minutes before closing -enough time to sprint over to my favorite piece of art, stare at it for a full three minutes before being escorted out by security), carousel ride in Central Park, and shopping for that elusive pair of perfect jeans.

Aside from time blocks spent nursing the periodic broken bone, head injury or muscle/tendon tear, this was the longest time i've gone without riding a bike. It felt very weird. In a mode of bicycle withdrawal, I found myself visually b-lining to anything passing with two wheels.

Usually i would have to rely on watching messengers - the only cyclists courageous enough to ride in the Big City. But much to my dismay, messenger-spotting was tougher than in years past. With recent advances in email and teleconferencing technology, fewer messengers are needed to meet the lightened demands.

Luckily, as the number of messengers is on the decline, on the rise was recreational cyclists and bicycle commuters. I'd say this is partly due to the increasing number of bicycle lanes found throughout the City, but it's hard to imagine this had any impact considering the cars are not slightly deterred from passing other cars using these lanes or even parking in them. Maybe people have become more adventurous or are looking for alternatives to paying an exorbitant price to drive their two-ton vehicle to work; gas, parking, stress of driving in the city all add up.

I'd have to say i got my biggest bike fix when i visited Morningside Height's Grant's Tomb - the largest tomb in the USA. On a side note, do you remember the joke that spread to every elementary school in the USA, "Who's buried in Grant's Tomb?" Well, I took a photo so every school kid in America who reads this blog will now be prepared with an answer.

In front of the Tomb were a bunch of cyclists, most of whom sported only ONE wheel. It seemed like it was a regular group 'ride.' Can it be considered a ride if they don't go anywhere but rather ride loops of a few feet in diameter? HA! I just saw the irony in that question considering i merely ride circles in cyclo-cross - albeit my circles are a little bigger!

Amongst the one-wheeled vehicles was an abbreviated two-wheeled machine. It was so bizarre looking that i stared at it for quite some time before being distracted by the traditional road racer-types passing in the background, probably heading back from their trip across the George Washington Bridge for their regular weekend pilgrimage to the Runcible Spoon Bakery in Nyack, NY.

I also found my dream bike outside a vegan restaurant in the East Village - it was pastel pink with a huge-ass saddle to accommodate my larger ass i'll have if i continue to snack on street pretzels and knishes, and bagels every day. Instead of stealing the bike, I think i'll hold out for an Ahrens version of the bike. I bet his would be sweet!

I'm out of time to write more, but i plan to write a few more posts on the NYC trip shortly.

Thanks for reading!



Big Bad Wolf said...

Well having never been to NYC, and hating cities in general (murderous traffic) I still felt in a way related when reading your story. Good writing and you have a good eye for pics also. Thanks for sharing.

Anonymous said...

Love the bad ass pink cruiser with the big saddle.

Tons of bikes like that in Italy.
Great post.