I took a break from racing this past weekend to vacation (while Mel worked) in New
York, or the city, as it is known in, …er, the city. All our past visits to NY found Mel and me wandering over to Central Park to see the dogs play and watch the cyclists go round and round the 6 mile loop. We pointed out brokers on their $10,000 bikes and hipsters on fixies.
This year while Mel did her thing, I rented a road bike and had a tour of the island. First impression; Central Park blows. Either you are dodging inline skaters, aggressive mommies with strollers or fending off those brokers, their Colnagos & Assos kit. I did 2 laps of the park, spinning my 25 pound Schwinn
($6/hr from Liberty Cycles) around joggers and spaced-out
tourists. It seems the hardcore roadies ride early in the a.m., by noon all I was left with were the square-pedaling-handlebar-above-the-saddle racers. But they all still wanted to race me. As I spun up the little (I’m talking little by flat central Ohio standards) rollers, I would get these 2 or 3 guys jumping on my wheel and eventually passing me on a downhill only to be caught as I spun (spun!) up the next roller. I had to get out of the park.
Now, the bike paths on the Hudson river was another thing all together. Folks seemed to understand they walked on one side and we cycled on the other. I was able to ride up, beyond Spanish Harlem, past Fort Tryon into almost wilderness on a path. Very cool sightseeing, past an aircraft carrier and Columbia University, turn left and I’m spinning through Harlem back into Central Park. Very cool. I’m now on the East River riding past the Empire State building, under the Brooklyn Bridge down to see lady Liberty and ground zero. Sometimes you forget NY is an island AND a port. But there it is, nature and boaters, sea kayaks, and a few super model wannabes sporting their stuff. All very cool, and all very accessible by bicycle.