Took a good ride through the city today. About halfway through the ride I remembered that on Memorial Day two years ago I went on a memorable ride through Cincinnati and some of its outlying rural areas.
The ride two years ago was memorable for the varied scenery and the long (for me) distance of 53 miles. Today’s ride distance was a modest 22.79 miles, but there was a lot of city scenery.
After replacing my rear tube (I only blew up one in the process, which is sadly an improvement) and picking up an extra from Bicycle Renaissance I headed to the 72nd Street entrance of Riverside Park. I rode up to the top (around 158th Street) and then all the way down to the bottom. I continued on the bike path until I hit Pier 88, where I passed some of the ships visiting for Fleet Week, and then ran into Chelsea Piers a little later. I rode further until I ran out of path somewhere around the entrance to the Staten Island Ferry.
I rode back home through the city–past Wall Street and Ground Zero, through SOHO, and then in a zig-zag west-east-west again pattern through midtown. At one point on Fifth Avenue (around 42nd Street) I ran into some sort of event with a sea of people. It was quite a spectacle to look into it from a bit of a distance. (Note to self: Bring a camera next time you go exploring New York on a bike, especially on a holiday.)
I was good on my bike today–I obeyed the traffic lights and the rules of the road. The highlight of my day was when a New York bike cop–in full Pacific Blue garb–yelled, “Take the light! Take the light!” as I patiently waited at a light in front of Radio City Music Hall. No wonder New York streets are anarchy.
Riding through the city–dodging cabs, pedestrians, and other cyclists–was energizing. There’s a perspective about places you can’t get anywhere else but on a bike. I always feel I know an area better after I’ve seen it on a bike. I know New York a little better after my ride today.
I suppose I could call Memorial Day rides a tradition if I’d ridden last year in addition to two years ago and if I’d actually planned to ride today. I guess the Memorial Day Ride is more of an accidental tradition, or maybe a tradition patiently waiting to be noticed.
Note to self: Remember to ride next year on Memorial Day. Bring some folks along. And don’t forget a camera.