After the 5 Boro Tour, and the ferry ride from Staten Island to Manhattan, Basil and I headed homeward, back to where we stay in Washington Heights. We immediately discovered that the first two subway stations we encountered were barred to bicyclists, and guarded by MTA employees. But the further we rode, the less I wanted to go underground.
I heard someone mention the Greenway, that wondrous path that now winds most of the way around the island — and it dawned on me that there really wasn’t any reason Basil and I couldn’t just cycle back to Washington Heights.
Anyway, Basil and I just hadn’t had enough cycling! And what a perfect day it was for noodling around on two wheels . . .
There’s a bonus landmark on the West Side Greenway at 125th Street: Fairway Market (“A Market Like No Other” — and is it ever!) Naturally, we stopped. (I think Basil was torn between the ignominy of riding in a shopping cart, and being, quite properly, proud of his versatility.) Navigating Fairway requires a battering ram; a grocery cart is the better weapon than a Brompton-as-trolley where violence may ensue.
We headed directly for the cheese counter. Our WH hosts are quite fond of cheese. We’d travelled quite lightly for the 5 Boro (no luggage allowed), so, once again, the emergency shopping bag, and those nifty twist ties, came in handy.
Does your grocery have a view like this directly across the street? I thought not!
The Greenway is behind the trees; the asphalt in front is Riverside Drive, which runs alongside Fairway.
Shortly after our departure from the market, the Greenway terminated unexpectedly. But, hey, no worries! They’ll have it open again for the winter holidays! (Also, who is Mark, and why is he out?)
We turned around, and discovered that the snarking may have been unwarranted. The detour was brief, and we were promptly back on the path, revelling in the greenery once again.
Plenty of others were enjoying the day, too.
The Little Red Lighthouse was basking in the sun, and getting a fair amount of attention from visitors, too.
Late last year, when Basil and I rode this way, I was disappointed that I couldn’t cycle up the incline beneath the George Washington Bridge; I wasn’t strong enough, or knowledgeable enough about managing Basil’s gears. This time, we went up without a glitch. Slowly, it’s true, but up, just the same. This photo doesn’t do the incline justice. It’s short, but steep.
After the climb, there’s a brief (and shady) respite, and then, around the corner you can’t quite see at the end of the path here, another steep incline. That rise involves a hairpin turn or two. We’re still walking it.
Here’s a view of the top curve, from above. It’s amusing to watch pedestrians hurtling downward; the path looks far more innocuous than it is.
Back on the road in Washington Heights, we ran into a crew filming a scene from A Walk Among the Tombstones, a Liam Neeson film. A production assistant asked me to move along, not having realized that Basil and I had already moved out of the range of the scene they were about to shoot (and that we were headed in the opposite direction). Her request did successfully curtail any further attempts I might have made at getting a better shot of the scene, though.
We were within blocks of “home” at this point, and rode back. This shot of Basil has already appeared in the post about the 5 Boro Tour; he’s on the 5th floor landing, at the end of our 5 Boro Tour cycling day. Altogether, we rode over 53 miles on the tour and in other parts of Manhattan.