Sadly, I travelled without Basil, as this was a fast turn-around, with no opportunity whatever to ride Basil — discounting the few short blocks I navigated by foot, which weren’t enough to justify having to check him with strangers for the rest of the day.
I was at the train station at 4:45 AM, and it was surprisingly pleasant.
Riding SEPTA at that hour is a lot like riding in a private rail coach, but not so posh.
I was in one of the new Silverliner V cars, and, for the first time, made my way to the front of the train. On standard SEPTA trains, this window is blocked off, so a seat at the front is no different from a seat anywhere else. Not so on the Silverliners. I wasn’t able to get good photos while the sky was still dark — too much reflection from lights inside the carriage — but this was a long ride, and dawn made for a better result.
I usually arrive in New York at Grand Central Terminal and scurry through it without ever seeing daylight. On this trip, I found myself outside. On another day, I’ll have to make a point of spending an hour or two exploring the building’s exterior. Clearly, there are points of interest!
Virtually all of this trip was spent indoors; I didn’t do nearly as much walking as is normal when I’m in New York, but I did manage to spy a few things of interest in the few blocks I traversed, including these new, as-yet-unoccupied, bike share racks.
New York’s bike share racks are not permanently installed; that is, they are not bolted to the ground. Instead, they are held in place by weight. The idea is that they can be moved around the city — using heavy equipment, not your pick-up truck, presumably — as needed. (Some cities with bike share programs have discovered that patrons prefer to cycle only downhill, which has required constant shuffling of bikes and, sometimes, racks.)
Roll-out for the program was yesterday: Memorial Day. There’s been huge interest in the program, with thousands of people signing up before the racks even began appearing. It will be fascinating to see how the program works, how popular it is, and how both cyclists and motorists adapt.
Though this was an excellent day, it was, alas, a non-cycling one for me. I arrived home just as the sun was setting. All was not lost: a nice sleep, and then I could be riding Basil once again!