Tours, Trails & Group Rides

Blitz Trip to NYC

This quick trip to New York City was unexpected, the result of my discovering that Basil’s gear indicator needed repair. Basil’s shop is NYCeWheels, at the sign of the Brompton, on the Upper East Side.

NYCeWheels offers free tours on these little yellow beauties (the rest of the fleet was still inside when we turned up).  Owner Bert pointed out that the tours are win-win for NYCeWheels: even if riders don’t buy a bicycle, other people see the fleet out and about, which is great visibility both for the store and the bike.

Basil was fixed so quickly that he and I were able to head out for a ride — an unexpected bonus!  After a cold and rainy spring, this day was beautiful, and everyone who could was out and enjoying the weather.  The East River (or Estuary, more properly) was resplendent under that perfect sky.

We took the East Side Greenway down as far as it currently goes, and then braved city streets.  I was reminded, once again, that bike lanes are a great idea, but not nearly as splendid in practice as in theory.

I’m stopped at a light here, but I can see that the lane is occluded ahead. Even with my very brief experience cycling in the city, I know perfectly well that those vehicles will still be there after the light changes and Basil and I reach that spot.

In places like NYC, where compliance with traffic regulations is the stuff of fantasies, bike lanes with physical barriers are the only thing that makes sense.  Implementing them is another story, of course.

At a different intersection, we spied something much more pleasing!  (I think Basil likes these companionable moments as much as I do.)

New Yorkers tend to live outdoors — it’s inevitable, given the size of most apartments — and a corollary effect is that food trucks abound.  This one covers all the critical menu points, and the vendor was a really nice fellow.  (Also a discriminating one:  he admired Basil!)

The CitiBike scheme had just launched, and stations were all over the place (below 59th, that is). The one above is at E 39th and Second.

There’s a lot of empirical evidence that biking has increased dramatically in popularity in the city, but even a casual observer can’t help noticing how many more bikes seem to turn up each year.  (It’s not obvious in this photo, but quite a few blue bikes are missing from the share racks on the left.)

Cycling in NYC traffic can seem like the death-defying feat it undoubtedly is, but it can also seem idyllic, especially under a canopy of fully-leaved trees.

I spied blue bikes everywhere, but often wasn’t  fast enough to catch them with my camera.

Basil and I returned to Washington Heights via the Greenway, and, not for the first time, I made a mental note to find out what this building is.  In order to do so, though, I’ll have to remember where it is; fortunately, it isn’t necessary to know the name in order to appreciate the structure, especially on such a glorious day.

I love the George Washington Bridge, and am always thrilled to see it again.

I might be a little less thrilled to see the hill beside it.  Even with all six of Basil’s excellent gears functioning well, I’m still not strong enough to make it up this incline. (Though I do get a bit farther each time.)

Is it wrong of me to suspect that this sign, facing the incline, is mocking those of us foolish enough to attempt this ascent? (Don’t get me wrong; I’m totally OK with the “respect others” part.)

Just after the first climb there’s another one, which also requires a bit of walking.  On the other hand, stopping is a good excuse to take a quick shot of Basil.

Then there’s one last view of the bridge, and we’re back where we started.

One reply on “Blitz Trip to NYC”

Comments are closed.