Along the Canal

My Brompton bicycle Basil and I found ourselves in upstate New York recently, and returned to a favorite haunt there:  the Erie Canal towpath.


This time, however, we found obstructions:  traffic cones, a torn-up trail, and heavy equipment where Basil’s tires prefer to be.

We shot a longing  glance down the canal, and then headed out on surface streets until we’d bypassed the construction.


This was the first time we’d ridden on streets in this area, or over any of the rather wonderful steel bridges.


There’s a walkway along the canal in the village of Pittsford, which we viewed, also for the first time, from a nearby bridge.


I stopped in at a bike shop next to the canal to replace a patch kit that had been depleted on a recent group ride.


In former days, tradesmen used to hang signs that signified the profession practised within their shops:  In this case, a bicycle chain is embedded in the entry-way.


Some strip malls are a little different in this part of the world.  I think most of these buildings have been re-purposed since they were built during the days when the canal itself was far more active than it is now.


This little “mall”, too, looks as if the buildings once served radically different needs — relevant, probably, to the kind of commerce that was once canal-driven.

We did eventually get a little bit of cycling in on the towpath, once we got past the construction.


The trail surface is a bit rough-and-ready; it’s mostly crushed stone.  Basil, and his Marathon tires, don’t mind a bit, though:  We’ve ridden many  miles on it in the past.  Those Bromptons look small, but they’re strong and adept!

Argyll Travel

Argyll on the Greenway

I did a little fabric shopping when I went to New York City with Argyll.  The next morning, he and  I set out to take the bundle to UPS so that it could be shipped home.


This was another first for Argyll, and a Brompton first for me, too; I’d never used Basil’s rear rack.  The built-in bungees worked just fine, and Argyll was easy to ride, even with a pretty heavy bundle on the back.

rn-gbdTalk about spring!  This what the sky looked like outside the Manhattanites’s apartment.

Then we turned the corner.


Well!  I couldn’t figured out what I was seeing at first.  Why were all those vehicles covered in fluffy stuff?  It reminded me of a conversation I’d once had with a woman on a train:  She’d funded an “art installation” composed of a Hummer covered in crocheted cotton.  That memory didn’t help; this was serious cognitive dissonance.  The previous day had been all blossoms and greenery; today there was a fine dusting of snow all over the place.

We got to UPS just fine, where, in a first, I was thrown out of the store, but my Brompton bicycle was allowed to stay.  There’s a rule, it seems, against packing a box inside the building.  The UPS guy and I usually get along well; maybe he was having a bad day.

Argyll was just as happy to stay inside while I packed my box on the sidewalk.


Sadly, there’s nothing I want to buy here, but I love seeing this store front next to the UPS store.  “Moscow on the Hudson”:  Now that’s evocative!

Argyll and I went next door and got coffee before heading out for a ride.  A Brompton bicycle tucks nicely out of the way, even in a cramped big-city coffee shop.


Outside, the sun was shining, but hadn’t quite vanquished the snow.


There’s always something new to see, even on familiar New York streets.  Someone had added these airy boots to the landscape since the last time I’d been to UPS.


There was only a tiny patch of snow left under this tree.  That wasn’t the case on the Westside Greenway, where Argyll and I headed next.


There was less snow on the train tracks below, but there it was, the Greenway was another first for Argyll (and without his own cyclist, Dr. Diarist!); this was also his first trip under the George Washington Bridge.

The previous night’s snow hadn’t discouraged all of the blooms, though it’s possible that the real damage didn’t show up until later.

gn-rvThe temperature was much colder than I’d anticipated, and my hands were feeling it.  I had fold-over cuffs on my cycling top, but the are a bit clumsy to use, particularly for braking, so I stopped in at Fairway hoping to find something to keep my fingers a bit happier.


Argyll in a Fairway cart:  Made for each other!

Inside, we encountered one of Argyll’s distant kin.  Bicycles are au courant, everywhere, these days.

gn-bcIn the cosmetics department, I found cotton gloves, which bought me some warmth — just enough — and some dexterity, when installed under my cycling mitts.  Frozen fingers in mid-April:  most unexpected!

gn-glArgyll still didn’t have his saddle bag, but I’d already attached the straps that would hold it in place, once I finished making it.  They proved to be just the thing to use to tie the grocery bag under his saddle.

gn-lpWe left the Greenway at this point, and I got lost looking for Broadway.  I ended up on Martin Luther King, but, hey, why not?  It’s difficult to get so lost in New York that one can’t find a way out, and there’s always something interesting to see.

gn-mkThe aerial view of the street is pretty cool.

Later I realized that this station is at the intersection of MLK and Broadway.  Sigh.


Once here, I couldn’t resist the lure of catching the subway above ground.  Also, Fairway-on-the-Greenway didn’t have rainbow cookies, so Argyll and I headed for the East Side, via the MTA.


Argyll ended up visiting two Fairway Markets, on two different sides of Manhattan, in one day.  Another first!


Rainbow cookies:  I doubt they’re natural, and I know they’re unhealthy, but they are very like marzipan petit fours someone used to give me when I was a child.


Unlike the blue bag of the previous day, this orange bag didn’t stain my hands.


We rode over to a park next to the Museum of Natural History, where I snacked on tasty, tasty cookies.  A day’s work, well done.


A Rainy Day at Union Square

On one afternoon on a quick trip to New York City, I popped downtown sans Brompton.  It was wet and cold, and I hadn’t brought good rain gear with me, so I hoofed it (and rode the subway).

rn-stI headed down to Union Square.  All that water made for nice color saturation in the park.

It does the same thing for the streets and buildings, too, but the effect isn’t quite as vibrant.


New York babies get used to the elements early.  A carapace like this one helps.

These rather glorious blossoms were in for a rude shock:  the next day, it snowed.


Generally speaking, when I head to Union Square, I’m going to Paragon Sports just to see what’s up, but I always like stopping in at this Barnes and Noble.  Though it’s large for an NYC bookstore, I think what I like best is the building exterior, and all those Citibikes out front.


If chain stores must exist in cities, it’s a good thing when they fit so relatively discreetly into the existing infrastructure.

I enjoyed a long conversation in the sports section with a cycling advocate, and ended up buying a couple of books designed to improve my cycling fitness.  We’ll see how that goes; neither one had any advice on how to extend a day past 24 hours, which is possibly what I actually require.


Argyll Checks In

Back before the 5 Boro Bike Tour, Argyll and I went to New York. Subsequently, various events and circumstances overwhelmed the schedule, and I lost track of his adventures.

ar-bsI did manage to chronicle the trip back to New York, but not our gadding about while there.  In order to avoid giving Argyll short shrift, I’m backtracking a bit here, and recording our flitting about on that trip.

Once we were settled in at the Manhattanites’s in Washington Heights, we hopped the cross town bus, due to my reluctance to ride certain segments of upper Manhattan streets in rain, and headed to NYCeWheels.

ar-opWe arrived before the store opened.  Argyll waited beneath a giant folder in the NYCeWheels window.


That white beast appears to be a Pacific Cycles IF Mode, a full-size folding bike.  I think it’s easily twice the size of a Brompton.  Maybe three times.


Once we were in, Steve put Argyll up on the stand behind the counter.  All that inventory is distracting, but it’s pretty cool to see a beautiful little Brompton suspended in mid-air.  I wonder if Dr. Diarist would go for this look in our living room?


I paused to admire the fold of yellow Bromptons NYCeWheels uses for their free tours, and for loans to Brommie Yummie.  Riding Brompton 1 of this fleet is what convinced me that a Brompton was the right bicycle for me.


That yellow imprinted, of course, and that’s the color of Basil’s frame.  (Visibility, folks, that’s where it is for me!), but just about any Brompton color evokes a little frisson of glee.  Look at that Arctic Blue!  And that Apple Green!


I took a walk and got some coffee while Steve looked over Argyll.  It was a beautiful day; the Upper East Side felt fresh and new in the rain.


I found goodies to take back to the Manhattanites, but they got saved for later.  The Manhattanites got consecutively ill during our visit, which put a damper on enticing meals.  Inside the container?  Fairway’s incredible roasted artichoke hearts.


Less incredible were my blue fingers.  How did that happen?  Weeellll, it turned out that Fairway’s plastic bag bled.


Messy, and most surprising, since what goes inside a Fairway bag is almost universally excellent.


We cycled just a few familiar blocks, in spite of damp streets, and then returned on the subway.  I was reading a Travis McGee mystery — a pulp paperback from the early 1960s; they’re a perfect size to stuff in a pocket.

My Brompton

Basil Runs for Office!

Saul made an unexpected discovery when we were all out on a recent group ride:


We had no idea; Saul’s supporting him, as you can see.

Saul’s own steed seems to be part of the informed electorate, too, and is obviously regarding the situation with the solemnity that enfranchisement requires.  Or is is that the look of a potential competitor?


Antelope Linus

On one afternoon on a quick trip to New York City, I popped downtown sans Brompton.  It was wet and cold, and I hadn’t brought good rain gear with me, so I hoofed it (and rode the subway).  Before leaving Washington Heights, though, I spotted an old friend:


I’d first encountered what I now think of as The Antelope Linus just over a year ago, in, if I recall correctly, a different area of New York City.  It was good to see that both cycle, and, presumably, cyclist, had survived since the previous year.


A Chelsea Morning (and Early Afternoon)

While we were in New York for the 5 Boro, we met up with family for brunch.  We tried the Grey Dog at first, but decided it was too noisy (ha, ha . . . as if there’s such a thing as “quiet” in a NYC restaurant!).


I’m a sucker for signboards like this one.  I wouldn’t know a proper pub if I found one (and I don’t drink beer, either), but something about the (admittedly faux) antiquity of a sign like this calls to my Europhile soul.

The family set off in search of other comestibles, loping, but determined.  They’re a causal lot, but they get things done.


Eventually we settled on an unnamed diner a few blocks away.   I didn’t take pictures; there was construction all around, and no sign on the building, which looked as if it had been recently sand-blasted.

The diner’s cooks weren’t just slinging hash; two of our party had eggs Benedict, which they pronounced to be just fine.  Gotta love New York. The place was, in fact, a lot quieter than the Grey Dog, so that worked out well, too.


It was a beautiful day in Chelsea; no one minded walking.

Then we headed to the Chelsea Flea Market.  This institution, a used-goods sales haven, is located on two floors of an ancient, decrepit garage which has apparently been sold.  The Chelsea Flea is closing in July, possibly so that it can be turned, once again, into a garage.


It’s an institution in the neighborhood, and makes for fun, if not bargain, hunting.  I failed to buy a linen tunic I loved, owning to its missing buttons (about 8 of them, hacked off) and a price that would have been right if it had been new, intact, and offered in a luxury shop.

We each brought a small treasure home:  a vintage sewing pattern, a vintage printed monograph on a favorite subject, and a tome on a special interest.

The day involved some velocipede-spotting, including this Brompton, a bright red one with a trunk bag, and its equally burdened cyclist:

br-bpA few blocks away, a Strida was locked up.  We were hoping that we’d discover that the fenders were wood (bamboo would have been OK!), but realized, up close, that they were a nicely-done take on wood. but not the real thing.  They look quite nice with the vanilla color, though.

br-sdThe first Strida I ever saw was downstairs at the MoMA (Museum of Modern Art) store.  It appealed to me tremendously (so quirky and clever!), but I’ve still not ridden one.  Gears are too important in my world, and so are long rides.

br-cgThen there was this adorable little cargo trike.  It may not be much in the sleek department, but it definitely gets points in the quirk category.

All in all, a lovely day.  And it didn’t snow once.


Metal Chain Guard for a Brompton

Nearly everything on my Brompton bicycle is just about perfect, but there’s no denying that Basil’s chain guard does not represent Brompton’s finest hour.


Basil is a 2012 Brompton; his chainguard is plastic, or a nylon-like plastic, or something of the like.  It’s held in place, more or less, with rivets of the same material, which mate to the metal chain ring.

I say “more or less” because the rivets wear, which causes the guard to warp slightly, which allows the guard wires on the wheel to catch every now and then, and, eventually, the chain guard pops off and is rendered useless.

When the rivets on Basil’s original guard popped, I had NYCeWheels replace it, though it seemed obvious that the replacement was likely to exhibit exactly the same fault.


As expected, it wasn’t long until the new plastic guard began to warp.  You may or may not be able to make out the beginning of the end in the image above.

I procrastinated long enough that eventually Mr. Orange posted a solution to this vexing problem.  He replaced the original guard on his orange titanium Brompton with a metal one from Tiller Cycles in the UK.


Tiller makes the chain guards (click on the section called “Brompton Bling“) in a wide range of Brompton colors and in two non-coated variations.  My inclination was to go for black, stainless or aluminium, but Dr. Diarist suggested that I really should match Basil’s Brompton yellow.

cg-pgThis seemed a bit much, but, on the other hand, Mr. Orange’s Brompton did look quite nice with its new ornament, so I sent off for one in Basil’s frame color.  It arrived quite promptly, neatly attached to a piece of cardboard.

cg-cmThe Tiller guard is just marginally larger than the original, but the mounting points match perfectly.

Installation (and removal from the backing) was facilitated, naturally, by Brompton’s sweet little ratchet set.


Tiller’s note reminds customers to set all the bolts before tightening, and I remembered, from years gone by, to tighten every other bolt in order to keep stresses even while going along.

Stainless spacers hold the guard away from the chain.


I sensibly used thread locker during installation, and I’ll remember to check the bolts now and then just to make sure that they stay tight.


When the bicycle is folded, the fold guard wires do make contact with the chain guard, so I expect that the pristine beauty of that paint job may not last.  From that standpoint, the polished stainless or aluminium may have been the better choice.  We shall see.


However, unlike the original guard, this one is unlikely to deteriorate in the course of ordinary use, and should not warp over time.

cg-nwThe new guard is a thing of beauty, and the color match perfect.

Basil, as he originally appeared:


And newly ornamented:


Basil is not as conservative as I am, and appears to be quite pleased with both the practical and aesthetic aspects of this change to his armature.

For those of us in North America, this is a costly bit of kit, particularly as postal rates are extraordinarily high — nearly the price of the guard itself.  (UK customers will presumably find the price to them more palatable.)  However, I expect the purchase to prove to be a good one, and I am relieved that I am no longer continually watching the original guard and wondering when it will finally fail once more.

There is a great deal to be said for having solved a nagging problem once and for all — and, of course, the expense of Basil’s flash new trim can reasonably be offset by what each new plastic replacement might have cost.

It has crossed my mind that Argyll might look quite smashing with a sage green guard; however, he is a 2013 Brompton, and his own chain guard is screwed firmly on, Brompton having addressed the issue, as they do, ongoing.  Argyll will have to argue his case on aesthetics alone, rather than practicality.  We will see what Dr. Diarist says to that .  .  .


The Magnificent Seven (Ten?)

It was early afternoon.  They approached purposefully.


There were seven ten of them, and just two of us.


Kurosawa could not save us.  Neither could United Artists.  Basil and I quietly slipped away.

5 Boro Tour Brompton Duo

5 Boro Bike Tour 2014: Walk ‘n’ Roll

Early on Sunday we set out for Bowling Green and our designated starting point for this year’s 5 Boro Bike Tour.


A quick jaunt on the A train later, we were at Bowling Green, milling about with the multitudes who were already waiting to be sprung into the fray.

514-bgBag restrictions meant that both of our Brompton bicycles rode with their saddle bags, which were well under the 420 cubic inch limit.  We had spare tubes and various useful other pieces of kit in these bags, but not a lot of room for much in the way of discarded jackets.


In addition, I’d strapped a fanny pack onto a modified Brompton S frame.  This inelegant accommodation pained me, but there was nothing else to do this year.  If we ride the 5 Boro next year, I think I’ll make  5-Boro-legal front bags for both Basil and Argyll.  They both have Brompton Mini O bags, but sadly, those bags — perfect for this kind of tour — are twice the permitted size.

514-ogThis year we were all required to wear green bonnets on our helmets, ensuring something of a uniformity of appearance; toward what exact end, I do not know.  In hotter weather, the helmet covers would have led to heatstroke.

Last year flamboyant helmet mods were everywhere; this year’s bonnets put the kibosh on most, but these fringe-festooned cylists were not deterred from making their own statement, Boro sponsors be damned!

514-agDr. Diarist commited a little sartorial indulgence of his own; I found these argyle socks at REI, in nearly perfect colors.  (Sadly, the matching Twin Six jersey comes only in a women’s cut, and the men’s only in an entirely wrong — for our Argyll — black and gray.)


We were in the third, and last, wave of riders, and by no means near the end of the long line of cyclists waiting to head out in this last group of 10,000 or so.

514-inAs we moved forward, two priests from Trinity Church wafted fumes above the crowd.  “I’m incensed”, said Dr. Diarist, whose comment probably reflect the reality of the moment more than they did his actual religious views, which are not necesarilly catholic. Or Episcopalian, for that matter.  Generally cheering ensued, regardless.


Heading out involved a remarkable amount of stopping and starting, which, as it turned out, set the theme for quite a bit of the tour.  This nifty recumbent tandem was one of the first of many tandems we saw on the ride; stopping and starting this vehicle required some skill, but both riders were up to the challenge.


We rode a few feet, we walked a few more.  The crowd before us was smaller (amusing concept, no?) than the one behind us.

514-bhOh, the humanity!  It stretched on seemingly forever:  This was the view behind us.  Parenthetical note:  I love New York buildings.  Nearly all of them, nearly everywhere.

514-elWe finally got to ride, and keep riding.  See that standing rider in the high vis jacket on the far left?  He’s on an ElliptiGo, a device which somewhat resembles an indoor trainer, but which has wheels.  Later, we saw him with two other ElliptiGo riders, so we suspect they were a team, of sorts.

I can’t imagine riding 40 miles/64.3 km on that device, but, then, people say the same thing to us about riding our little Bromptons that distance, and their surprise couldn’t be more misplaced.  But, of course, a Brompton really is a bicycle, after all!

We were walking again only an hour or so later, an activity we were to repeat over and over at various points during the tour.  Was this an inevitable result of being in the final wave?


One thing that surprised us was the amount of carnage we saw.  We counted four cyclists down, flat on their backs, along the route — one of them wearing an inflatable cervical collar, which couldn’t have been a good thing. We also saw many, many instances of cyclists being knocked, or falling, off their bikes, most of whom, as far as we could see, remounted, and carried on.

Of course, that’s a real hazard of an event that requires, for whatever reason, many stops and starts; there are that many more opportunities to lose balance or to miscalculate a stop or a start.  It was clear that inexperienced cyclists were having the roughest time with this, and falling disproportionately.

I was in the first wave last year, and saw nothing like this quantity of injuries and collusions.  I did finish rapidly, and I did have little company on many stretches of the tour last year, so maybe that’s the difference.

514-astEveryone is required to dismount and walk through Astoria Park, which was flooded with bodies and bicycles.  We snacked and took Argyll’s and Basil’s pictures, and moved on as quickly as we could.

Someone in an official vest of some kind came along and announced that the Astoria rest stop would be closing in fifteen minutes, which surprised us.

We had been no where near the end of the third wave when we started, and had left quite a lot of the pack behind in the time we’d ridden to Astoria.  Though there was another, smaller, rest stop only two miles away, we wondered how it would accommodate the thousands of cyclists behind us.  514-bWe took pictures of each other, too, hoping that there would soon be very little opportunity to do so as the tour continued.  We wanted to move, and so did our Bromptons!


We were shortly en route again, and were able to actually cycle for a bit. Hurray!


Half an hour later, though, we resumed walking.  That didn’t happen last year, either; except for the trek through Astoria, I had ridden the whole way.


514-wkAt one point, we walked for nearly three miles.  We never learned the reason for the delays.  Were they due to an unusual amount of injuries? Or is this just inevitable when 32,000 cyclists are on the road?

The good news is that everyone seemed to take the interruptions in stride, and just forged onward as best as possible.  It isn’t ever possible to predict how an event like this will go; best to expect that, whatever happens, it will be an experience, and to enjoy it for what it is.

514-bbAt some point we found ourselves behind these brilliantly-plumed folk.  Dr. Diarist has apparently spent too much of this new spring considering the courtship rituals of our avian friends:  He commented that these riders were “apparently expending unnecessary energy to demonstrate their reproductive fitness”.  Dr. Diarist has been in academia too long; it’s good that he’s getting out more.


It wasn’t long before we were walking again.  Does it seem odd that I should point out that the tour, all this trekking by foot notwithstanding, seems very well organized?  It does, and did; managing this kind of event is no mean accomplishment, and, all in all, it went very well.

After this final hike, I took no more no pictures:  We were riding!  The winds were high and we were too eager to move after moving so slowly for so long.

Dr. Diarist and I, and our two 6-speed Bromptons, made it up the Verranzano-Narrows Bridge without stopping, despite battling winds of 15 mph/24.1 kph or so, and gusts from 19 mph/30.5 kph to over 26 mph/41.8 kph.


At mile 37/km 59.5 or so, we dismounted once again to join the festivities [nearly] at the finish line.

At this point we’d ridden though all five boroughs (Manhattan, the Bronx, Queens, Brooklyn, and Staten Island) and ridden over five bridges:  the Madison Avenue Bridge; the Third Avenue Bridge; the Queensboro Bridge; the Pulaski Bridge; and the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge.  And we’d bicycled on the FDR, Brooklyn-Queens, and Gowanus espressways.  (No cars — whoo-hoo!)

514-baLast year, Basil and I had just gone on to the ferry once we’d reached this fête at Fort Wadsworth; I wasn’t really in any kind of mood to slow down!  This year, Basil and Argyll were just as sprightly as ever; I think they would have been happy to just keep going this year, too.  But the humans decided to have a bite or two to eat, so we stuck around a bit.

Just walking through the park was not without its diversions.  All in all, we saw and counted a total of 22 Brompton bicycles this year — an impressive tally, and surely not nearly as many as actually participated; hanging around meant getting to see a few more.

The route around the park included a turn past the port-a-potties, next to which we spotted this beautiful titanium Brompton.


We had a great time talking with its rider, and then circled around to the lawn, across which were despoiled quite a number of obviously fatigued cyclists.  Some of them may have ridden much faster than we did; in any case, all of us had fought some pretty serious winds in order to reach this point.

514-hmBasil and Argyll collapsed, too, but not from fatigue.  A gust of wind knocked Basil over while Dr. Diarist was off getting something to eat (satay chicken kebabs, which he reported were quite tasty), so I set both of them down in order to prevent further chaos.

514-rc.lnLater, I strolled around and did some more Brompton-spotting.  These two, and the two in the next photo, were all going along together, an impressive fold!


A “fold” of course, is a group of Bromptons.  We had heard that a whole team had flown in from the west coast (Seattle?), tossing their Brompton bicycles in the overhead bins for the flight, and had done the 5 Boro together.  (Now that’s a cross-country jaunt worth making!)


Then I spotted these two with their riders.  That white bit under the folded handlebars on the left is the back side of the 5 Boro placard.  Happily, it was possible to fold our Bromptons even with it attached.

514-b3Eventually I went in search of food, too.  I’m guessing that some of the vendors had cleared out by the time the third wave came through.  (No popsicles for us, for example.)   There were horrendous lines for nearly everything except the goodies at Chinese Mirch, which was offering dumplings of various sorts.

514-bmThey sensibly offered only a few choices, but covered both meat-eaters and vegetarians with the selection.  I was able to order my tofu dumplings immediately, but it was a twenty-five minute wait before I received them.

514-stmOwing to what was possibly the least-efficient food-delivery system imaginable, I had plenty of time to circle around and observe the process from behind the scenes.  That’s one impressive set of steamers!

The order-taker at Chinese Mirch was very nice, and worked diligently to see that we got our goodies, but this vendor could have used another table along the other side of the stall, and really needed more staff than the 1.5 persons it had assembling the ingredients.514-srhIt was so worth the wait, though!  Bunches of fresh cliantro; perfectly steamed dumplings, wonderfully done tofu (and I don’t even like tofu!).  I drowned it all in Sriracha sauce:  Pure bliss!

We picnicked under the bluest sky, and I took another walk around before we rode the final three miles to catch the ferry back to Manhattan.


While ambling about, I spied this conveyance:  It’s a bike train!

514-ktWell, no it isn’t:  It’s a Bike Friday Tandem Traveler with a Burley Kazoo trailercycle attached.  Hauling an incredibly long vehicle and a couple of kids over 40 miles/64.3 km of the 5 Boro?  Now that’s really impressive!

514-ylThen it was onward, toward the ferry.  On the way I saw a bike I’d never seen before:  it’s a Brown Cycles Kidz Tandem.  Sweet, isn’t it? 514-fAnd we were off, briefly as part of a much-less-crowded field.  One last surprise awaited us, though, and “wait” is the relevant syllable.

514-gmThis one involved less walking and more standing, but there was one more fifteen minute delay before we were able to officially finish the 5 Boro.  This, too, may have been a “last wave” problem, as well as a way to stage the loading of the ferry.

We waited again once we’d reached the dock, but for a much shorter period of time.  Then we boarded the Guy V. Molinari, carrying our Bromptons to the upper deck and settling into a far less crowded space than the one on the deck below.

514-frA tour marshall named Andrew spotted us almost immediately.  His Brompton joined Argyll and Basil, and the three Bromptons rode back to Manhattan together while their cyclists chatted.


Then we hopped back onto the subway, and returned to Washington Heights.


Dr. Diarist detoured into a local  market for something important (beer, I think).  Basil, Argyll and I waited outside, where I had a long conversation with an experienced cyclist named Melchoir, who was just about to resume riding after having been seriously injured last year by a car driven by a tourist.


Back at the Manhattanites’, Dr. Diarist handed the groceries to me and performed a final heroic act, carrying both Bromptons up to the Manhattanites’ fifth floor apartment by himself.


It was all a blur to me . . . a happy blur.  We loved the 5 Boro, and Dr. Diarist wants to do it all again next year.  Me, too!