Posts Tagged ‘bicycling’

Biking in the NYC area

Tomorrow is the NYC Five Boro Bike Tour! I biked over near South Street Seaport to pick up my packet at the bike expo today and am excited to participate in the tour for the first time. I have a hard time imagining 32,000 people biking through the boroughs but it seems like experiencing that is all part of the experience.

I sampled electrolyte drinks, energy treats, and perused gear but only took away this honey energy packet. I also sat through a lesson on changing a flat tire, which was informative. I guess after biking since the age of 4 it makes sense to learn how to change a flat by now.

After the bike expo I took bike paths through lower Manhattan to get to the EMS store on Spring and Broadway. When I veered off the bike path and entered Chinatown some of the streets became so narrow that I barely fit between cars. I had to get off the bike and walk on crowded sidewalks.

It was wonderful, however, to bike the city streets with all the eye candy that Manhattan has to offer especially in Chinatown.

I can’t wait for tomorrow when the streets clear for the cyclists! Weehoo.

 

 

Seneca Creek State Park, Gaithersburg, Maryland

On this weekend’s bike ride I had to pause at a clearing in the woods to admire the natural setting and the open space within an open space. I was out for a ride in Seneca Creek State Park in Gaithersburg, Maryland before a friend’s wedding.

It was a moment to breathe, reflect, and appreciate the quiet serenity of the woods and parkland.

I was happy to have the time that day to ride quietly surrounded by trees — a contrast from my busy city street riding.

The natural space offered a break from the monotony of cookie-cutter development in the area. The ride offered a break from the monotony of my thoughts.

(The Iphone photos unfortunately don’t capture the full beauty of the park but at least offer a glimpse.) 

Seneca Creek State Park, Maryland

Seneca Creek State Park, Maryland

Old dock on the Hudson River

Old wooden piles stretch out across the river. Remnants of a pattern are visible where solid beams once made for a walkway. The dock is worn and old. It slowly washes away and decays.

You come across many of these old docks on the New Jersey side of the Hudson River. They lend their own sense of beauty to the landscape while casting shadows and reminders of a time that once was.

On the other side of these docks, a new beautiful park is going up at Newport. It has trees, walkways, jungle gyms, and even sand and beach chairs. Each day the waterfront park transforms.

Biking through the middle, I have the past on one side of me and the prospect of future on the other.

While I’ve done most of my cycling this year along the NJ waterfront today I crossed the George Washington Bridge and biked down the NYC waterfront to the World Trade Center for a total of 27 miles. You couldn’t ask for a more perfect day to bike between the sun and beautiful breeze off the Hudson River. Cyclists on the NY side were out in droves. I came across all types of cyclists on the path from those out for a stylish ride in dresses and boots to the more serious cyclists in their racing gear that sped by the grandmas out for a Sunday ride.

I would say I fell somewhere in the middle. I kept a steady pace and passed the casual bikers but I wasn’t a speed demon. I had to navigate the roller bladers, tots on training wheels, joggers, and dog walkers. Despite the many folks on the path, it was possible to get a nice flow and fly.

Weaving in and out

Bikes on the path never stop

But do break often.

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Windy morning on the bike

This morning was brisk, windy, and chilly like some mornings last week on the bike ride to work. The wind knocked me around considerably as I took the path along the waterfront. At some points it slammed against the bike frame and my body sending me into a slow motion pedal. When the wind hit me full force straight on then I was pretty much at a stand still.

Yet when I became aligned with the direction of the wind, it propelled me forward, and then the ride was seamless and flowing and fast.


Today I biked five miles in the rain. I wanted to bike at least 10 miles because I have the goal of reaching 40 miles the last weekend in April before the actual Five Boro bike tour. But the rain and my lack of rain gear kept me at five miles. Once it started to pour, and I felt wet from the tips of my soaked through gloves to the clingy leggings I wore, I knew I had to turn around.

Before it began to pour, when it was just a light drizzle, I stopped to enjoy the haze that had settled over the Hudson River. I took in deep breaths of the smell of rain. I stopped to photograph trees covered in blossoms that seem to have appeared from one day to the next.

I noticed others along the river walkway jogging or just staring out at the NYC skyline. Somehow those people just blended in to the gray as if they had always been there like the tree blossoms.

After suffering through feeling cold and wet I gave in to the rain and felt that I too began to blend in like the others.

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As I set the wheels in motion to bike in the Five Boro Bike Tour – 40 miles through all five New York City boroughs – I intend to dedicate the practice of training and the tour to Venerable Lobsang Chunzom who entered into a three-year, meditative retreat for peace on Dec. 31, 2010. I hope to raise money to help cover ongoing retreat costs for food, supplies, and medical needs.