Tuesday, November 5, 2013

cycling in new york

with a bike shop located a few blocks from our hotel, couriers flying by, regular commuters weaving between taxis and pedestrians, and bright blue Citi Bike rentals regularly floating past, I felt completely at home in new york this past weekend, although I don't know that I'd ever have the fearlessness necessary to ride my bike in that gargantuan, overpopulated city.
I love new york:  the sights, the scents, the masses of people who neither know nor care who I am, the shops, the cobblestone streets, the sirens and honks and flashing lights . . . and the people, the people of every shape and size, skin color and disposition.
and I was truly okay with not riding my bike.
I was with my daughter, and we walked and walked and walked, which is what one should do if one has a chance.  with so much to absorb, even walking is almost too fast.  signs, pedestrians, motorists, cyclists, buildings, dogs, store windows, street-side tables . . . in a car---even creeping along in traffic--- one misses too much of the experience.
but I loved the citi bike rentals.  
the city's program allows for anyone to rent these in 24-hour or 7-day increments, and for residents to rent these on an annual basis:  for $95 a year (plus taxes, of course), one is provided a key that allows access to bikes for up to 45 minutes at a time, any hour of the day or day of the year.  if the citi-bike locations happen to fit one's commuting pattern---and one were brave enough to deal with the weather and the traffic---one could have a pretty great way to get around, complete with basket on the front.  we even noticed many wide, green-surfaced bike lanes, all part of manhattan's efforts to provide an additional transportation method for getting around town, one that both encourages healthy activity and is carbon-footprint friendly.
had my daughter not had a sprained ankle and been wearing a walking boot, we would have hopped on bikes just to check it out.  however, it's awfully difficult to ride a bike with a big, fat boot on one foot.
so I'm not able to say that I biked in new york.
I may never be able to say that I biked in new york.
but I certainly enjoyed watching everyone else do it, their agility and adeptness in avoiding motor vehicles, and the strength and skill and smiles I got to see.

we have a bike-sharing program here in slc, as well, and I haven't tried it out either . . . maybe someday.  I'm supportive of any program that encourages people to pedal around on a bicycle, because I have this quirky belief that those who pedal smile more in life.
you're welcome to try to prove me wrong.

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