Mostly run down, these NYC bikes seem chosen for practical use and low monetary value, lest they be stolen. Also, bike lanes are less plentiful here than one would expect in such a large metropolis, although standing on the corner of Second Avenue and 5th, its bike lane was pretty busy on a Saturday afternoon, with a cyclist moving past every 30 seconds or so....
Rusty Yet Effective Looking Chain
This yellow seated bike seems extra speedy with its refined lines...
While the temp was not too cold on record (24F) it felt otherwise this morning as the chill somehow penetrated my shell, fleece and turtleneck. Perhaps precipitation in the air, perhaps the wrong breakfast. Yet my concerns about the weather faded as my nose began to bleed! I noticed the red drops when I stopped my ride to deal with coughing and mucous (lovely!), and then saw the tell tale liquid on my glove, and then scarlet splatterings on my bike's crossbar. Why the blood? Air quality? Subconscious psychosomatic resentment about the dearth of biking culture in Central PA? Gov. Scott Walker syndrome? Please, offer your blood-borne interpretation!
I saw this cyclist heading west earlier this week as my son and I were stopped at a red light on the "Pike." It was very windy that day, and this guy was catching a lot of it given his cumbersome clothing. Presumably his duds are warm but not aerodynamic. But he was moving steadily, and probably safe to assume with more purpose than folks who need to just push a plastic accelerator to the floor to move ahead. Or maybe he was headed for a cigarette.
A few days later I take a ride with my son. We traverse a simple route to the nearby shopping center using residential roads and parking lots hiding behind commercial buildings that together stitch a no-traffic pathway that avoids the Pike. He can handle busy streets well, and easily picked up the brief riding in traffic that we had to do. In the process we build another piece of our mental maps that make biking more possible: the pathway behind Wicker East, a small dirt trail behind Five Guys, where an avoidable stream of traffic enters from the main road. I also spy interesting bits of graffiti along the way, suggesting there is more diversity here than would meet the township code!
I left home in 18F this morning, my lowest departing temperature. I am learning that cold is not an issue, save for my eyes which couldn't quite handle the cold wind hitting them at 15mph or when I went any faster. But I was nonetheless pleased to know that I could easily commute in this weather overall, as long as I am properly dressed. Again I passed by a father with his bike while he walked along with his son toward an elementary school. The experience they shared as they ambled toward school seemed very pleasant to me, and then I appreciated the father's chance to zip home via bicycle and get on with his day with an efficient, human-powered start.
Here’s how I rode yesterday morning: 12.4mph on average, and just 10 seconds under 22 minutes in the saddle…..so, a little slower than usual. But it was quite cold this morning, and the air felt chillier than the reported 23*F. Plus there was a good gust of wind in parts, especially at the end of my ride as I pulled around the back of the reclaimed farmland that is now my corporate office center. But the weather is understandable and tolerable. Less so was a nut jobbus driverwho seemed to want to race me (with vengence, not sportingly) as the light at US15 & Market St turned green. I assume he had resentments of some sort, perhaps fueled his antibiker impulse? Positive attitudes about bicyclists can’t be expected to run well here in Central PA, where the surrounding rural culture stifles the innovative nature we cyclists must muster as we ride against the status quo autophiles.