Saturday, May 3, 2014

Flats and Fun

I’m going to quickly skip past the embarrassing fact that I rode my bike some 20 miles with a flat tire, wondering what that thumpa-thumpa-thumpa sound was. I thought, gee, the Capital Crescent Trail is rough. So, despite having totally ruined the tire (and tube) the wheel was fine and it turned out I was due for a new set of tires anyway. My bike was just at its 2-year anniversary and I was proud to have worn through the first set, thanks to all the happy miles the bike and I had shared.

Mid-April I had a trip to New York. Knowing that the cherry blossoms were at their peak, I left home early, rode past the tidal basin to see the delicate pink wonder, and then on to Union Station, hauling my weekend gear in my trusty Burley Travoy. I think it was the Burley’s first trip on Amtrak, and I was glad to accept help getting it up the steep steps of the train. But it fit nicely in the overhead compartment, so I wouldn’t hesitate to take it on Amtrak again.

Parking at Union Station
After spending a fun-filled long weekend with my cousin – art, family, theater, food – she left for the airport and I had a couple hours till my train. I stashed my bag and took the hotel’s free bike for a spin. Yes, I said free bike – since I try to stay at Kimpton hotels – in support of their bikes-for-guests policy. 

Selfie w/my cuz at Zabar's

I headed for the west side highway path, taking it south. I’d wanted to loop the southern tip of Manhattan and come back up the path on the east side. But I hit a construction detour and wasn’t sure I’d have time to navigate. Not wanting to take the boring option of returning the way I’d come – I made the bad choice of cutting cross town through the West Village. Can you say cobblestones? But I made it over to 1st Avenue, knowing there would then be a nice protected bike lane (see the link - it came in #6 of the top 10 in 2013 - ok they didn't feature the section I was on - but it's still great) to take me back up to my hotel at 38th Street. Other Amtrak passengers may not have appreciated my no-time-to-shower dishevelment (not to mention smell) both directions. But, then again, I couldn’t have smelled worse than the typical Amtrak quiet car…just different.

My Kimpton Public bike
A few weeks later, on Easter Sunday, I pulled out my cute but impractical hat helmet. It’s not as comfortable as I’d like, but for my trip to Trader Joes’s I figured it was the one day of the year I could wear it without feeling self-conscious or pretentious. (I took a selfie, but it seems to have disappeared.) I made a belated 21st birthday cake for my child, and was quite delighted with the results – carrot cake with marzipan carrots on top.

Note the doggies in the distance

At last it's May, and I'm savoring the days when it’s sunny and cool, but not cold – the perfect riding temperature in my book – knowing that all too soon, I’ll be complaining about the heat.

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