Sunday, September 19, 2010

Commuting by Bicycle: Day 2

Disclaimer: I am a fair weather commuter. Luckily, I wasn't riding my bicycle during the tornado.

I rode my bicycle to work for the second time last week to keep up the momentum. I had adjusted my seat so now it points slightly downward (picture the graphic in BikeSnob's book where he ridicules hipsters for pointing their saddles at a 90 degree angle towards the floor) but this adjustment was too far in the other direction. Luckily it was tolerable and not as uncomfortable as day one.

The Williamsburg Bridge was still a long, slow incline. My legs were slightly tired from the day before. I chose to day 1st Avenue as far as it would go - not knowing exactly where the bike lane ended (Are the Bike NYC Maps outdated??), but I was very relieved to find that it goes all the way to 34th Street! I guess 34th Street is everyone's idea of where midtown begins, but I'm more of a 49th/50th kind of gal (unfortunately) - if they could only extend it 16 more blocks, I would be golden. After 34th St, 1st Avenue splits and the entrance on the right is for a highway - a little daunting. I chose to make a left of East 43rd Street because I wasn't sure about the UN Plaza Street (I think I will choose that next time). I rode carefully up 3rd Avenue and then across on 49th Street. Let's just say, midtown could use some repaving.

The trip only took me 45 minutes and I had time to shower. My new proposal for New York Sports Club is to have a "Commuter Membership" where bike commuters pay $40/month to use the showers and lockers. $40/month is still a little steep but I can't see them doing it for less, if they do it at all. Right now I pay $79/month for...not going to the gym. Well, I suppose I don't need to if I can keep riding my bicycle to work. SO I take a shower at NYSC - which is always funny because I think all of the shampoo/conditioner/body wash options are just different colors of hand soap. I got to work early and basically washed my hair with hand soap, so it looked amazing all day.

Time it took: 45 minutes
What I drank because I was so thirsty: water, eventually coffee


I was meeting up with K after work because she had ridden her bicycle too. I dared to take the Broadway Bicycle lane all the way from 47th Street, which was a horrible idea (as I suspected). The Herald Square area is full of tourists and I'm not even sure where the bike lane is - it seems to run behind a bunch of the fancy tables but no one pays attention to it. Plus, some kid was playing the piano on top of Macy's and creating a big hold up.

Once I made it down the to 20s it was smooth sailing and I passed a film scene involving bicycles so I shouted "I'm available!" but no takers. The camera guy smiled at me though, so I might be in.

K and I met up unexpectedly on 10th St bike lane and headed over to NYC Velo. I wanted to check out the BaileyWorks small Citizen Pack, which looks like this

I really like the orange color, but I was disappointed to find that the straps and the bag in general isn't as comfortable as Chrome's Dually Backpack. Clearly, I haven't used the BaileyWorks bag, and it seemed high quality, but it is $60 more than the Chrome bag. It is shaped to fit your back so it forms a sort of "V," decreasing the amount of stuff you can fit in it. I fit a six pack of beer (bottles) and mango juice and clothes in K's Dually. Just saying. I'm disappointed that Chrome doesn't have the Dually in a rust color or in a less crazy orange color, but I'm thinking about the brown:


Luckily, after two days of commuting, K agreed to go to Wing Bar with me (275 Smith Street, Brooklyn). You can get a pitcher of beer there for $7.50 but it's Coors Light and K is too classy for that, so we drank Oktoberfest and ate 20 wings. It was delicious.

Time it took: I didn't check because we stopped at NYC Velo
What I drank because I was so thirsty: Sam Adam's Oktoberfest

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