Saturday, October 2, 2010

Commuting by Bicycle: Days 3 & 4

Ah! I have been bad about reporting my commuting experience - as an excuse, it has been raining a lot in New York. I'm also hurting under my 48/15 ratio, especially after I rode to Tarrytown with DOBC.

Day 3

I chose to take 1st Avenue all the way uptown. I am currently on the fence about this bike lane. I have to say, as someone coming from Brooklyn and headed for Rockefeller Center, it is one of the best options for me. Also - commuting on both days 3 & 4 were relatively stress free on 1st Avenue. The biggest problem I have found is that there are trucks loading and unloading in the bike lane, which causes me to weave in and out of the bike lane. This was also one of the days the UN conference was in session - all traffic going up 1st Avenue was diverted west. I thought this would be fine, but I found myself trying to inch up 3rd Avenue behind several buses. Yuck. I eventually rode/walked by bicycle across 49th Street, but it was a difficult and slow weave through taxi cabs and pot-holed streets. They should repave midtown!

Time: 1 hour
What I drank because I was so thirsty: Water, cart coffee $1.00

***

I decided to try the 9th Avenue bike lane on the way home. I'm conflicted about the best way to get home because the further west I go, the further I am going out of the way. 9th Avenue doesn't have a bike lane all the way up to 50th street, but I think it starts around 34th Street and it's really nice - it's separated from the street and 9th Avenue doesn't have a lot of foot traffic so you don't run into bewildered pedestrians who are stepping into the bike lane. I had intended to go down Hudson St. to Bleecker but I think I got on Bleecker too soon and end it up riding it all the way to Prince and eventually down to Christie Street. This ride was nice but the day was HOT and it felt like a long ride home.

Time: 1 hour
What I drank when I got home: water

Day 4

If I can coax myself out of bed, the crisp fall days are perfect for bike commuting. I rode one day last week, after taking my fixed gear off-roading on Sunday, and my knees were feeling it. I think I was also slightly delirious because I overshot the entrance to the Williamsburg Bridge (still a painstakingly slow incline- I think because you have to go up twice) and then I didn't make a left on the bike lane on Rivington and I had to cut back in Chinatown. Wha?? I was annoyed by the fixed-geared riders blowing past me, especially the powder blue Fuji that some bald headed dude was riding without breaking a sweat. Oy.

I got to the gym and showered and applied make-up (shocking, I know). Everyday I manage to forget something crucial: the first day it was my regular bra (wore the sports bra peeking out of my work outfit all day) second day it was a comb (considered swiping a brush at the gym but actually just used my fingers) third day it was my work shoes (wore really dirty sneakers into work, gross) and fourth day it was my regular bra again. Sweet. I don't mind the uniboob so much, but it isn't exactly flattering. I had the pleasure of taking off my sweaty bra, showering, and then putting it back on. Party foul.

Time: 50 mins
What I drank because I was so thirsty: water, cart coffee

***

I took 2nd Avenue all the way home from 50th Street. This actually worked pretty well. There wasn't too much traffic or construction and I breezed by all the slow bikers. The problem with my low gearing is starting/stopping and having to push off with a lot of force. (Haven't mastered track stands). I often find myself behind well-dress, middle-aged white dudes with those velcro straps on their ankles, to hold their pants back. But these dudes are serious - and often good at circumventing traffic, so I appreciate being behind them. I had the strange experience of being behind a fixed gear riding with clip-ins who would periodically clip out of his pedals and put both feet on his down tube. It looked fun but also kind of dangerous. His black jeans were really tight, definitely tighter than mine.

Time: 55 mins
What I drank because I was so thirsty: water, leftover Nantucket Nectar Orange Mango juice

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