My Recurring Cycle, Day 120
Clearly, this talented photographer did not attempt to ride his bike over the pedestrian portion of the Brooklyn Bridge on a gorgeous Labor Day. Although I still don’t know exactly how I thought it would turn out, I admit I lost my patience a couple of times and may have shouted an accidental expletive at a crowd of severely blonde-highlighted young women chatting in the middle of the heavily trafficked bike lane this past Monday afternoon. Riding in persistent traffic to Long Island to sing with a choir for Rosh Hashanah on Wednesday afternoon, my mind turned to ponder the similar journey of learning once again to ride my bike. With fits and starts of success, failure, exhaustion, and stubbornness, I rode my Cannondale up mountain roads in Aspen, abandoned her for several years, and somewhat resurrected her this summer at Bard College. Still as I arrived this Labor Day at my friends’ party in Brooklyn, bike helmet in hand, the self doubt remained, “I’m really not a cyclist.”
My good friend Thomas, on the other hand, has fully embraced his two functional legs and their ability to travel thousands of miles on a small metal machine we call a bicycle. He rests in Beltsville, Maryland, on his way to journey from New York City to southern Florida to spend his winter months. As we chatted quite a bit last night, he told me of some already unbelievable meetings and experiences he has had along the way with only a tent and a bike, and his blog Alcheringa Rideabout launches this morning. With as talented and open-minded a professional author as Thomas, I may need to make some more time to sit down and read his and other friends’ blogs every day.
Either way, the topic of cycling seems to have begun following me around quite a bit lately, persistently whispering in my ear that I can let go of my lazy inhibitions and train my body to feel the pavement under my spokes once more. Will I join Thomas on his journey around the country? Perhaps not, but I might take my bike with me to the Tri-Cities in October and November to save on gas and keep my mental and physical momentum going. I definitely had to hit the sheets early last night to bike to a morning interview in the East Village today and still had too little sleep.
Yes, I know Brooklyn and the East Village lie on the opposite end of Manhattan from my lovely apartment in Washington Heights, but somehow that makes the accomplishment even better. Although I find this a difficult but worthy journey, I still have to convince myself each day to pick up my purple metallic friend and give her another try. My dear friend Charlene commented on my first cycling post, “I had hoped reading this would inspire me to ride my own wintergreen bike but she still sits sadly in the corner.” From Charlene (hopefully) and myself, many thanks to Kara Morgan for recommending to me this fantastic and inspirational video by Andrea Dorfman. It encouraged me to strap on my helmet today; hopefully it may do the same for one of you.