Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Welcome to New York - Bronx style

(from the Brooklyn Bridge looking back into Manhattan)

With the sun shining and more rain on the way starting tonight, I decided to try and make it from New Haven all the way into the city. It looked to be about 80-90 miles, but not knowing the route, or how hilly it was, I had no idea of how far I'd get. Especially as this would be the longest I've gone on my new tank.

The ride was going well and I am getting very good at picking bike shops, natural food stores, etc out of a strip mall while passing by at 15 mph. One of the shops I stopped in struck me for two reasons. First, there was a massive pile of fancy wicker bike baskets in one corner of the store and second, there was a woman walking around this high-end shop picking out a BIKE based on how it matched her HELMET. Wow! Welcome to Greenwich, CT.

Upon reaching the NY/CT border and consulting with my new friends at the Port Chester, NY fire department, I decided that getting into the city tonight would not be a problem. It would be a straight shot into the Bronx where I'd then cross over in Manhattan, down FDR drive and over the Brooklyn Bridge. Piece of cake, I thought. And actually it really was. Including the somewhat surreal conversation I had with a cute Polish-American girl in a sundress. Might not seem strange until you add the fact that she was riding a neon orange painted cruiser, I, having just come 85 miles, had my tank fully loaded down with all my bags, and we were having this discussion at full speed through mid-town Manhattan while surrounded by New York's famous yellow armada. Oh yeah, and we were discussing contamination of water supplies due to Natural gas drilling in upstate New York.

******************************** Over the past few days, I've gotten used to the staring, the double-takes and the strangers coming up to me and starting a conversation. It's been quite cool actually. I've also heard many random comments ranging from the encouraging to the befuddled. On my arrival in the Bronx, I heard something that let me know where I was and actually caused me to smile for at least a couple miles down the road. While passing a group waiting to cross the street, one gentleman's bewilderment was obvious, "Whaaat the fuhhhhk?" Ahh, welcome to New York.

It's good to be here.

4 comments:

Kyle Crum said...

I think that there must be proper style matching of the bike helmet and the bike. While riding, you wouldn't want to look like a fool, would you?

Todd said...

Wanted to comment earlier, but had to get a Gmail account first. We're all behind you in Boston and appreciate that there are people like you trying to help and raise awareness for your these concerns. By the way, Love the NY comment.

zdesmond said...

What's up with the triple?

Michael Proulx said...

True that, Kyle. Thanks Todd - welcome to the gmail world. Didn't realize you needed one of those to post.

And Des, though you could one-legged pedal my tank up the hills, I need all the help I can get.