22 August 2011

bike riding!

I've tried a lot of new things this year-- many of which took overcoming a certain fear or apprehension. I took an urban beekeeping class, I've been attempting to learn Italian via podcast, I'm training for my first marathon, I tried out a "grown up job", and I got a bike!

I've been nervous for a long while about having a bike in the city, and have also resisted because I truly do like walking around, but when I got a steady job in my neighborhood, the mile walk wasn't bad, but sometimes after 10-12 hours in the kitchen I just wanted to be home already. A few years back I did make a shallow attempt to get a bike, but had a hard time finding a used one that fit my small just-shy-of-5-feet self and wasn't really interested in spending much money to get one built for me.

I love my bike! After contacting John, the guy behind GreatUsedBikes.com, he set me up with an awesome vintage cruiser and even put the baskets on the back per my request. The bike has given me a sense of freedom and opportunity I haven't felt in a long while, and I've even hooked up with other bike-having friends for exploratory bike rides around Brooklyn and Queens (I haven't ventured into Manhattan yet), and even did a [slightly spirit-crushing] ride to the Rockaways (36 miles round trip on not-entirely-safe roadways). Even being able to get around my own and neighboring 'hoods has been a wonderful asset-- I like how small and accessible it can make this city feel.

It's been an entirely liberating experience, and such a joy to recapture the freedom I had as a kid riding around my neighborhood. I'm still get a little jittery every time I go out, but I have my helmet, my bell, and my lights, so most importantly, I'm also having fun every time.

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