The Long Ride

The Long Ride

The morning broke bright, calm, warm and dry.  We were antsy to go.  Deciding to take a bike ride through Central Park, we located the nearest bike stand that had bikes, (Sometimes they are not at the closest rack), and walked over to 50th and Broadway, about a mile, to find our rides waiting for us.  We tapped the bike code into our cell phones, unlocked them, mounted up and took off.  It didn’t take long for it to dawn on us that we were in the middle of Manhattan on 6th  Avenue weaving through a gazillion taxis, ubers,  buses, limousines, bicyclists, and pedestrians.

Other than a few days earlier when we got the Citi bike apps, neither one of us had been on a bicycle for over a decade.  Maybe you never forget how to ride a bike, but the skills sure diminish over time.  It was harrowing but we made it safely to Columbus Circle.  And there we were.  In Central Park.  And getting ready to take a nice, peaceful bike ride through the rolling pathways of the most famous city park in the country.  We rolled across the park to the east side and then peddled north to 73rd St.  We had to stop to recheck the bikes because the 45 minute time limit was expiring.   Placing the bikes back into the racks, we waited the two minutes to recheck the bikes.

That was fine, because our leg muscles were burning and we were sucking wind.  A welcome rest.  There would be more before this ride was over. The riding street was full of other bikers, skaters, joggers, and pedestrians.  So many people out to enjoy the arrival of the spring sunshine and warmth.  And here we were, leisurely pedaling our way through the peaceful winding streets of this beautiful manicured landscape.  This was one of the items on our NY bucket list and here we were…checking it off!  Life is good.

And then the hills.

The North end of the park begins to be pretty hilly.  There are long, steep, winding inclines that pulled us off our seat and had us walking several times.  The hills were taking its toll.  My muscles were cramping, I was panting like an overworked dog and my butt was chaffed from being on a bicycle seat for the first time in decades.   Fortunately, there was a man selling bottles of cold water on the north end.  I sucked that stuff down like a dying camel!

Our intentions were to cut across the park on one of the east-west traverse streets, but we rode right past each of them.  Not realizing that we had missed our turns, we stopped to consult our park map and discovered that we were now travelling south on the west side of the park.  We had ridden up the entire east side. On the way back toward midtown, we passed the American Museum of Natural History and the New York Historical Society.  Both of these places are on the visit agenda.   When we got to 72nd Street, I had to stop.

 

IMG_4022 The Dakota
The Dakota

At 72nd and Central Park West (8th Ave) stands the Dakota.  I got off my bike and walked around the corner to the gate on 72nd.  The massive stone façade and black steel gate looked just like the pictures from December 1980 when Howard Cosell broke the news to America that John Lennon had been shot and killed.

This place still draws a crowd of curious tourists, all taking pictures, just like me.

From the Dakota, we cut over to the Hudson River Park to take the biking trails back towards home.  The bikes are much more relaxing and enjoyable when not squeezing between buses and taxis.

Nine miles later of cycling through the urban jungle we returned to the apartment.  I stumbled through the door and crashed into the recliner.  Immediately, my bones and muscles started talking to me.  They said, “Hey!  Do you know how old you are?”

IMG_4023 sucking air 2

3 thoughts on “The Long Ride

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  1. You guys are wearing me out. You need to take off a couple of weeks and head over to the Bahamas to unwind and rest up.

    Keep having fun but take care of those old bodies……….they gotta last a while longer.

    Speaking of which, I saw a new doctor today and I told him “Make me young and healthy again and I promise I’ll take better care of myself next time”.

    ________________________________

    Liked by 2 people

  2. What an adventure you must be having! (I will travel vicariously through you.) I can almost hear the sounds of traffic, the various smells of cars, restaurants, bakeries etc… you always see and hear about in movies and on television. Looks and sounds like fun! Thanks for including us.😊

    Liked by 2 people

  3. !!! woohoo! you made it to Central Park – not only did you make it, you also got to experience so much along the way to and from! nice! but honestly, it sounds exhausting and i am really happy and proud of you! isn’t there a trump tower (one of several in NYC) by Columbus Circle? Maybe not….but i do remember that there is a beautiful hotel to the left side of Central Park right at the entry….
    happy for this new post….and soon it will be easter…you will have to let us know how mass is at the church you attend. happy easter, you two….happy spring. and ? of the day – do you want me to send you some bengay? ahahahaha!!! xxox to you, jerry and tip!

    Liked by 2 people

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