NYC Bike Commuter

I am a girl who rides a bike.

Photo of me by @timkau_nyc (on instagram)

I am never up for sunrise. Yesterday I volunteered at the NYC Tri so I was up at 5 and biking across the Manhattan Bridge by 5:40am. This is the sunrise I saw. Although it’s hard to get up at that hour, I kind of like biking early in the morning. There are no cars on the street so I didn’t really have to wait for lights, or people. Side note: Now that I volunteered I have guaranteed entry to next year’s triathlon. I’m excited and nervous. 

Sunset was gorgeous tonight, so when I got off the not-as-pretty (bike) side of the Manhattan Bridge I snuck over to the other side and went back across to get some pictures. (Taken with Instagram at Manhattan Bridge Bike Path)

Tolls for bikers crossing East River Bridges?

I really hope this doesn’t actually go through. 

My usual bike route, traveling across the Manhattan Bridge. 

Tough Rides

It’s been a while since my last post. I did not bike during the last two weeks of the semester because I needed all the study time I could get. Until I could figure out a way to study on a bike that means I use the subway time. Although I did discover that if I use the bike with the seat back at the gym I could study while exercising. 

The problem that came up with not biking was that I challenged myself to some goals on 100 miles in a month, and crossing 10 NYC bridges in a month. When I signed up for them I didn’t think it was a big deal. But last Wednesday was the last day of my month and I still needed more miles and to cross 1 bridge. The weather was absolutely miserable, wet and misty, but I’m very competitive with myself and I didn’t want to finish with less than 100%. So I got on my bike. Literally that was the only reason I biked that day. With the weather getting colder I don’t think I’ll be signing up for challenges like that until Spring. 

My next ride was today. Over Chanukah I have been eating a lot. I was heading to the gym today but biking there and back would burn more calories. The streets were pretty empty, but the wind was strong. There were times that I was struggling to move on a flat street. Also, I feel like because there were fewer cars out, the drivers who were out were being more careless. I had to sound my airhorn way too many times today. I almost got hit by a truck backing up because he was oblivious to me crossing the path behind him. And ever since they switched the pedestrian and bike lanes on the Manhattan Bridge I’m noticing more and more people getting in my way. People don’t read signs and I don’t think many people realize the lanes were switched. 

New Brakes

I brought my bike into the bike shop today because the front wheel was turning itself all the way in and I didn’t remember having movement like that before. Turns out that’s normal. But my brakes were really loose and the pads all worn out, which would explain why I was almost run over by a bus this week. So they replaced the brakes. I probably could’ve bought some cheaper online and figured out how to do it on my own but I was already there. New brakes make so much of a difference, I had no idea how bad mine were until they were replaced. 

Biking home I thought I would take the Williamsburg Bridge again but instinctively ended up at the Manhattan Bridge. Going across the bridge I realized 12 noon on a Friday is probably the worst time to bike through Williamsburg (although I would get some awesome instagram pictures). The kids get out of school at 12pm on Friday so I would be stuck behind every school bus and every car is probably double parked because everyone is shopping for Shabbat. 

Falling chains and the Williamsburg Bridge

This morning my chain fell off at the worst time in the worst place: morning rush hour on the Manhattan Bridge. For those of you who know NYC biking, the Manhattan Bridge has 2 narrow lanes-one in each direction. My chain came off as I was switching gears on the incline. There isn’t really room to pull over and fix it unless I walk to the little viewpoint spot, but I didn’t want to walk all the way there. So I just got off my bike and put the chain back on. I might have annoyed a couple bikers. One guy asked if I needed help, but I like doing these things on my own and I don’t mind getting dirty. After that I didn’t have any issues. 

On my way home I decided to take the Williamsburg for a change of scenery. It was my first time over the bridge (outside of a car). Someone had told me it had separate lanes for pedestrians and cyclists and I wanted to try it. I got on at Delancey, and it was not separate. There was a white line indicating one side was for pedestrians and the other for bikes and pedestrians actually kept to it better than the tourists on the Brooklyn Bridge but I was disappointed. Until I got to the point where it breaks off! It was cool taking a different bridge, I don’t think I will take the Williamsburg Bridge regularly. It is slightly out of the way, it has twists and turns (the Manhattan Bridge is one straight line), and it seems like there was a lot more uphill than downhill coming from Manhattan to Brooklyn. It took me 6 minutes longer to get home but I think that was because of the strong winds today. 

Biking in the rain

Biking in the rain. It’s not fun. Pretty miserable actually. I don’t know how people do it. And I had to be super cautious because I recently read something about bike safety in the fall and it said one thing you need to watch for is wet leaves because they are like ice. Eastern Parkway is covered in leaves. It wasn’t raining when I left my house, otherwise I probably would’ve taken the subway. I hoped the weather would be like yesterday where it was supposed to rain and was cloudy all day but didn’t rain until later in the day. It wasn’t. It started raining when I was about 5 minutes from school. One good thing is that there were so many spots available to lock my bike. When I got out the rain was really coming down but taking my bike on the subway is annoying so I biked home. Truth is, biking in the rain was not as bad as I’m making it sound. The entire way home I kept telling myself “I’m so bad ass for biking in the rain”, but I couldn’t wait to get home and into dry clothing… 

View of downtown manhattan during my #rainycommute. (Taken with Instagram at Manhattan Bridge)

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