I went back to Riverside Park and CRUSHED riding in a circle on flat land. I scooted gracefully around all of the little children. I turned, I glided. I did ALL THE THINGS. So when Matt and I made plans to go to the Berkshires I was pretty excited to put my bike riding skills to use.
As my more-experienced-bike rider readers already know: All bike rides are not created equal.
First: cycling topography lesson: riding on hills is different than riding on a flat path. Riding down and up slopes required that I engage the gears of the bike. Let’s talk about a bike’s gears shall we? It’s the least perfect mechanical engineering I’ve ever learned about. I can’t believe in 2014 this is as far as bike riding technology has gotten. You twist a lever, the bike jerks as it connects with a chain and sometimes resistance increases and other times it lessens. But its not an exact science and I found it startling (gut wrenching). Riding downhill I feared the bike would flip, and more than once attempting to go up hill I found myself slipping down.
As advertised, I am learning to ride a bike.
Bike riding 101 took place in Riverside Park. For non-New Yorkers, it’s the park where Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks meet at the end of You’ve Got Mail.
What’s not pictured in the culminating scene of the film is Tom Hanks’ ferocious beast of a golden retriever whizzing around, taunting me as I wobble precariously on Matt’s mom’s bike.
But I’ll back up.
I was really nervous for my first lesson. A good chunk of the nerves stemmed from the fact Matt was teaching me and I didn’t want to throw the same hissy fit I threw in the early 90’s that got me out of bike riding in the first place. And my concern was: did I have enough material for an entirely new hissy fit about biking?
But seriously. I wasn’t sure I could handle failure graciously. I was worried I’d have a hard time learning and that I’d get really embarrassed and frustrated at my failed attempts. But that didn’t stop me from trying.
I met Matt at the park and coincidentally we wore matching outfits. #YOLO
So while I’m learning how to ride a bike, I’m also you know, doing other things.
My office is on the same block as Barry’s Bootcamp but since I pay 1.5 million human dollars a month for Equinox, I hadn’t been. I kept hearing that Barry’s is the absolute best body-improving, calorie-depleting workout. So you know, sold. I wanted to try it.
I signed up and went right after work. I entered the studio and gave $34 to a man with a 40 pack and arms the size of Malm 6-drawer Ikea dresser.
Barry’s Bootcamp Check-In Guy
This is part of a “Mission” series where I set a goal and work to meet it. Tips/suggestions/motivation welcome!
This is embarrassing. I can’t ride a bike.
How did this happen?
Let’s harken back to a quintessential childhood moment. If you know how to a ride a bike, you have a memory that likely goes something like this:
Ever since mankind ceased being nomadic, political and religious factions have fought over land. It’s a tale as old as time, even since before West Side Story.
But there is an untold tale of tribal land grab happening in a zip code close to home. Even though NY1 isn’t covering it, Central Park is home to a conflict. The groups involved are so fundamentally different in their desires, I don’t see how we can ever live in harmony.
Every Saturday morning, three factions set out to the Central Park loop armed with cameras, bicycles or just a sweat-heavy singlet. This land war is between tourists, bikers and runners. View Post