New York, New York

RWM Blog #3

 

‘New York, New York!’ I wrote in my diary. ‘It’s 4 am and I just rode really hard on my bike along the Hudson River.’ This is over 10 years ago. But I still remember the feeling of freedom when I got my Panasonic blue racing bike. The smell of the river on a hot summer night, the constant buzz and flickering lights of the city – slightly sticky from the biking and high on the energy of it all. This is my first diary drawing on a bike in New York. Overwhelmed, and in love with the city. It was the beginning of my NYC biking story, and it just never stopped. New York is my second home – and when I jump on my bike, I slide right in.

 

So last week I was in New York again, to talk with some people about the next edition of Ride with me NYC and work on a video for my upcoming Kickstarter campaign. I had not been since May and so the whole Citi Bike movement had taken place outside of my view. I was really excited to see how much things have changed! A few observations 1) It seemed that a different ‘batch’ of people had been opened up to biking: More professional and casually dressed types, on their way to work or a meeting or riding back from a restaurant or party. 2) They go fast! Like good old New Yorkers, they speed it up. A few times I was passed by a Citi Biker. I spoke to several people who were thrilled. Only more stations are needed in Brooklyn and the other boroughs.

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I did not try the Citi Bike yet, did not really feel the need as I had my own New York racing bike – which is actually the old bike from a good friend – but next time I will. Still I think that I am too used to having my own bike always available, like we all have in Amsterdam, that I would find it a bit of a hassle. But I see it’s really changing biking into a ‘legitimate’ form of transportation. And this is so great.

 

These are some random images that make me happy. The biking path from Allen Street in the Lower East Side down to the South Street Sea Port, I recently discovered. A girl biking up the pink Williamsburg Bridge, towards Manhattan. The rugged edges in Queens, Long Island City, peddling towards Greenpoint. A mural in Bushwick, deep into Brooklyn, that is part of a bigger area of pretty stunning paintings on industrial buildings by street artists from all over the world. And there is so much more – excited to share it all, bit by bit, and tell endless NYC biking stories. Because New York is the greatest city, and it is even better by bike…

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