How to bike in New York

I’ve recently fallen in love…with the road bike my roommate is letting me borrow. It’s built for speed, doesn’t make me curse when riding uphill, and is easy to carry up and down stairs. I will always have a special place in my heart for my Free Spirit three-speed cruiser and the time we shared, but its gears and brakes no longer suit my needs. My new love for the road bike has brought me to my favorite time of year: riding a bike as my main transportation. Admittedly, New York is not the easiest city to ride in, but it’s easy if you follow four main guidelines:

1. Wear a helmet
Looking like Toad from Super Mario Brothers isn’t cool, but it’s way cooler than cracking your skull open or getting a spine injury.

2. Ride with traffic
If cars and pedestrians know where you’re coming from, they are less likely to hit you. If there’s a bike lane, use it. And make sure you ride with traffic in the bike lane, too.

3. Assume everyone else is going to screw up
This goes for drivers, cabbies, pedestrians, puppies, other bikers…swerve to avoid hitting them, because they won’t. Oh, and watch out for car doors.

4. Watch out for potholes
There are some big enough to swallow a small child. They will send you flying into the sidewalk or mess up your tires/wheels.

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Saftey First!

The theme of mine and Kenny’s joint party was “Safety First!”

I sewed the majority of my dress on the day of the party. We decorated with caution tape that Set found on a construction site. Sam put the helmet on me while I stood on a wooden box hanging the tape. Then a fifteen song play list created…


EARTHQUAKE DANCE PARTY

Now, the west coast and Texas visitors are gone and my 2.5 week long fake vacation is over. Back to work! And I’m making up for not posting anything for almost a week with multiple entries in a day. Also, I’ve decided it’s time to start doing things like sewing dresses in a night again.

I’m way better at bike riding now


Aside from two blocks on a yellow commie bike in Copenhagen, I hadn’t ridden a bike in at least two years when I found one in my rental house. (I also found cans of Diet Rite Root Beer and a fine collection of spices from the 1980s in that house). While biking around Ithaca, I immediately developed a new trick while frantically pedaling to catch the bus when I was late for class: slipping, smashing my heels into the metal pedals and tearing the skin on my heels. The key to the trick was repeating it as soon as the wounds were healing.

One rainy night, I thought riding my bike the opposite way down a one-way street seemed like the best possible route, or at least fastest, to go home quickly before I had to work at the bar. I was paying attention to the cars in the actual street, and failed to notice a minivan that was parking until it was too late. I screamed, let go of the handle bars, allowing my bike to drop but still caused me to crash into the hood of the van. A little kid standing on the sidewalk asked if I was ok. The driver asked if I was ok. I muttered “yeah.” The little kid started pointing at me and laughing. I decided walking my bike home would be a good idea. Later that night, I was digging through my bag and panicked when I saw that my glasses case was completely smashed. My glasses were fine, and whatever impact they suffered made them slip down my nose less.