Stat Counter

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Rolling on the River

Riding a bike is such a fun way to get out and explore. This may have been one of my favorite days in the city so far.

It was delightful to get up on Saturday morning and have absolutely no plans. I had a yummy bowl of fresh fruit, granola and yogurt at The Grey Dog in Chelsea. Then I took my large iced coffee to the Hudson River Park and sat down to read the Times.

Within a few minutes, it occurred to me this would be a perfect day to do something I'd had on my list: rent a bike and ride the path along the Hudson to Riverside Park. In a few minutes, I was biked up and ready to go! I got some nice people to take my photo somewhere around the 40s. Even better, they offered me some of their individually packaged sunblock towelettes.
It was a perfect day to be out -- a bit overcast and not too hot. I had so much fun snapping photos and watching the sights change along the way. The path is great, although it got a bit crowded with walkers and cyclists at some point. So, even though I'd originally wanted to do this with a buddy, it was actually a good thing to be riding solo, as bikers riding side by side are just annoying.

For most of the way, I could see the George Washington Bridge in the distance. It kept getting closer and closer...
Originally, I thought I'd ride across the bridge, since being able to say I'd biked to New Jersey seemed like a cheap thrill. But since getting onto the bridge is a little logistical from where I was, I decided to save that for another day. There were some steep hills during this part, but I walked the bike and kept going past the Cloisters and Ft. Tryon Park. Finally, the bike path stopped and turned into stairs.

"Is this the end of the bike path?" I asked a woman carrying her bike up the stairs.

"Well, this is pretty much the end of Manhattan, so yeah, I think it is the end of the bike path!" she said as she hopped in her saddle and started pedaling south.

I turned around and went back to the bridge/lighthouse area, where I rested in the shade, reapplied more sunblock from those nice people, and called my mother to report my triumph. I knew she'd get a kick out of it, since I was near the area where we'd had brunch with Barbara in June.

Unfortunately, my granola and berries had started to wear off by then, so the ride home was a little more challenging (even though it was almost perfectly flat). There were tons of families out picnicking and barbecuing along Riverside Park, and I should have stopped when I saw the sign for the vendor selling chimmichurri beef. Maybe I could have scored a paleta! Instead, I powered through, but I was starving by the time I got back to the West Village at almost 3 p.m. (Thank goodness for the man selling water around 181st Street. He could probably charge a lot more than $1.)

After turning in the bike (total cost: $18, including lock, helmet, basket and map), I inhaled an absolutely scrumptious salad at Organicoa on Christopher Pier: grilled chicken, arugula, avocado, cucumbers, tomatoes and lemon vinaigrette.
After a really long shower and some time in the steam room at the gym, I met my friend Dana in the East Village with her friends Andy and David. We went to a place that has a substantial "raw food" menu. After some chips, guacamole, salsa and nachos (could not tell you what the chips were made of), Dana and I walked to Bleeker Street for pizza at Keste. We had one Pizza del Re: Fresh mozzarella, mushrooms, proscuitto de parma, truffle spread, extra virgin olive oil and one Keste: Tomatoes, fresh buffalo mozzarella, proscuitto de parma, arugula, gran cru, extra virgin olive oil. Robin's husband AJ had recommended Keste, so I had high hopes and was not disappointed. (Fun fact: I learned gran cru is a kind of hard, aged cheese similar to parmesan.) I was so full when I got home, I couldn't even eat any more of the cake with basil ganache.

What a wonderful day!


Dee Stephens said...

How fun! So, something I would do but if I had called my Mom and told her I did that alone she would have freaked! LOL!!

Neil said...

that's really impressive that you made it all the way to the end of the island! and i'm amazed a rental only cost $18. what a great bargain!