“Four years ago, I bought my first bike in New York City. Prior to owning a bike, I got around the city walking, taking the subway, hopping on the bus… and reluctantly taking cabs. Once I started riding my bike, I was hooked. I found myself cutting my commute time in half, without having to use my MetroCard or to pay the taxi fare (or Uber bill). I also could control the speed with which I could absorb all that was around me.
I found myself creating mini “road trips” to the different neighborhoods of the city… Being on a bike freed me up to explore and check out different boroughs… even riding my bike across the Williamsburg Bridge is exhilarating and gets your heart racing. It’s good exercise. I could ride and be free – in a way that wasn’t hindered by train traffic, car traffic or people traffic. The autonomy of deciding which route to take and being able to mix up my commute… all of these options opened up with my bicycle.
In a bus, taxi or subway, you’re limited to what you can see. You are inside of a moving vehicle. On a bike, the lack of windows affords an unobstructed view of beautiful New York City. It’s true that walking the city is a great experience, but riding around the city gets me to my destination quicker and I get my heart racing while doing it.
The other day, I met up with a few friends over some coffee. I rode my bike over the Williamsburg Bridge and got to catch up and hear funny stories. After hanging out, I rode home and my son and I rode our bikes to his little league practice. The day was framed with meeting up and practices, but being able to ride bikes to get to our destinations was the fun part.
I’ve also fallen in love with taking photos of the many places that I’ve ridden to. Posting these photos on Instagram has helped document and capture cool memories and experiences of where my bicycle has brought me throughout New York City. To my surprise, I had received an Instagram “suggested user” feature, which opened even more doors with my photography and love of bicycles, especially fixed gear bikes.
There are plenty of pitfalls and downsides to riding in New York City. But the upside outweighs the negatives… and I love riding from downtown through Central Park and up into Harlem without having to pay any cab or MetroCard. It’s liberating… it’s exhilarating. And I love living in NYC and being able to observe and experience all that I love about the city while riding my bicycle.”
003/100 of #100DaysofConfessions Instagram Project