By Seth Fera-Schanes
I decided I am a city bike rider now.
Actually, let me back up a few steps. I saw people riding bikes all around the city and wanted to be a part of that group. So much so, I identified bike riding as my intended summer activity.
A few problems surfaced pretty quickly. First and most glaring, I didn’t own a bike. I didn’t have a helmet. No chain to lock my non existent bike or really the know-how to properly lock a bike if I had one.
I resolved all these issues after visiting half a dozen bike shops around the city. With a few swipes of my credit card I was now official, or so I thought. I can actually ride a bike. What I can’t really do is ride a bike in crazy-traffic Manhattan. I seriously walked out of the bike store in Chelsea with my new ride and contemplated getting on the 23rd street 1 train to take me uptown. But then reason (or pride?) kicked in and I hopped on the bike and started up 6th avenue.
I will paint a quick picture for you. Seth at 15, behind the wheel of his parents minivan practicing to get his driver’s license. The instructor tells him to take a right onto the freeway. All off a sudden he is in the mix of Southern California traffic. He grips the wheel tightly with two hands, maintains the speed limit if not going way under, checks his mirrors nervously and has beads of sweat rolling down his neck.
Fast forward some years and I am now contending with midday Manhattan traffic. I made it about 10 blocks before I opted to calm my nerves a bit and take the bike path along the Hudson River the rest of the way.
Stay tuned for some bike adventures around New York and a few pictures along the way.
A special thank you to Zen Bikes for helping me get set-up. They were extremely knowledgeable and welcoming to a newbie member of the New York City biking community.
Zen Bikes is located at 134 WEST 24TH ST, NEW YORK, NY 10011 (BETWEEN 6TH AND 7TH)