I decided to do some things that I haven’t had time to do, and one of them was re-learning how to ride a bike. I haven’t been balanced on two wheels since I was 12 years old, and that wasn’t exactly a banner day anyway. I searched ‘free bike lessons’ and tada! It appeared.
That’s the wonder of New York.
After a harum scarum search for available spots (as you can assume, the classes fill up fast) I was able to snag a lesson on Roosevelt Island with the Bike New York gang. They actually have helmets for everyone, so if you don’t have one and are not even sure how to buy one, you can feel safe showing up without one.
I figured it was best to keep it simple, so I wore my h&m basics $5 tee shirt and LL Bean True Shape denim jeans ($59) with my Southern Tide classic leather shackle belt ($65). I had my Samsung GearFit ($99.99) so that I could finally try the cycling exercise setting, and my Brazilian Begonia Lisa Hoffman fragrance bracelet ($65) for luck. I didn’t bother with makeup, just H20 Plus marine Defense Green Tea Antioxidant Lotion SPF 30 ($42) and some lip balm.
I think the green helmet was tres chic, don’t you?
Bike New York volunteers lined us up in size order and we were fitted to our bikes. The main thing being that your feet are flat on the ground when you’re astride it. Luckily I had this water bottle from a fashion event last year, so I was prepared for an afternoon of riding. I also had some granola and homemade banana nut bread tucked away in my knapsack, since they advise that you bring snacks.
When you start, Bike New York has you learn on a bike with no pedals. You spend about an hour learning to balance. It’s actually huge fun. Once you’ve demonstrated an ability not to kill yourself, you get the pedals- a major moment. When I got mine, I felt like a BMX racer.
When I was a kid, I was always fearful of a. getting my bike stolen (which did happen) or b. falling off/getting into an accident. The most dangerous part of doing this 2 hour class was looking out for other students sudden stops. The volunteers are there to guide and help and it’s a really friendly process. You do end up super hungry and thirsty though, so when they say bring snacks? Bring your snacks.
I was so glad I went! It was exhilarating to realize that I now held the power to fly around New York without being bound by subway snarls. well, as soon as I learn how to ride in traffic.
If you want to sign up, here are the classes that they have available:
1. Learn to Ride (Adults) : you learn how to balance and brake, and then hopefully how to pedal.
2. Bicycling Basics: core cycling skills, like how to adjust your helmet and seat, how to make sure your bike is road ready, etc.
3. Street Skills Ride: they teach you how to stay safe while riding crazy NY streets, albeit in a no-traffic environment. *actually? you would be in street traffic. my bad- Bike NYC contacted me about that. see comments below -FB 8/6/15*
They have even more classes and events, so if you’re in New York and looking for bike lessons or looking to volunteer, you should contact them. All the info you need is at www.bike.nyc.
xoxo, Faith/Sassy Ethnic Bohemian