adventures, exercise, exercise gear, exploring, lifestyle

The Bike

When quarantine hit in March, I had to recognize that everything that I was procrastinating about was related to transportation. I had put off renewing my passport, learning to swim, learning to drive and buying a bike. The cold reality of my situation as that I could not outrun a zombie with my little fat self and I had no wheels to ride on and if someone said swim to the vaccine I was gonna be assed out.

That’s some harsh shit to realize.

I sent off a passport application (finally) but the DMV is closed so I can’t get the permit to drive yet. The place where I want to take swimming lessons is closed until September. So… I bought a bike. It took two months to arrive, but I bought a bike.

I got ripped off on the first bike I chose, then I found this beauty. The Adventurer 6 speed folding bike, $169.99 on the Camping World website. I thought that a folding bike would be better for someone living in a studio apartment, but I found out that that bike was heavy for me to carry folded, so it’s been set up like this since I got it. I did some group bike lessons with Bike New York, but I didn’t take the street riding class because the lady who ran it was nasty. Yes, I will avoid using a free service if I’m treated badly. Surprise. So technically I could ride, but I was very nervous about going out in the street on my own. It took some googling but I finally found someone who would trade money for bike riding lessons.

They call him… Professor Pedals.

I stalked their website until they finally posted lessons were available and I pounced. By the power of my enhanced unemployment check I paid $150 to have another human being coach me on how to ride in the street. One misty early summer morning I met my teacher in Prospect Park and for an hour and a half I got tutored on how to feel like I wasn’t going to die the minute I wheeled my bike into the street. I’m not being sarcastic or dramatic. This was the only thing keeping me from riding the bike I had sitting in my apartment, and it was worth every penny to have someone professional to ride with that first time.

I don’t ride every day (yet), but I can go riding with confidence now. My arms are starting to relax and when I go I stay out longer. I went from doing one loop around my block to turning up and down unfamiliar territory, albeit within six blocks of my building. I fell down one morning and got back on the bike. I have to stop and rest because this quarantine weight is kicking my ass. But I love the joy of coasting down the road on two wheels, with the breeze on my face. I love having the choice of walking or riding. It’s a process, but I have wheels and I can finally be out there using them.

PS, don’t forget to wear you’re helmet. This is the free one that I got at a street fair from the D.O.T. a few years ago. If you need a helmet look here.

Hope you guys are getting through quarantine, phased openings and re-lockdowns ok. It’s a wild situation, so do your best.

Until next time,

Faith/SEBMarketBK

activities, architecture, exercise, food, free, health, new york, plants, rides, street fair, Summer, walking

The Meetup Adventure: in which we go to #SummerStreets2015 and ride Slide the City

So, I got tired of going to museums and started a meetup group of my own:

ss1With the idea that if you don’t see what you want, then start it yourself. My first proposition to my group was a trip to Summer Streets 2015, a NYC street fair that stretches from 72nd Street all the way to the waterfront Downtown.

I got one RSVP- and they didn’t show up.

ss2Granted? it was kind of early. But you only see New York at it’s best when it’s early, lol!! No one around to bother you and you can actually see how the place is laid out.

ss3How awesome is this? Early morning in Central Park, no screaming hordes- just light and stillness.

ss4And ducks.

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I kind of took my time walking through the park and over to Park Avenue. The good thing about no one showing was that I could go at my own pace and make my own decisions.

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I was dressed for a special occasion, too. But you’ll see what that was later in the post. Basic was better that day, believe me.

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Back to Summer Streets. There was supposed to be free one hour bike rental at 58th Street, but I found out that you had to bring the bike right back to 58th, and my plan was to make it all the way to downtown.

I set off on foot amidst walkers, joggers, bikers and rollerbladers. One amazing this was getting to walk over a bridge that only cars have access to. It takes you up over 42nd and Grand Central Station.

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This is a view I have never seen. Normally, I’d be standing far below looking up at cars whizzing by on this bridge. Thanks to Summer Streets, I was seeing this sculpture closeup without worrying about getting plowed down by a taxicab.

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The next rest stop was all about food. Whole Foods had set up a block long street fair with people just hurling samples at you every few feet. How much do you love Perky Jerky guy? You could literally walk up and pluck samples off of his body. I feared for his life at one point- I mean, he was wearing MEAT.

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I also got a sweet little potted plant, a pansy. New York Botanical Garden was on hand, patiently putting tiny plants in biodegradable containers for anyone who asked to take home. That’s love.

After getting as many food samples as I could I headed over to the 2nd of my missions (since that bike rental thing was a bust):ss91

My second mission was to obtain a free bike helmet from New York’s Department of Transportation. It wouldn’t be easy. It took stamina. It took being polite to this lady who acted all friendly just so I’d hold her place in line. It took ONE HOUR AND SIXTEEN MINUTES of waiting in line, and I technically missed the time for my special event, and then the lady who fitted my helmet was a _itch- but I did not give up, nor did I leave empty handed…ss92Cuz that’s how we roll at SEB. never give up, and never leave without your promised goodies.

Now it was time for my third and last mission…ss96

SLIDE THE CITY

ss93I cheated and took the train from 23rd down to Chambers Street. I was on pins and needles the whole way, hoping that my tickets were still usable.

ss94 While I was at VitaCoco Beach, I met Ben Franklin, who just happened to be chilling and looking for a place to fly his kite, and then (of course) grabbed up a free VitaCoco lemonade and a free VitaCoco inner tube. As you can see, they hydrated New York City with VitaCoco.ss95

I managed to find the Slide the City line, then find out where the line actually started, then found out where to register to even get on the line. As luck would have it, they weren’t looking at what time the ticket was for, just if you had one. Having gone to many fashion week events I knew to have my ticket up on my phone screen ready for viewing.

Behold…

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is this not EVERYTHING???? Ok, yeah- some people live for Chanel, but this? was EVERYTHING!!!!!

And I had tickets. It only took me two hours. I heard it took other people 12 hours. At this point, it didn’t matter- I was there, in front of it and I had the golden ticket. ss98

I almost cried when I saw this sign- I had a knapsack on! I forgot to read the faq’s!! Luckily, A lady with a kid let me hold her bag and then when they were done she held mine. You have no idea how much of a leap of faith it is to let some stranger hold your bag in New York. But if that was the only thing standing between me and and a 650 foot water slide? Oh well.

I took a chance.

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I told you, basic was best. After I finally got into the enclosure, they gave me an inner tube to ride on and sent me up the stairs. I could feel excitement in the pit of my stomach getting bigger and bigger the closer I got to the top. I got the middle lane.

Once you get up there, they tell you how to position yourself, and you sit staring at the huge expanse of plastic that’s supposed to hold you up, and in my case staring at the venerable court buildings of Foley Square which had probably never witnessed a massive water slide in front of them. Once they say go, you push off and it’s sublime. Exhilarating. And, yeah- two horribly overused words- life affirming.

I slid down a big ass ramp in New York and lived. It was the best moment ever.

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 Also the moment I unpacked my knapsack and I had all this swag. Not bad.