Currently I am wearing a bright orange flouncy skirt that twirls perfectly if/when I spin around in circles (an action that lifts my spirits- I highly recommend it should you find yourself fired.) Outside the sun is shining, the trees are green, tulips color street corners, and the average New Yorker’s disposition is down right cheerful. We’ve won. We beat winter and it’s not coming back. We can finally pack away the winter jackets without fear of jinxing everything. Trade uglyUggs for sexysandals. Put our pasty skin on display. It’s especially hard to be stuck behind a desk with one sad little window overlooking a sad black tar roof when it’s gorgeous outside. Only 7 more chances for that (yeah, I’m counting the days, this Fired-But-Still-At-The-Job thing is even worse than I thought it would be).
I have yet to go on a picnic (that needs to change no later than this weekend), but I have been spending a good amount of time outside in various green areas of the city.
After months of battling the winter blues (and talking about it a lot) I felt the need to celebrate the victory of spring in some tangible, extraordinary way along with spending as much time as possible outside. So I decided to buy a bicycle- kill 2 birds (having owned parakeets as a child, that may be my least favorite cliché). After many craigslist searches, careful consideration of how a bike would fit in my life- specifically my 10’x7′ room, and a test ride, I became the proud owner of this little beauty:
Looks a little weird right? Maybe you can’t figure out why? That’s because it’s not your average bike! It’s a folding bike! It folds in half and then some to become a perfect portable package, so inconspicuous I have to point it out to people who come to the apartment (Notice anything different?? Uh..No? Look at my awesome new bike!!!!) On weekdays it’s the perfect commuter- less than 10 minutes to work, and on weekends it’s the perfect activity- circumnavigating Central Park or up and down Riverside Park.
I have become a New York City Biker- arguably the most uniformly hated micro culture in the area. Pedestrians hate bikers. Cars hate bikers. Other bikers hate bikers. All three yell something inappropriate at me on a (more or less) daily basis. It can be tough for a sensitive person like me to take but I do understand the hatred. Bikers don’t get ticketed for running red lights, something we notoriously do. We zip through congested traffic. We’re hard to see, a law suit waiting to happen. We have no gas guzzling guilt. Every day is Earth Day for us. You can bet there are oodles of clichés about bikers in this town(many true) but that’s another entry.
It’s a dangerous form of transportation and some bikers forget/deny this, making them a danger to themselves and others. During the worst snow storm this winter I saw a delivery guy riding his bike, snow whipping through his hair as he was not wearing a helmet (STUPID). What takes the cake is HE WAS ON HIS CELL PHONE. This sight made me stop dead in the street- dumbstruck by his idiocy- so stunned that when the light changed I almost got hit by a car. See! A danger to themselves and innocent bystanders!
Don’t worry. I’m a very careful biker. My brakes work and I wear a helmet. In my wildest dreams I would never imagine talking on my cellphone. When I am on my bike I am hyper-aware of my surroundings. It’s a surreal, exhilarating feeling. I love biking and hopefully I can bring my baby upstate with me and continue this spring trend through the summer, though I’m not sure she’s suited for the woods!