Saturday, May 8, 2010

Biking Dilemmas

Biking season has begun, which is great, but it does present dilemmas as well. Where we live there are two great rides one can take. One is, of course, around Central Park, which is only two blocks away. The other is in Riverside Park along the Hudson River, also the equivalent of about a two block ride. The Central Park route is more reliable. You always know what to expect, know precisely how far you're going (6.2 miles for each loop), and know almost exactly how long it will take. The Hudson River ride requires you to go along a route that is relatively narrow with a lot of runners, walkers, and bikers, and you never know when you will run into a garbage truck or a utility truck that blocks your way. Hard to gauge how long it will take and you must make a decision at some point to turn around, or you could keep going for a long time. All in all, the Central Park ride is easier and, at least on weekdays, the go-to ride.

But it's not as simple as all that, because, while the Park is free of cars until 7 AM, at that point, about a mile of the park is available to cars. And at 8 AM the floodgates open and anybody in a motorized vehicle can go just about any place in the Park until at least 10 AM and certain parts of the Park until 7 PM, when it is finally closed again entirely to traffic. So the point is if you go out at, say, 7:30 AM (as I did the other morning), you are going to get caught in the big traffic, so you're better off with the Hudson River trail. But, you know, you've got to think all this through ahead of time, but, on the other hand, it's early morning, after all, and sometimes the brain doesn't work that well at dawn. But you have to force yourself to think, so that you can enjoy the best ride possible. True, not the worst problem in the world, really not a problem at all. And isn't it lucky to be in the middle of New York City and to have two great bike rides available to you within easy walking distance? Still, it's important to stay alert to all the possibilities, at least that's what I've always heard.

No comments:

Post a Comment