These days, I spend most of my time at a desk, pecking away at my keyboard, talking on the phone, and sitting in meetings. But twice a day, I get to be free, riding through the streets of Manhattan’s Lower East Side and the industrial corridors of Brooklyn. And, to boot, when I commute, I save time – it’s actually quicker than the subway.
When I moved to NYC in the ’80s, I biked quite a bit – my favorite ride was out to Fire Island at the crack of dawn, before the beach traffic kicked in. I also liked riding in the city, especially up to Central Park, though a cab hit me once and snapped my bike frame in two. Fortunately, Frank’s, my local bike shop was able to replace the frame and it’s served me well ever since.
In recent years, there’s been a biking revolution in NYC – thanks to the work of the bicycling advocacy group, Transportation Alternatives, and the visionary Transportation Commissioner, Janette Sadik-Khan. Bike lanes have cropped up throughout the city, across the Manhattan to Brooklyn bridges and on many streets, making commuting by bike a bit safer.
There’s a lot of debate about “sharing the road.” With a limited amount of public pavement, we need to decide how to allocate this resource between pedestrians, cyclists, cars and buses. The car has been the king for many years, but now people are wondering if we’ve got it right.
So get out this Friday, ride your bike and show your support for cycling – May 21st is National Bike to Work Day!