Thursday, 28 July 2011

Hit the road

So it's been a while my blog reading chums. I've been busy, I've been doing things, and probably most importantly I've been, urm well how do I say this... I've been somewhat lacking in inspiration. Actually no, New York has been a little uninspiring. It's not tickled my fancy so to speak.

Woah there New York don't go punching me in the kidneys, it's probably not your fault, you're just busy too. Busy being convenient, crazy, temperamental, and pre occupied. You probably didn't realise you were even neglecting me, IT'S FINE. Relax. Ya know what New York, it's ok because that's how I used to feel. I'm feeling different now and it's thanks to a little friend of mine named Ginger.

Ginger is the old Raleigh bike I purchased at a market in the East Village, no it's not stolen. I think. The reason she's called Ginger is her colour, she's orange as Chris Evans lunchbox. I love her. She's opened New York to me in a way I didn't expect. The two wheels, leather saddle, old crappy white tape of the curved racer handle bars, and the bright orange frame come together to unite a pure transportation joy. Ok she's had a couple of problems but she's an old girl and she needs a bit of love, she deserves it because if it wasn't for her I would have to get the subway. (que dramatic horror scream...AAAARRRGGGHHHHHHH THE SUBWAY).

Yeah the bloody awful sweaty subway. yuk. So now I ride to work, I ride to the shop, I ride to my friends, I ride to a gig, I ride everywhere I possibly can. It's not really for a fitness sake, which I can tell you is great because already I am noticing differences in fitness, it's actually more about the discovery the bike gives me. The bike is like a key to New York, it unlocks it completely. Suprising I know. New York is known for yellow cabs, and generally shit drivers, not for bikes. But who knows we may have a future city that has more bikers than cars, here's hoping. However right now it's still a little new.

So why is it that biking is so good? Well it's down to the small size of New York. Small?, you say in a downright questioning manner. Well yes, small. It's geographically a very small city with no more than a 30 minute bike ride from anywhere, and generally it's more like 15 mins. The streets are wide, the avenues are long and clear and easy to see, the streets are straight and not winding, and it's a grid system of easy navigation.

The great thing about all of those above things is that it means I worry less about how I'm getting to somewhere but more about what I see and how adventurous I can be on my route. This has meant I've seen parts of New York I'd not see before. Areas like the East River park, the underside of the brooklyn, williamsburg, manhattan bridge, etc. I'm exploring again. I'm seeing new things in a city that was becoming far too functional. It sounds corny but navigating around the city on a bike is like making poetry from words, the words are the avenues and streets and poetry is the exploration of those streets and avenues to see new wonder.

So here's to Ginger, here's to me joining the 2 wheel club, but most importantly here's to me exploring again because frankly if you know me at all you'll know that it's exploration that inspires me the most.

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