HAPPY HOUR
A cyclists answer to NYC Gridlock!

As I was sitting at the Red light at 34th Street and the Hudson River Bikeway, I noticed I was  being stared down by a passing cyclist. He U turned and came over to introduce himself since he see’s me everyday. He asked about that funny looking bike I ride ,of course! Well I was ready with camera in hand.
He also let me know he had a story ….

Kinda funny cause I had been interviewing cyclists and introducing myself to other riders.I guess after all these years everyone is very curious.

Neon Green Vest. Red folding Dahon….Really Hard to miss !

Give him a WAVE…….here comes

Schmitty

Hi Schmitty,
Great to meet you..
I have a photo already so I can post as soon as I hear from you.
Hope you liked the blog.

   Yes, some interesting and fun stuff on your blog.

Whats your occupation?

I am a computer programmer.

When did you become a Bicycle commuter?

It started last Spring [2009] during “Bike to Work Week”. I had been contemplating it for a few years. So glad I went for it.

Where are you going when I see you out there everyday?
(my neighbors always thought I was just going bike riding,

Kinda funny!)

When I see you in the mornings I am on my way to work. I ride from Penn Station to right next to Ground Zero.

How far do you ride?

In the morning I ride 8 miles. If I went straight to the office when my train gets to Penn I would get there early. The bike is my personal portable gym so when I get to the bike path in Hudson River Park, before I go South, I go North to 74th Street. Then I turn around and head to the office downtown.
In the evening I need to go straight to Penn when I get off work to catch my train so that ride is 5 miles.
This gives me a total of 13 miles per day.

Why ride instead of using our comfy mass transit system?

The reasons are many. Primarily it’s the fitness I have regained.
Then there’s the $aving$ from not buying a monthly Metro Card.
Being outside and seeing a world that changes every day [morning sun, sunsets, sky, clouds, river, weather, flora, fauna] instead of the same old subway car interior. 

 I just love to ride.

The E train platform at Chambers Street is one of the smelliest platforms I have ever endured. Being there twice a day is something I don’t miss at all.

Why are you so determined to ride in extreme conditions?

I learned from my SCUBA instructor Di that “As long as you have air, everything else is merely an inconvenience.” The way I see it. As long as I have the proper clothing on I can ride through any weather except maybe the extremely slippery conditions of ice or snow.

Do you see the same people everyday also?

There are a number of people I see a lot. You among them. It’s why I stopped and introduced myself when I saw you waiting for the light. It’s difficult to make many connections that go beyond a smile or a wave because most of the recognizable regulars are always going in the opposite direction. The ones I see on the bitterest of cold days or rainy days stand out because there’s like No One else out there.

Is there anything you’d like to add?

I’ve been on and off the bike all my life. As a kid I practically lived on my bike. When I got a license to drive I stopped riding for some years. When I started working as a programmer and sitting in front of a screen all day I put on weight and began having back problems. That’s when I got back into it big time, doing century rides and training with local racers. [The Triangle Ride] In 1991 I literally lived on a bike for 4 months. 

I started in Vancouver, BC hoping to reach San Diego, CA. I made it to San Diego and was enjoying it so much I continued on to Daytona Beach, FL and finally Key West, FL. When my son was born in 1998 riding stopped again. Since then there were periods of riding and not riding because it is hard for me to find or make the time with work and family responsibilities. Commuting is the PERFECT solution. I get enough riding in so that my pants fit and I feel SO much better all around, mentally as well as physically.

Red Dahon

Wow Cycling Royalty
Urban Mobility Project
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