About 10:00 EDT Sunday morning I waved to a bunch of bike riders. They were heading north through the Inwood neighborhood of the Upper West Side of Manhattan. It was a cool but promisingly sunny morning, and they were all in their fancy gear, many on very nice bikes, and one even waved back. I was also in transit, heading south toward Riverside Drive and the George Washington Bridge. It’s a route Jane likes to take through her old neighborhood when we drive from Connecticut to home in Virginia.
After an eleven day vacation hiatus (two shipboard workouts excepted) from exercise I was itching to get out and ride myself, and I envied those Manhattan cyclists their sunny day and open roads. We saw quite a bit of the open road ourselves as we took the Interstates southward. But even when I drive, the cyclist in me is alert, noticing the occasional rider (this time there was a brave/mad cyclist right at the top of the approach ramp on the GW Bridge, apparently oblivious to the safe cycling lane and sidewalk on the other side of the barrier) and assessing the uphill climbs as potential cycling challenges. There’s a great one of these which we go over right after we leave Anne & Henry’s, between Cheshire and Naugatuck along Route 10 over the hill at the top of which lies the village of Prospect. It’s about 11 miles over, and 11 more back–a decent ride considering the insistent climb each way. I have it just about completely analyzed now (well paved, good shoulders, difficult but manageable), and plan to take my bike with us sometime so I can really do the ride.
You never know about traffic on the 6 hour stint we performed Sunday, but it was good to us that day, and we made it in 5 hours 45 minutes travel time. Thanks to EDT there was still plenty of light in the sky, so after a joyous reunion with the cats and a little unpack/unwind activity I jumped on my ride to make sure I got a piece of the abnormally warm mid-March weather. What a joy to be out, even if every other Sunday activity-seeker thought so too. I took the Trek on a trip we always like, a trail-and-road combination between Vienna and Shirlington, and then back to North Arlington and up around a circuit of hilly streets until I rejoin the trail in West Falls Church for the ride home. It was too lovely a day to mind the crowded trail–the empty streets were more than adequate compensation. And every ache in my body from the long drive was erased by the action of pedaling. As I dismounted I knew that the rain forecast for Monday would be easier to accept.
©Arnold J. Bradford, 2010.