Monday, May 31, 2010

Sebago Canoe Club

On Saturday, Blake invited Maya and I to join him on a bike trip out to the Sebago Canoe Club in Canarsie for its open house. We biked six miles to get there over Eastern Parkway.

Eastern Parkway is a beautiful route right now. All the trees are very green, and people are sitting on the benches simply enjoying the wonderful weather. That is one of the best parts of New York. The warm weather outdoor hang out. Be it on a porch, stoop, park bench, or just the sidewalk.

Once at Sebago Canoe Club, we were given a tour of their very nice set-up. It's all volunteer run, and the people were extremely knowledgeable about water activities and safety. We each wore a life jacket and were given a brief lesson on how to kayak.

We kayaked out to Jamaica Bay, and all I could do was try not to think about the gross water dripping on me from the paddles. I just had to make myself be willing to except that I would need at least three showers to feel clean again. But it was so much fun. When I'm in New York, it's easy to forget about the great activities that exist in nature. Even within city limits.

None of my actual family lives in New York, and this is not a place where it is easy to survive without that type of support. I'm very lucky because I've managed to develop a family here among my group of friends including Blake and Maya. And as you can see, we are safety first kind of family. We all wear helmets and use the New York City bike chain.

One of the events for the 2010 LGRAB Summer Games is to do a family ride. Between the bike ride, BBQ, and kayaking, I think this is the perfect example to use for a summer family ride.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

A loverly evening in DUMBO

I hadn't spent time with my friend Blake in months. But thanks to the 2010 LGRAB Summer Games I had the perfect excuse to schedule a date night with him. Blake is an avid biker here in New York, and I often give him a hard time when it comes to picking bike routes because he's so use to biking amongst the cars and potholes, he forgets that some of us are lacking his expertise when it comes to navigating the trenches of biking in the city.

We met up at my work and biked down to DUMBO (Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass), which is one of my favorite places in the city. We checked out the first section of the new park that is being built along the waterfront.

Including the expanded view of lower Manhattan:

We saw some tourists taking photos of themselves drinking from the water fountain, and realized we had never taken a picture of ourselves doing this, so for posterity's sake:

Blake is incapable of taking a decent, let alone good, picture. Of the five attempted photographs, this is the only one in focus:

We went to Grimaldi's to enjoy the touristy experience and had a loverly talk. We spent all evening catching up. Blake is one of my best friends in the whole wide world. We've known each other for almost a decade, and it's very exciting to live in the same city where we can challenge and support each other, even when it has been months between a good chat.

We parted ways at the end of the evening, and I was really glad to have an excuse to get to spend some time with him and catch up. Now that it's summer, more of these bike dates will start to happen, and I'm really excited!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Big Apple Tweed Ride

Last Sunday, I joined a dapper set of ladies and gentlemen riding their bikes dressed in the most impeccable style. The Big Apple Tweed Ride around my lovely neighborhood in Brooklyn. No one was able to accompany me, so I went on my own. I'm really glad I did. I don't often go to things on my own. I socialized in a way that was charming and open. Everyone was very supportive. When I mentioned that I'm trying to become a more avid biker, everyone was very supportive. It really made me think they understood the fact that integrating biking into one's life takes effort. An effort to change a mindset. A desire to want to be on the bike. A willingness to figure out how to make biking work for you, the individual. So, Sunday was lovely. It didn't rain, despite the threatening gray clouds. It was perfect Tweed weather.

I took Brittany out for this ride. I'll introduce her to you later. These lovely pictures were taken by Michael Calleia.

I'm very excited to take part in the 2010 Let's Go Ride a Bike Summer Games! This is my group ride, and what an amazing ride it was!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Meet Maggie

Maggie is my bike. I heart her. I bought her from a used bike shop in Williamsburg two winters ago in an attempt to impress my boyfriend, and actually commit to the concept of riding a bike more often. It took a while. Last summer for my birthday, Brett gave me the rear rack and baskets. That actually made all the difference. It meant I could bike without anything on my back. It made me feel comfortable on a bike. And that's what biking should be about. Being comfortable and free.