Enjoying The Bridge

This morning I headed out for a short ride:

As I rolled along the mighty Hudson River, it occurred to me that it’s supposed to snow tomorrow, and that I should make the most of the favorable conditions.

So I kept going.

After 20-ish miles or so I found myself in South Nyack, a place so popular with cyclists that locals have adopted the bicycle as the official symbol for “unwanted person:”

And shortly after that, I found myself at Fish & Ships:

Where I spent fifteen minutes trying to order a basket of fried clams via the touchscreen menu, until I finally realized that Fish & Ships wasn’t a restaurant at all, it was an observation deck on the Tappan Zee Mario Cuomo Bridge.

The screen wanted to know if I was enjoying my experience, and instructed me to share my experience on social media:

Like most users of social media, I generally only share my experience when I’m annoyed:

Unable to conceive of a world in which someone might want or need to ride a bicycle outdoors in less than perfect conditions, the New York State Thruway Authority or whoever is in charge closes the bike path at the very first hint of precipitation. I don’t know who actually makes the call, but I imagine it’s similar to Groundhog Day, except instead of using a giant rodent as their bellwether they use a garden-variety roadie. If he hops on his bike and pedals away, they open the path, but if he goes back inside and fires up Zwift they keep it closed.

Today, I was in a better mood, but instead of sharing my experience with social media I decided to use the observation deck as my own personal photo booth:

Here is the bike looking pensively out to sea:

Here is the rapid-rise derailleur. See how the spring is pushing it towards the larger cogs instead of the smaller ones?

Of course you dont.

Here’s how much wear the Schwalbe Marathon Supremes are exhibiting after over a year of use:

I’d quantify that amount as “virtually none at all,” and while my riding is obviously spread over multiple bikes it’s still pretty impressive.

Oh, and here’s some filth, just to annoy the fender Freds:

Deal with it.

Once over the bridge I headed south towards home, and along the way I came across an older woman with a bloodied face who had fallen on the path. She hadn’t been on a bicycle herself, but a man with a well-used department store bicycle was already helping her. She was shaken but coherent and wanted to go home, so together the man and I righted her, gathered up her small bag of groceries and her cane, and she leaned heavily on me as we accompanied her a couple of blocks to a two-family house where we helped her upstairs to her apartment. As she had her wits about her, once she was situated we left her with instructions to call family.

Sometimes a ride takes you onto a new bit of trail; this one took me up a narrow staircase in Yonkers and gave me an unexpected and intimate glimpse into someone else’s life. The ability to lend a hand now and then is yet another argument in favor of flat pedals. Those wacky roadie getups don’t let you participate in humanity.

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