Monday, November 9, 2009
A Fall Bike Ride
(click images to enlarge)
I dreamt on Saturday night that my blue Schwinn had been stolen.
But it had not.
So on Sunday I jumped on it and rode up Sixth Avenue toward Central Park. When I stopped at the red light at 23rd Street, a bicycler pulled up next to me and eyed the blue Schwinn – people are always eyeing the blue Schwinn – and he said to me, "Vintage bicycles make me happy." It was a spectacular day – clear sky with not one cloud, and 65 degrees on November the 8th. At 42nd Street I stopped next to an older woman on a bike dressed in black. She eyed the blue Schwinn, and my shorts, and said, "You are more appropriately dressed for this weather than I am."
As you go up Sixth Avenue, Central Park looms ahead like the Emerald City.
As soon as you cross 59th Street and enter the park, you smell the strangely reassuring cool fall scent of rotting leaves and horse manure.
The park was understandably crowded with runners and bicyclers enjoying the glorious day.
The turning leaves offered a vivid palette of autumn colors.
I bicycled northward on the Park Drive, past the Metropolitan Museum of Art
and the Guggenheim.
Onward I breezed
to the northern end of the reservoir – the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir. There, it's like being in the middle of the woods.
The reservoir was completely still like blue glass. The sun was bright and clear but lower in the sky creating a magical glow. The buildings of midtown rose up at the southern end.
I locked up the trusty Schwinn and jogged around the reservoir. Except it was hard to run because I kept stopping to take pictures.
I couldn't help myself.
Around every curve, there was another vista.
The city at it's finest...
...nature plus art.
I was having a moment, I'll tell you. New York can be so beautiful.
At the end of the run I did some push-ups in the grass covered with dry golden leaves. I didn't want to leave, and I didn't for a while.
Then it was back on the Schwinn, and southward on the Park Drive
past the boating pond
and out into the city at Columbus Circle.
It was heaven on earth.