Thu 5/17/2007

On my lunch break yesterday I FINALLY took my bike in to get fixed.

See, about a year ago, my friend Charlie (of Indie Spinner Rack fame!) needed a bike. And a friend of his told him, "You just have to open yourself to the possibility of owning a bike and one will FIND you!" A few days later, while walking home from his studio, he found a "perfectly good" bike in a dumpster! But apparently Charlie opened himself up TOO wide, because a few days later a friend of his offered him another, better bike for free!

So Charlie sent out an email asking if anyone needed a bike, and I did! So I got the dumpster bike. "Perfectly good" ended up meaning that the gears didn't shift, the brakes were pretty much gone and one of the pedals was totally bent off-kilter. Plus this is a short person's bike, and I am TALL! But don't get me wrong, it was great. It got me around and I loved being able to ride again...

Until the pedal FELL OFF (mid-ride! YIKES!) Turns out the pedal was off-kilter because its flange was totally stripped out and someone had just tack-welded it into place. So once the weld broke I couldn't just screw it back on.

ANYWAYS, I left my apartment at 1pm and walked the bike onto the subway. I went straight to this one bike place I know, and the guy replaced the crank and screwed in the pedal for $20. It took about 15 minutes. I was so happy that I decided to ride home!

It should be noted that I'm no great shakes on a bike. I WANT to get better though, as I'm hoping to never own a car ever again. So I thought this would be a little adventure! I just didn't plan on it turning into a BIG adventure... See, I got lost. HELL OF lost.

Really, I didn't care much. I wanted to practice my riding anyways and it was a beautiful sunny day. Plus I got to explore Williamsburg (and Greenpoint, and Long Island City, and Woodside...) It was funny because I thought I'd leave it up to "The Cosmic Map" and visual landmarks, but I pretty soon realized that I do most of my traveling in New York UNDERGROUND. Also, I have no freaking idea how Brooklyn is laid out, or where my apartment is in relation to anything else.

The only landmark I really had was the Empire State Building. "Hmmm," I would think, "it's usually smaller from my street, so I must be too close to Manhattan, I'll bike away from it." It was pretty confusing as there are about 10 different competing grids, plus bridges and water and railroad tracks and freeways. Eventually I hit Grand Avenue, which I thought might head by my house. Then I saw this giant hospital that I knew was over by Aaron's house way off in the distance, so I biked towards that.

Finally, I turned this one corner and knew right where I was! I got back to my house and it felt like I had been biking for HOURS. But a look at my watch showed that it was only 3:03pm (!?!) I was only three minutes late for getting back to work! :) You know what they say: A journey of a thousand pedals starts with a single wrong turn... If only I'd headed EAST!

8 comments on this entry

too weird you've been in NY for so long and still no land-navigating skills. i'm slowly learning LA, but we did just do a similar route to get to the laundromat.. albeit by car! even though it's about 10 blocks away! haha! *kaff* we love LA! *kaff* *KAFF*

nate May18

Well, it should be noted that I know MANHATTAN like the back of my hand at this point. I know all of the subway lines and most of the stops. It's been like two years since I got lost in the actual city. I can glance up at any section of skyline and know exactly where I am. But BROOKLYN (and Queens...) is a whole different world.

Also, I've been trying to keep a civil tongue in my head about Los Angeles since you moved there Nate, as I want to be supportive, but you know my feelings about that place. I had to drive on TWO freeways to get to the closest supermarket when I lived there. UGH! *kaff* *KAFF* is right!

Alec May18

ahh you were right by my apartment!
i would have given you some lemonade for your journey had i known!

bikes are fun.
you should bike to the giant picnic sunday!!!

Heidi May18

Hey, did you name your bike. And don't get me started on Queens.

Arlene May18

I didn't name this bike yet. I might not, as I might get rid of it if I can find another bike that fits me better. It's definitely a girl though, even though it's a boy's bike. Any suggestions?

Alec May18

Kitty Pryde?

Arlene May18

Sounds good! I'll let you know if I can bike through walls...

Alec May18

Glad you found your way eventually... I hate that initial panic feeling when you realize you're lost. You'll know all of NYC before long... just be safe. I am jealous of anyone who lives in a world where a car is no longer necessary... I would love to be able to ditch mine. have a great weekend.

Jewett May19

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