Admit it, I just totally blew your mind.
Anyway, this morning I thought to myself, "It sure would be nice to go for a ride. Too bad I have so many responsibilities." But then I remembered I don't have any responsibilities at all, and so I said, "Fuck it, I'm riding." I wasn't a total shirk, though, because by way of doing my part to re-digitize the Universe I strapped the old Fly6 integrated video camera/tail-light to my bike.
Lard knows I like to complain, but by New York City standards I have it pretty good as far as squeezing in a quick recreational bicycle ride is concerned. Remember I showed you that old picture of the subway station (or terminal if you want to get technical) not too long ago?
(A few people asked why there are no seats on the Ferris wheel, and the answer is that in those days you just hung by your hands like a monkey.)
Well, here it is from approximately the same spot today:
Comparatively sucky, wouldn't you say?
Nevertheless, from there I just nip into the park and then totally slay this gnar-gnar drop-in, dude, burritos, etc.:
Then I'm on this trail:
Thanks to urban sprawl, there aren't too many pleasant ways to leave the city limits on a bicycle. Really, the best way to escape by bike is to find a wormhole, and this is one of the more pleasant ones. In fact, this trail was once a train line, and if you look you can see the rotting railroad ties. The Parks Department is planning to pave and otherwise buff and sanitize this trail in the near future. This is a shame, since for a trail that sees almost no maintenance it's actually in pretty decent shape, especially when you consider we're coming out of the worst winter in decades. Indeed, this was the only obstacle I encountered:
I totally would have bunny-hopped it, but, you know, I was afraid to jostle the Fly6.
Next, I won the city line sprint against myself as usual, at which point the trail abruptly goes from dirt to paved:
And then I encountered another Fred:
There is that pregnant moment as two Freds pass, each eyeballing the other's equipment and shoring up his pedal stroke so it doesn't look too sloppy. As far as animal behavior goes, it's somewhere between a peacock displaying its plumage and a guy sucking in his gut for the salesgirl helping him at Banana Republic. The difference is that it only takes place for a split second, and occasionally at "Woo-hoo-hoo-hoo!" speed.
Anyway, once you leave the city limits the path continues, though being paved it sort of loses its charm, and in general I'd rank it as "meh-to-pleasant:"
The real appeal is that it's incredibly convenient. It continues for many miles through the northern suburbs, and it provides a car-free jumping-off point for all manner of recreational bicycling endeavors.
This, however, was to be a short ride, and lo I left the path and forded the Saw Mill River, which is also known as Nepperhan Creek, "Nepperhan" obviously being an old Indian word meaning "Piss Rivulet:"
Then there's a little incline as you pass the necropolis:
Which is compounded in difficulty because obviously you've got to hold your breath the whole time.
Next, I executed a somewhat less gnar-gnar burritos dude etc. drop-in onto a different trail:
Please note that I am not riding a properly engineered gravel-specific bicycle, and under no circumstances should you ever try anything like this yourself:
See, I can do it because I'm a semi-professional bike blogger, but the rest of you need that extra half-degree of head tube slackness or whatever, otherwise you are 100% guaranteed to die.
Anyway, it's still hovering around freezing in these parts, plus the wind was blowing at like 500 knots all day yesterday, and as I suspected the trail was firm and air-dried as a result:
Here's a guy walking multiple dogs:
See, you need to have lots of dogs when you live in a populous New York City suburb.
Of course, I shouldn't even have to tell you that the smallest and yappiest of them immediately took off after me, yapping all the while in his stupid jacket, nor should I have to add that the owner made no attempt whatsoever to recall the little piece of shit--not that it would have mattered anyway, because people suck at dogs:
You may recall I've actually been bitten by a dog on this very trail, which left holes in my leg warmers, and indeed at that moment I was wearing those very same man-tights:
Anyway, the little piece of shit kept running and yapping:
And yapping and running:
My plan was to let him keep chasing me and then ride to Manhattan if necessary, where the yellow cabs would make short work of him, but then suddenly he stopped and turned around like he'd forgotten his wallet in his other doggie jacket:
Finally! Blessed, dog-free solitude:
Once I was satisfied that I was safe from dog molestation, I picked a scenic spot and leaned my bike against a tree:
Then I climbed onto a log and practiced my "Karate Kid" crane pose in an attempt to stave off male osteoporosis:
Then I stared contemplatively towards the New Jersey palisades:
And then I took a leak:
Finally, once the Man in Black finished making his piss rivulet, he approached the Fly6:
And then he killed the witness:
Unfortunately, he took his glove off before strangling it instead of vice-versa, and now he's rotting in jail for public urination.
Speaking of the Fly6, I switched to a more pert saddle bag to make room for the camera on my seatpost, but as it turned out that wasn't necessary since I was able to mount it on the uncircumcised section of seat tube between the top tube and seatpost clamp:
Here's some gratuitous head tube-and-trail porn:
Of course, the headtube of my bike has a lion on it, so I couldn't resist taking a picture of the bike in front of the nearby Son of Sam altar of sacrifice:
I'm not afraid to admit that I was terrified the whole time. Furthermore, train tracks run along the river below, and as I was taking the picture a noisy diesel train was slowly creeping by, its bell going "ding...ding...ding," and between the rumbling of the engine and the death knell it sounded like the intro to a Bathory album.
Then, I heard the sound of twigs breaking. Turning towards the sound, I saw some deer:
Though at first I was certain they were bloodthirsty hellhounds, and if I hadn't urinated moments ago I surely would have soaked through my Giordanas.
Having nabbed the shot, my heart throbbing, I remounted my bicycle and rode off, only to feel a tap-tap-tap on my buttocks! "Dear God!," I cried. "It's the Headless Fred of Yonkers!" Alas, it was not so, and what it actually turned out to be was my keychain about to fall through a hole in my pocket:
Ironically, as I put on this jacket this morning, I was planning to mention how great it was. However, I no longer think it's great, because if I hadn't already been in a heightened state of terror-induced awareness it's unlikely I would have noticed and I would have lost my fucking keys on the trail. Here's a closer look:
It seems the pocket is separating from the jacket right above the word "Castelli," which is also kind of ironic. I suppose it can be easily fixed, but I have cycling jackets and jerseys many years old that have never come close to shitting out the contents of their pockets, so there you go.
In conclusion, if you have this same jacket, make sure you use it with a Fly6. Then at least maybe you can see the spot where you dropped your keys.