Sure, you may have had it up to here [indicates top of helmet] with my incessant screeds on the subject, but I intend to chip away at this country's pathetic bike helmet obsession until it collapses like a bloated world power, and one day when we're finally free you people are gonna thank me for it.
Though of course some people should probably wear them regardless:
Anyway, besides the Inauguration and all the concomitant drama, last week also saw the birthday of melancholy weirdo Edgar Allan Poe:
Which I observed by visiting the High Bridge, one of his most favorite places to pace and sulk:
“In the last melancholy years of his life—’the lonesome latter years’—Poe was accustomed to walk there at all times of the day and night; often pacing the then solitary pathways for hours without meeting a human being,” continued Whitman.
Just think of how much better Poe's life would have been if only he'd had access to Netflix.
Anyway, on an appropriately overcast day I made my way over the Broadway Bridge and into Inwood, where I picked up the Harlem River Greenway at Swindler Cove:
I then continued downtown:
Making sure as always to duck when I reached this treacherous point of reduced vertical clearance:
Whew! That was a close one:
Had I been wearing a helmet I'd no doubt have clipped my noggin due to the extra centimeter of polystyrene.
This water tower marks the Manhattan side of the High Bridge:
And on the Bronx side a number of the original stone archways remain:
Though I kept going under the bridge to the end of the Greenway, where I scoffed at this sign and continued to ride:
It's a quirk of New York City's bike routes that they expect you to get off and walk from time to time. Here's a typical example:
I think it's only fair that drivers should have to get out of their cars and push them occasionally as well. Curb cuts seem like a perfect place to require this. It's kind of crazy you can drive across a busy sidewalk to access a garage or parking lot. Why not require all motorists to push their cars when crossing a pedestrian thoroughfare?
Anyway, the ramp delivers you right into the middle of an entrance ramp to the Harlem River Drive, and if you manage to survive that you have time to collect your wits again in this protected bike lane:
Which ends at W. 155th Street:
Drivers will do their best to kill you here, because it's basically a six-way intersection. Also, W. 155th Street takes you over the Macombs Dam Bridge, and New York City drivers are at their worst (which is saying a lot) in the vicinity of a free bridge crossing.
Here's Hooper Fountain, which was built in 1894 and which is an ideal spot to water your horse:
Here's a building I'm guessing is of a more recent vintage:
And here's the view from Edgecombe Avenue out to the Macombs Dam Bridge and Yankee Stadium beyond:
I think it's where the Mets play or something, I'm really not a baseball fan.
Heading north along Edgecombe Avenue you begin a "climb" by Manhattan standards:
On your right is the lower end of Highbridge Park:
On your left are noteworthy residences such as the Morris-Jumel Mansion, which is the oldest house in Manhattan:
As well as 555 Edgecombe Avenue, which has been home to such personages as Paul Robeson and Count Basie:
Shortly after these abodes a sumptuous two-way bike lane materializes:
But it was at this juncture that I detoured onto the Highbridge Access Trail:
Which begins thusly:
And which, in short order, feels very far away from Manhattan:
Though if you need to charge your phone you're in luck:
Just don't forget your tinfoil hat, because you're being watched:
Once I passed the phone recharger I found myself on the High Bridge:
Here's Poe as he would have looked while crossing it:
And here's what he'd see from that vantage point today:
Were it not for the safety netting he'd definitely jump.
Anyway, soon I alighted in the Bronx:
Where a sign helpfully points you to the local landmarks:
But where, if you follow the sign, you'll be salmoning, because the two-way bike lane that was once there seems to have disappeared:
Though you can see a hint of green paint remaining under the parked cars:
I was sorry to see this, because last time I was here they were just putting the lane in:
I don't know what happened, but if I had to guess I'd say people freaked out over the loss of parking so the DOT deleted it.
Happy birthday, Edgar!