New York City is a great exception to that penchant of mine for driving to races in scenic places. For races, runs and rides in NYC, I leave personal transport behind and navigate the public transit system. This option will be even easier when the bike share program is up and running, pending the ruckus about the appearance of the bike stands.
The train is quick, comfy and easy, rolling into Penn Station where we connected with the metro system and our specific destination. With few exceptions, this group of senior cyclists/runners continued to either use public transportation or to hoof it throughout the stay.
On arrival, we found our way to the Bike Expo on South Street. In addition to picking up packets and ogling nifty cycling products, we walked the pier area, seeing the remains of the devastation left by Hurricane Sandy as well as the progress made in rebuilding.
Having taken care of business for the Sunday ride, we had downtime to do some exploring. To ward off nerves about the upcoming ride, what to see and do?
Brooklyn Flea Market: Our friend Janis led us through
a tree-lined street of brown- stones to the this wonderful market referred to locally as the Flea. It has a sizable selection of vintage products, original art work, and an eclectic blend of food choices.
Battery Park area: As I finished up my Sunday volunteer stint (5 a.m. through mid-morning) at the start of the 40-mile ride, I knew my friends would have hours to go before we would meet. With little familiarity of Battery Park,
I knew a few landmarks and stayed within easy walking distance of the Staten Island Ferry, the finish point for the 5-boro ride.
World Trade Center – Upon my release from volunteer duties on Sunday morning, I simply began walking the area and found myself around the World Trade Center. On this cool damp morning, nothing could have prepared me for the palpable sense of loss. Frozen in place, I stood before the lengthy list of photographs and names of police and firemen lost. A stop in a cozy coffee shop helped me warm up and sift through my thoughts.
National Museum of the American Indian The museum was conveniently located a few blocks from the ferry, allowing me (or so I thought) several hours to browse and learn. Wandering through several exhibits, I was drawn to the sight and sound in a room showing a documentary on American Indian contributions in blues, jazz and rock music. After a 4:30 a.m. trip to my volunteer stint, I was particularly enjoying sitting down in a plush chair in a viewing room with a fantastic sound system. The filmed commentary and the music were wonderful. Then, a quick end to my comfortable lounge chair as the cell vibration alerted me. Three of the five friends out on the course were swept and loaded on a bus somewhere past 20 miles. Details on this are in my earlier post on the 5-boro bike ride.
Museum time was over for now. Reconnaissance and retrieval time began.
- Brooklyn Flea is coming to Philly June 2 (technical.ly)