coney island ride, 2009


This past Sunday, I decided to be adventurous and meet up with some folks that I had only previously “met” on Twitter. In particular, brooklyn by bike had organized a ride from grand army plaza to coney island, and since it was such a beautiful day, I decided to join her (and almost 20 other people) on the ride. It was great. I actually biked down from my apartment to grand army plaza before the official ride, so I had 10 miles down before we got started. I also decided to finally experiment with my “homemade” camera mount on my bike, which is essentially just one of those gorillapod tripods wrapped around my handlebars with my canon point and shoot attached. The footage ended up not being too bad, and once I sped it up so that you could see the entire trip in under 5 minutes (and turned the volume way down low so that your speakers aren’t destroyed by the overwhelming wind sounds and our sped up chipmunks-on-crack talking), it’s kind of fun to watch. I was going to set it to music, but youtube has gotten really good at spotting things that need licenses and, well, I’m not creating my own track, so it’s got little to no sound. There are also some still pictures at the end of the group. Enjoy!

UPDATE: new soundtrack added via youtube’s audioscan service. all legal and everything!

and, if anyone’s interested, here’s a map of my trip from the upper west side to coney island. I skipped mapping the trip back to prospect park, since we followed the same route down (having trouble embedding from google maps at the moment, so a static image will have to suffice). Red line was my solo ride to brooklyn, orange is the group ride down to the beach. And I would totally do this again!


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new photos from the fall


Yes, even I’m amazed at how long it took me to actually get these things up. But I decided that it needed to get done before I went on another trip and only added to the photographic backlog. I’ve finally posted photos from my various fall cycling adventures. There aren’t that many, because I was busy holding onto the handlebars and trying not to fall into traffic (again), but if you’re looking for proof that (a) I’m willing to wear ridiculously unflattering clothing and (b) I have an almost uncanny ability to forget to reapply sunscreen, it’s all there.

One week until Honduras!

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2008 NYC MS Bike Ride


Today, I participated in the NYC MS Bike Ride.  Altogether, including cycling from my apartment to the start point (and home at the end of the day), I biked slightly over 70 miles. I’m pretty sure that’s the longest trip I’ve ever taken.  It was really great, even with the rain soaking me through for the first two hours of the morning, and I made it through the first 30 miles (around the entire circumference of manhattan) in 2 hours (plus 30 minutes at the rest stop).  Then we hit palisades state park in New Jersey and it took us another 3 hours to get the next 15 miles. Of course, I’m pretty sure we walked up about 3 miles of hills. whatever.  it’s still exercise.  The idea that, a year ago, I would have been able to walk uphill for 3 miles (forget biking 70), I would have laughed in your face.  So, all in all, a good day.  Other than the rain.  And the nasty spill I took leaving me with two bruised knees.  But…no sunburn, and i hit 35 miles per hour in a screaming ride through the Lincoln Tunnel.  That might have been the most awesome thing I’ve ever done.  Here’s a map…

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Oh yeah, and I raised $600 for MS. That was pretty good too!

[Update 2015] In an effort to reduce the number of holdover pages on the blog, I am slowly (very slowly) integrating albums into the appropriate historical posts on the blog itself. As such, photos can now be found directly below.

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happy new year!


it’s that time of year again. the time when I get to annoy everyone at work by taking off two days in the middle of the week leaving everyone else to take care of things.

This Rosh Hashona, instead of sitting in temple all day, I’ll be taking my bicycle in to get fixed.  Because after visiting a friend yesterday afternoon who lives up in Washington Heights, I managed to get a massively flat tire.  And  yes, I know how to fix a flat tire, but it was damn near impossible to separate the tire from the tubing, so it became easier after about 20 minutes of trying just to carry my bike onto the subway.  it wouldn’t be that big a deal if I wasn’t scheduled to do 60+ miles in the MS bike ride this weekend.  Seems kind of important to have my good bike for that sort of thing.

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NYC Century Bike Tour 2008


Today I rode the 55 mile route of the NYC Century Bike Tour sponsored by Transportation Alternatives. Aside from the fact that I now look like a giant lobster (albeit one with bike short and bike glove lines) because I sweat off my sunscreen by about 8am, it was a great day. I can’t feel my legs, but it was still great.

Here’s the route I took. It was so long that google maps made me break it up into two lines, but you’ll see that when added up, my total ride was about 61 and a half miles. Not bad if I do say so myself…

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And now I’m going to crawl under my covers and hope that this ridiculous sunburn chill goes away at some point. As it is, I’m going to have to wear long sleeves to work tomorrow, to hide the combination of t-shirt and bike glove tan (making it look like I’m wearing giant red (or, really, purple) arm warmers). I always wear pants, so hiding my legs isn’t too much of a problem…although I imagine it’s going to hurt like a mofo.

[Update 2015] In an effort to reduce the number of holdover pages on the blog, I am slowly (very slowly) integrating albums into the appropriate historical posts on the blog itself. As such, photos can now be found directly below.

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berkshire cycling


I know, it’s more maps.

 Saturday morning, I took the train up to Wassaic. My folks met me at the station and my stepmom and I rode the Harlem Valley Rail Trail from Wassaic to Millerton…

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Nice ride, except for the moment when, riding a borrowed bike, I was attempting to get my foot into the much less flexible metal pedal basket, and didn’t realize until it was too late to swerve that I was about to crash into a wooden pylon in the middle of the trail (designed to prevent cars from driving down the route). As someone else described it, I then turned into a physics experiment, where I went flying face first over my handlebars. While I was able to brace my fall, I did managed to land on my face, banging my chin. So I’m a bit bruised up, but nothing worse.

It could have been worse, and given that my klutzy self was bound to do something like this sooner or later, I ended up walking away pretty unscathed. Although I may have to wear long sleeves for a few days when I get back to work, since I’ve got some nice bruises.

So then, since I had been thinking about it for a while, and my stepmom was thinking about the same thing, we went to the combination hardware store and bike shop, and bought new road bikes that actually fit us. reasonably priced and everything.

This morning was when I decided to attempt my “big” ride. I have a friend who owns a restaurant up in West Stockbridge, where he makes the best pancakes on earth. So I decided to ride up there, figuring a 20-something mile bike ride would serve to counteract the effects of the pancakes.

I was planning on doing this myself, but yesterday my dad decided that he wanted to join me. Nevermind that he hasn’t been on a bike in a few years. He also insisted that we take the “back” (read=Longer) way, because it was “less hilly”. It was about 5 extra miles, and really hilly. Apparently you don’t notice the hills when driving in a car. I’m never letting him plan the route again. I’m telling you…all hills. But the pancakes were really good.

Here’s the route we took (you can see the more direct, and quite frankly, more flat, route through Great Barrington, which we bypassed)…

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I actually felt pretty good at the end, and a bit more confident about my 55 mile ride through NYC that I’m taking next weekend, since the only big hills on that route involve the on ramps on various bridges, which are fairly discrete.

[Update 2015] In an effort to reduce the number of holdover pages on the blog, I am slowly (very slowly) integrating albums into the appropriate historical posts on the blog itself. As such, photos from the ride with my dad are now below.

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Today, instead of just going down one road and following the same route back, I decided to be adventurous and actually loop around lower manhattan, returning up the east side…

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It was nice, except that, on the east side, you get kicked off the greenway at around 34th street. All of the maps say that you pretty quickly loop back onto the greenway once you’re past the UN, but due to construction and other things blocking the way, I actually ended up on 1st and York all the way up to 72nd street. Which meant not only riding in traffic, but riding in UN diplomatic traffic (meaning cars driven by people who have clearly never had to qualify for a NY driver’s license). So that was…interesting. Needless to say, I made it back alive, but my middle finger got a bit more exercise than normal on that leg of the trip. There may have also been some yelling.

Now I need to go eat something, because it’s 1pm, I just did a 3 hour ride (including traffic “delays”), and I’m starving.

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more maps!


Yeah, I’m a little obsessed with mapping.

I finally figured out how to export my pathtracks data to an actual google map so that I could link directly rather than take a screenshot. Also, moving it to google maps allowed me to adjust the path. Thanks to the limitations of gps, or my phone, or pathtracks, i was tracked riding “through” many manhattan buildings instead of down the actual street. It also seemed to think that when I hit the tunnels around grand central (admittedly a gps black hole), that I doubled back for about half a mile. so “straightening” out my route eliminated about a mile from what pathtracks said I had actually biked. Which was good (more accurate) and bad (I really thought I had gone that extra mile!). On the plus side, maybe this is why the summer streets people think that the route they marked out is 6.9 miles long, when in reality it’s closer to 5 miles.

As usual, this is the one-way route. For some reason the crashes get more frequent on the way back so it never saves properly.

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today’s ride


Today I decided to head downtown instead of uptown, because I was getting a little bit bored with the route up to the bridge (or really, the amount of trash you have to wade through in the morning before the parks department comes through and cleans up after everyone who picnics up there the evening before). So, after not having gone downtown in a few weeks, and reading about how they finished work on another stretch of Riverside Park, I decided a trip down to battery park was in order. Oh, and I learned the trick of how to bypass the construction around ground zero by hanging a right at Stuyvesant high school and continuing to ride right next to the water. I got a little turned around once or twice trying to find the actual “bike” (and not pedestrian) route, but it was very nice. Here’s an image of my pathtracks map (unfortunately, I can’t figure out how to embed the actual map yet, but I’m working on it…).

And it was a perfect day for a ride – it was only 61 degrees when i got up this morning, and while riding I (more than once) wished I had put on a long-sleeved shirt.  Awesome.

(note that I only track one direction – no point in wasting my iphone battery on tracking the exact same route back.  So the total ride was a bit more than 14 miles today). Click on the thumbnail for a larger image.

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I can’t believe this was only 14 or so miles…


Unlike last weekend, when I had to sit at home all day waiting for the cable guy, who showed up exactly the last minute of my service “window”, today I got to get up early and take advantage of Summer Streets. Which was fabulous. It got a little crowded at times, and there were these REALLY annoying joggers running in formation who insisted on running in the “bike” half of the split bike/runner lane on the brooklyn bridge (they wouldn’t have been quite so annoying if they didn’t condescendingly lecture bicyclists about keeping out of their way to boot), but all-in-all, a really nice way to spend a Saturday morning. I’m definitely doing it again next week.

For those who are interested, here’s a general approximation of the path I took. the blue “points” are where I stopped and dropped a pin in google maps on my iphone when I got the chance.

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I also took some photos, but I need to get them off of my camera first before they get posted.

I’m also trying to figure out how, if the “official” summer streets route is 6.9 miles (meaning 13.8 when doubled), AND i biked over from the west side through the park (adding at least a mile on the way over since I followed traffic and went down and around), AND I tacked on a ride over the brooklyn bridge at the end, google maps is saying that my route is just under 14 miles. It doesn’t make any sense.

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