The bike ride started with two friends texting. My friend who was abroad in Florence had come back to the city in late May, and we had been catching up ever since. During one of our exchanges, she mentioned how she wanted to go biking along the Hudson. I really liked the sound of it because I hadn’t biked in more than a year. I rode the Citi Bike in my freshman year once and I really didn’t like how the seat left a bruising feeling on my butt bone :/… But I guess that happens to everyone who hasn’t ridden a bike in a while!
My friend and I used NYU’s free bike share system, where you register online and take a short quiz after watching an educational video about biking. We went to Greenwich Residence Hall to get the remaining bikes, and turned out that there were only two left! Such luck. But don’t even let me get into the details because after one failed bike, after getting heavy bikes off the wall, putting the broken bike back on the wall – let’s just say that it was a gross moment of sweating and wishing that I was a six feet tall person with the arms of a giant. Literally, I used all my power to lift it, and after not being able to put the broken bike back on the wall-rack, my friend had to help me. It was a really great team effort.
Here’s my review of the NYU bike share bikes: They are heavy, old, rusted… Some of them are broken, and with the one I was riding, the breaks weren’t fully functioning. The seat also would not be lowered anymore, so I had to resort to stopping the bike with my tippy toes. I’m 5’3″. Yeah, you get the picture. But I’m glad NYU even offers such a program because without it, I would’ve had to use Citi Bikes again and look like a tourist — Just kidding. I don’t mind looking like a tourist. The thing about Citi Bikes that I don’t like is that it make you put down a security deposit of $101. As much as I understand the reasoning behind the deposit, I didn’t want to worry about my bank account the whole bike ride. Hence, NYU bike share!
Also, shoutout to Soul Cycle for being in every corner of Manhattan because without them, my friend and I would’ve died of thirst. It was right after we left Greenwich Hall, sweating and trying to figure out how the heck the helmet worked. We hadn’t even started biking yet, but I sure was thirsty. I even imagined quenching my thirst with Hudson’s very own contaminated-looking water.
The first route we took was north. Up to Whitney Museum we went. There were so many people there that I wanted to hop off my bike and go explore what the draw was. It was a wonderfully sunny day after all and so many families, friends, tourists, and couples were out and about in the Meatpacking district. And plus: NYU students get free admission to Whitney (and several other museums, including MoMA). I seriously need to start taking advantage of NYU perks more.
Then we decided it was time to go South again. And that’s when the magic began. We had decided at the last moment to continue South, beyond Morton Street. One split decision, and a whole new adventure begins!
The Hudson bike path took us straight to Battery Park. After what seemed like a slew of professional bikers “honking” at us to get out of their way, after seeing some great sceneries of people having pure fun, after discovering several basketball courts, tennis courts, and a skateboarding park, my friend and I saw the end of the path and the beginning of the tip of Manhattan: Battery Park.
I haven’t been to Battery in about two years, I think. It was when my grandmother and uncle from Korea visited my family that we went to Battery. And that was the same summer I realized I may not be immune to motion sickness.
But reminiscing aside, the view was incredible. We walked around the Battery Park Fair, which offered a mix of cosmopolitan and hipster trade. We had some iced tea (i put a little too much “simple syrup” in mine and regretted it after the first sip). We talked while sitting on a bench and sipping on our iced teas. Then decided to walk around a little more. That’s when we saw the Swedish Midsummer Festival leftovers, with blue and yellow ribbons hanging from tree branches. Although the path was only a small portion of Battery Park, it helped me get a taste of festivities that go around the world – how summer is celebrated by other cultures. Also, it’d be nice to visit Sweden. I heard they have great healthcare.
It’s so nice to relax and be spontaneous sometimes – especially when you’re subjected to the busyness of New York City. I’m looking forward to the next time I go biking along the Hudson!