Dad got a new bike right around his birthday. You knew that, right? He and mom have been trying to ride a little more lately, and I wanted to get in on the fun! Dad wanted to go to Riverside Park, which is on the upper west side of Manhattan — it’s a park literally along the Hudson River, and it’s split in parts by a highway. It runs really long — from the 70s to the 150s. Fun fact: I interviewed someone for New Yorkers for Parks at Riverside Park!
Let’s be clear: the ride to the park was NOT glamorous. We had to fit three bikes in the car, and mom and dad decided not to use the bike rack, so I shared the trunk of the car with 3 heavy, large, metal friends. Literally contorting my body to fit into the car was an event. And figuring out a way to sit that wasn’t wholly uncomfortable was a challenge. Most of the ride was me, hunched over (couldn’t sit up straight), with one leg extended out in front of me and the other crunched up, sitting perpendicular to the direction the car was driving. #ComfortAtItsMax
We found a spot on the UWS to park, I stretched my poor body, we unloaded my bike friends, and we pedaled to the park entrance. Right after I took this pic, a French lady came by and told us a tip about which path to travel down, and mom responded, “Merci beaucoup!” and made sure I heard her by following up: “Did you hear my French!?” You can’t see in the photo, but the path sloped down here. It was fun to ride down — and I couldn’t breathe after we rode back up at the end. #mis
This was our view for part of the ride — one side was the Hudson (with Jersey on the other side) and a bunch of rocks. Even though it was an overcast day (read: literally you sweat your body weight the second you step outside), it was really pretty! On the other side… we were riding next to the cars on the highway. Yippee!
I literally don’t know what I was taking a photo of on the left, but um, that’s grass… and on the right is me and mom after our first stop. At this point I was convinced I had lost EASILY 10 pounds in sweat and was confident I would need to burn all the clothes I was wearing (fun fact: I was riding your bike muahahah). After riding uptown for a bit (into the part near Harlem), we turned around to the 90s and 80s where it was a much nicer maintained park.
Look, we were on a pier! This is where we saw Bo, a 6-week-old puppy that was adopted THAT DAY and was the cutest, tiniest little thing in the whole universe and I told mom and dad I wanted THAT for my birthday but they said no and it was very deflating. Anyway, yes, that’s your dad wearing biking gloves. Didja know? Look how happy they are! Your parents are so cute!! So are mine!!
We biked for a few miles (nothing impressive, don’t worry) and then all relaxed on a bench and then found the cute pier above near the Boat Basin on 79th street (aka houseboat heaven-ish). Once we were done biking along the river, we had to ride back to street level (figure we were about 2 stories below street level). Once story up, the park was beautiful, wide pathways with grass in the middle — it reminded me of Eisenhower Park, if you know what I’m talking about. And the next level up is the street, Riverside Drive, a super ritzy street. The ascent was rough (recall the story about the hill earlier).
After the ride, we re-packed the car, grabbed lunch, walked around the ‘hood, spotted some Jewbies (the UWS is a popular spot for Modern Orthodox Jews), and climbed back into the car. I know you’re wondering, and yes, the ride back was more comfortable — although not ACTUALLY comfortable.
We ended the day with Ralph’s, obvs. Missed you!! But also unsure how we would have done this with another bike, both in terms of fitting in the car but also because I’m not sure where we’d get the 4th bike…