I’ve been secretly cheating on New York City. I think it was more of an emotional affair; visiting other towns during evenings and weekends. Daydreaming of another city during the week, longing to return to its embrace. We had taken one another for granted and I even considered leaving but couldn’t imagine life without it. I decided to reawaken the love of my hometown by exploring the city; embracing its diversity, excitement and resilience. Somehow we lost our way with the daily pressures of living full throttle in this city. I wanted to see NY in its purest form, explore the body of its streets and the pulse of its people. I wanted to know if it loved me back and decided to enlist another childhood love (a bike); hoping that it too had not turned its back on me because of my fear and indifference.
On May 1, 2011, I began my journey in the 5 Boro Bike Tour with 32,000 other lovers of bikes and streets. I was determined, excited and woefully unprepared. With a bike more suitable for Mother Goose on a supermarket run than someone about to embark on a 43-mile journey, I set off from Battery Park. As I pedaled furiously, being passed by the elderly and small children alike, I immediately knew that this was going to be more difficult than I had anticipated. My beach cruiser and I traveled the length of Manhattan and crossed the bridge into the Bronx. Note to self: bridges are really steep and those gear things have a purpose so you need more than three!