Monday, April 21, 2014

Citibikes in NYC!

I spent my spring break in early April in Philadelphia at an educational research conference. On a light conference day, my hubby and I took the train up to New York City with the idea that we would get around on the new ride share bike program called Citbike. We wanted to see the new World Trade building, cross the Brooklyn Bridge and explore the area near the Hudson River.
The bikes are very sturdy and heavy

They need many kiosks with tens of bikes in this city!
Bike path near the Hudson River and lower Manhatten

World Trade One (under construction still)

 Brooklyn Bridge

 Statue of Liberty

Another view from the Brooklyn Bridge of Lower Manhattan

We rode over 15 miles that day with beautiful clear skies with temps about 58. Citbike will be a great bike-sharing program, but there are still some bugs to get out. You can only check out the bikes fror 30 minutes at a time. In a city like NYC, you do not make much riding progress with all the lights. The best area to ride is around the river. If you go to NYC you can go back and forth from various places in Manhattan to the river bike paths where cycling is safe. You also need to be aware that the bike Kiosks for cycling bikes in and out is finicky. We lost some time and were frustrated at times by this slow process and had to call the 1-800 number several times to get our bike properly checked in. But, all in all, I would do it again. I have been to NYC maybe 4 or 5 times in my life. This was the first time, I traveled up top, meaning we never used the subways or underground, except coming into Penn station by the train.  Glorious views of the City from the bike, but, and this is a big one, you have to really watch the volume of cars!


Updates, spring and cycling

Happy Easter and Happy Spring! 
We had a very, very slow start to spring this year in Minnesota. However, yesterday (Easter Sunday!) was glorious! About 65 degrees, sunny and calm winds. We were going to do our Easter dinner spread inside, but with such lovely weather, we moved everything outdoors and ate outside for the first time in 6 months. According to Paul Douglas, our Minnesota meteorologists “this past winter was the toughest since 1983-84 for the Twin Cities, factoring persistence of cold and quantity of snow.” Here is a graph of the amount of snow we had. I like winter, a lot actually, but this one was too long for me.

My spring cycling and training has been inconsistent at best. I have logged 733 miles, with many of those on my trainer. Outdoor cycling has been fraught with low temperatures and cold. I do not do well cycling below 20 decrees on a bike even with good winter cycling gear. Here are a few pictures of our slow march into spring in the Upper Midwest:
March 29, 2014, near our cabin in NW Wisconsin, riding in 45 degrees 
March 30, 2014: Minnehaha Falls in Minneapolis, 33 degrees
April 11 in Minneapolis: Lake Harriett still frozen about 50 degrees
Crex Meadows, WI, April 13, 2014 (37 degrees)
April 21, 2014: LAke Harriett open and 72 degrees!
I am hopeful a real spring trend is on the way now. The cold weather means that for me I have struggled with cold induced asthma, which has also slowed my training down. I am behind in my training miles for the Seattle to Portland ride, but hopeful that I can log more miles as our warming trend continues.

Hope the weather near you is warm and inviting for outdoor activity!