As a bicycle lover, I always wanted to ride bicycle in New York. As it was winter season when I’d arrived here, I had to wait until the winter is over. As the spring begun a month ago, I had been telling my friend to make a plan for cycling. The wait was over finally on April 18.
I always wanted to start early for any trip but end up waiting for my friends to get ready! This plan was no exception! I’d got ready and was waiting for my friends to start from their place & finally I’d started from my place an hour before it was noon. I’d reached New York port authority bus terminal, only difference was I was not in formal wear as I do everyday to office.
As soon as I reached I was wandering the streets and went to times square just to pass time until my friends reached NY. As they reached I’d boarded the car and together we came across few streets to find parking. One main thing to keep in mind if you are visiting New York on a weekend in your car is that you need to either reserve your parking in advance or you need to know which street has meter parking for longer hours.
For those who like to know more about parking in New York is that there are several types are parking available in New York. We cannot park cars anywhere we want, like we do it in India, There will be selective portion in road which are allowed for public and it will be allowed for 3 hours, on weekend some streets will allow maximum of 6 hours, if your plan exceeds 6 hours, you need to renew or add more hours after the 6 hour is over. There will be meters placed on streets, you need to enter the number of hours you need to park and pay through card, Once the receipt is printed, it needs to be placed in front of driver seat and it should be visible for cops. Else penalty/ticket (fine) will be issued.
So we roamed around few streets and finally found a place to park. But we were already moved ahead of the parking place, so I got down with Ananth’s friend and we both were holding the parking place by standing in the parking space on road, It was like holding place for your friends in movie hall or in bus 😀 Ananth had to go around few streets to get back to the same road again, we cannot simply take a reverse to park even though it was a few steps or one car space ahead of the parking space.
We then walked to a cycle shop on 56th street and rented 3 bicycles. We’d booked it already through mobile. It was $20/Day through an offer. Else the prices were different. We then headed to a Subway nearby to have lunch. As it was cycling day we didn’t want to eat heavily as it would ruin our cycling mood.
I felt awesome when I started riding the cycle, it’s after 6 months I’m riding a cycle. When I rented the cycle it reminded the days when I use to ask 50 paise and 1 rupee from my mom when I was at school. I use to rent cycle for one hour and roam around streets of Hosur enjoying with my friends, every now and then we use to go to the cycle shop and ask the owner ‘Anna how many mins left?‘ and then go on to the streets again. 🙂
Similarly I took the cycle here and only difference I don’t have to visit the shop to ask for the hours as I have a watch now and also it’s rented for a full day. The lady asked us to return the cycle by 10 PM. When I’d left the shop the time was 2:15 noon. After lunch we started from Subway around 2:50.
The rental shop lady gave us New York city map for cycle route, central park map & another brochure with rules for cycling in New York (which I read the next day :D), the only rule I have for cycling is enjoy the ride without causing trouble to commuters. As I started form the shop my friends asked me to carry water bottles in a bag for which I said no! may be they didn’t ride cycle for so many years now and had forgotten how painful it will be to ride cycle carrying bag at your back. As these cycles didn’t had carriers at back I didn’t want to carry it in my shoulder. Since I’ve done that during my school days I knew I won’t enjoy the ride if I carry load, so phew!!!! Kept the bag in car and headed to park.
Central park starts from 59th street to 110th street. It is the biggest greenery spot in New York City, One cannot believe New York City, the concrete jungle has such a beautiful place in center of the city. It was heavily crowded and streets were full of people 🙂 It was so nice to see the city with more people in streets. As the weather on that day was awesome city was heavily crowded and it was full of people. As we entered the park, we started riding cycle in the cycling track, the road/track in central park is the place for cycling, running, walking, roller skates and much more. On weekdays public transportation is allowed but on weekends it’s strictly for the above said purpose.
As I started riding cycle I was so amazed by being in central park, secondly I was riding cycle, so I felt very happy when I headed in the track. As it’s spring season, there were blossoms at many places. Some trees with white flowers and some with pink. When I kept riding I saw a place where people were looking through a fence. I wanted to look what it was, but my friends were not interested… haha! I said I’ll look at that and I had headed to that fence… Wow! It was a ground and it was full of people! It looked awesome! People were with their family and their loved ones. Just like a picnic spot in movies, they were sitting on a blanket and enjoying their time. Many were with bikini and taking sun bath. The kids were playing, people were playing frisbee. It reminded me the days I played frisbee with my sister and cousins at Marina beach, Chennai.
You can find so many birds and squirrel in the park, there was a tortoise too! There is a zoo in the park which I didn’t visit. I then moved on to enjoy some guys who were playing guitar and singing. People were sitting, resting and enjoying that. I spent a few minutes near a small pond and then moved on. The cycle track/the road in park is full of ups and down (don’t wave your thoughts about the quotes now, life is full of up and down :D). So many trees in the park which reduces the noise from the outer streets. I kept riding, there was a small water falls, swimming pool (which didn’t had water, I think it’ll be filled in summer), a very big lake, two playing grounds, a very big open place filled with grass to sit and rest.
It took one hour ten minutes for me to complete the first round, As I’d stopped at many places to enjoy the spots it took this time in first lap. I then started with the second lap and rode slowly and enjoyed the lap time was 4:50, end of 3rd lap 5:35, end of 4th lap 6:30, there was a CNN news display at one point in the track from where I saw the time every time I wwas near the end of lap. For every lap I’d stopped at the lake and asked someone else to take me pics. At 4th lap I took a off road and walked in a small hill inside the park near a waterfall, that spot was very nice. It looked like one of the track which I’d played in NFS.
Then during 5th lap I bought some snacks which were costly than what we get outside the park, even the water bottle! It was $3 inside the park with just a difference in shape but was costly for that price. But there were drinking water spots in park which is very neatly maintained. There was another spot in the park to sit which is so close to another lake, it was so peaceful, we can sit there for hours just to enjoy the beauty.
I’d completed 5th lap and then called my friend who asked me to come directly to the rental shop, so after 5 hours of cycling I met my friends 😀 Gave back the cycle and felt so happy for riding cycle for a a long time… Time was 8:15 when I returned the cycle, so from 3:00 – 8:15 I rode cycle in Central Park. All that I was wondering was I didn’t felt pain or I didn’t sweat a lot. Just that last lap I rode fast in a steep hilly track in park, otherwise I rode slowly and enjoyed every lap.
I then headed to bus terminal and reached home at 10:30, had dinner and went to bed. It was at 3 am, when I turned upside down and bent my leg 😥 😥 my god! I couldn’t bend my leg 😀 😀 I felt pain at 3 AM. I woke up and went to wash room, did a small warm up to make ease to legs. Did few sit ups 😀 haha… it was like doing dumb-bells at gym the very first day thinking rock and john cena and ending up with pain in hands. But I rode it slowly, may be the longer hours caused the pain. I then slept at 4:30 AM. As soon as I woke up I wanted to check the area of the central park to know the miles I’d rode. I was so surprised to know it was 6.1 mile a lap and that I’d rode 30.5 miles which is 49.1 kms. 🙂 🙂 🙂 I was so surprised that I rode cycle for so many miles without even knowing! And now planning to do it once a month until the season is over 🙂
Plan for cycling in Central Park if you visit the city. You can rent cycle per hour, 2 hours and so on. Check websites for rental cycle and make your plan.