For someone who's lived as long as I've lived in New York, I really haven't done much cycling in Central Park. Even during the eight years I lived in Manhattan, I seldom ventured into Frederick Law Olmstead's masterpiece of urban landscaping.
I guess part of the reason why I didn't do many laps around Strawberry Fields and the lake is that, well, riding or running in the park seemed like such a New York cliche. Being a reel Noo Yawkuh (and being young and full of testosterone and alcohol, among other things), I thought I was just too cool for that.
Actually, I came up with some pretty good reasons not to ride in the park: Most of the times when I could ride there, the lanes were choked with other cyclists, runners, joggers, women (and, occasionally, men) pushing strollers and, ahem, the bane of every New Yorker's existence: those dreaded, dratted tourists! Later, inline skaters would be added to the mix. And, it seemed, nobody watched where he or she was going, especially the skaters.
The funny thing was that everything I just said could also be said about Prospect Park in Brooklyn. But I rode there far more often than I rode in Central Park. Part of the reason for that was that I lived very close to Prospect during my eleven years in Park Slope. Also, when I was living there, I had begun to do a lot of fixed-gear riding, and Prospect was nearly perfect for that. Plus, being a bit older, I think I'd become a bit more tolerant of tourists and such.
Anyway, what got me to thinking about Central Park was a photo I came across:
|Photo by Faungg on Flickr|