I don't have a tradition of riding on New Year's Day. I like to start my year that way, but it hasn't always been possible. There were New Year's Days on which I was in one place but my bike(s) were someplace else. Or, I woke up late or hungover, or there was snow or ice on the road. And then there were the times I couldn't get myself out of bed. I blame those who were in bed with me for that!
Anyway, today I woke up late, but felt fairly good. The weather wasn't terribly cold, but it was windy (30MPH/50KPH gusts). The forecasters said the wind would die down later in the day. So I spent some time calling friends and family members, and doing a little work on my latest project.
Then, in the middle of the afternoon, I got out for an easy ride. Parts of it, at one time, were part of my commute. It includes a few short climbs that aren't really steep but can seem so if you had to stop for a traffic light or two, and therefore didn't build any momentum, before climbing. Or if you're riding a single-speed, as I did yesterday. Not Tosca, my Mercian fixie. Instead, I took the LeTour, which has one gear.
I wound along some side streets in my neighborhood--Astoria--toward the East River, in the hope of seeing the whale that wandered into it. No such luck: Either it had wandered back out or was hiding in the depths. At least, that's what I hope.
(By the way, the East River, which separates Brooklyn and Queens from Manhattan, is not a river. It's really a tidal estuary. It was called a river because of a mapmaker's error.)
Anyway, I followed the bike lane along 20th Avenue toward LaGuardia Airport. Just to the east of the terminals, I picked up the World's Fair Promenade along Flushing Bay and pedaled through Flushing to the North Shore.
I guess I shouldn't have been surprised that the streets, no matter where I rode, were nearly deserted: Not only was it New Year's Day, it was Sunday. And, although it was fairly mild, at least for this time of year (45F/8C) and the sun made an appearance, the weather didn't seem to entice many people to go outside.
One thing I love about cycling is that I can ride through an area I've ridden many times before and, by taking a turn, discover something new.
I came upon this "entrance" to a park at the end of a street in Bayside, near St. Mary's Hospital. I was ready to duck under that tree and, maybe ride on a dirt path or two--until I got closer and saw the fence behind it.
Actually, the entrance is on the other end of the park--not far away, but not as much of an adventure as entering under a tree!
I couldn't complain, though, about the way my first ride, on the first day of the year, ended:
So I didn't do a , as I did one New Year's Day during my youth. But I didn't have to.