21 November 2018

I Ride My Bike To Release Stress. Really!

Tomorrow I will be thankful for at least one thing:  I didn't have to travel, at least not long-distance, today.  I still commuted, but at least I didn't have to navigate crowded airports or rail terminals.

For the most part, my commute is pretty stress-free, as much of it takes me through Randalls Island.  There are a couple of traffic "hot zones" near the entrance to the RFK-Triborough Bridge and where I cross Bruckner Boulevard, underneath the elevated "express"way.  (I use the quotation marks because I will not call a roadway "express" if the traffic is as likely as not to be at a standstill!)  Those places were more chaotic than usual and, aside from Randalls Island, I saw more traffic--and more Stupid Driver and Stupid Pedestrian Tricks just about everywhere.

So, I could say that my commute today was more stressful than it usually is.  Still, I suppose it's less stressful than being stuck in traffic, and I know it's less stressful than being on a packed subway train.  Even so, I'd say that this morning's commute was one of the more stressful ones I've experienced.  I probably will say the same about my commute home.

Jon Orcutt, a longtime advocate for cycling and urban mobility in general, tweeted about a stressful ride he took.  It didn't take him by the Port Authority Bus Terminal or Penn Station. (When I was a wee thing, I thought the Lord's Prayer pleaded, "And lead us not into Penn Station..") Instead, it led him across Manhattan:

Yes, he was on a brand-new "protected" bike lane on the side of 13th Street.  I have experienced things in "protected" bike lanes:  In fact, I had to dodge two trucks pulling in and out of factories, parents dropping off their kids in a pre-school and some impatient driver who thought the Willow Avenue bike path was a passing lane--never mind that it's lined with stanchions:

and that's just in five blocks, from 133rd to 138th Street.  Then, at 138th, I had to turn and make that crossing of Bruckner.

Oh well.  I guess I still got to work less stressed-out than most other commuters--and certainly less stressed-out than anyone who's flying, taking long-distance trains or buses, or driving so they can sit tomorrow with their families and stuff themselves with stuffed turkey and a whole bunch of other stuff.  Then they'll stress themselves over the weight they've gained--and, possibly, about whether they'll get any great bargains on "Black Friday".


  1. I thought it was a day for families to chat about politics... Enjoy.

  2. Have a happy (and safe!) Thanksgiving, Justine!

  3. Mike--Thank you. I hope you had a happy and safe Thanksgiving, too!

    Coline--Have you ever heard of "flying food"? That's what results from political discussions at some Thanksgiving dinner tables!