Yesterday was even milder than Thursday. I had a few things to do in the morning and early afternoon, so I didn't get out for a ride until mid-afternoon. By that time, the weather was spring-like, with a temperature around 10C (50F) and bright sunshine.
Since I knew my ride would be shorter than the one I did on Thursday, I took Tosca, my Mercian fixed-gear, out for the spin. I did the sort of ride I often do in such times: along the waterfront of "Hipster Hook"--the Brooklyn neighborhoods of Williamsburg and Greenpoint and the Queens environs of Long Island City and Astoria, where I live.
On the way back, I took a side-trip into Roosevelt Island. I enjoyed pedaling along the waterfront paths and around the lighthouse, but in one way that part of the ride could hardly have been more different from my trek to Point Lookout and back.
During yesterday's ride, the Rockaway Boardwalk and Atlantic Beach Bridge were deserted, and I saw fewer people on the Long Beach boardwalk, along with less traffic on the roadways, than one normally encounters on a weekday. On the other hand, all of the waterfront areas, especially on Roosevelt Island, were as full of visitors as a beach on a summer day. Many of those who were walking and taking selfies were, I imagine, tourists in town for tonight's celebrations. I wonder how many of them are paying hundreds of dollars a night in hotel fees for the privilege of arriving in Times Square twelve hours--with no backpacks or items-- before the ball drop and being forced to stand in the same spot for all of that time.
How do I plan to "ring out" the old year? I feel as if I have been, during the past few days, in rides that end in sunsets. Later, I'm going to hang out with a couple of friends who might or might not pay attention to the ball drop. Perhaps it's a sign of, ahem, midlife, that changing calendars seems less momentous than it did. The constants, whatever they are, seem more important. For me, they include, as they have for most of my life, cycling.