Yesterday was my birthday, and a lovely sunny day for it. I was told by my mother, when I was very young, that the 16th of March is one of the first days of spring, and therefore almost always warm and sunny, so I always feel a bit peeved and indignant if it turns out to be rainy.
One of the nice chaps I met on the bridge last week had kindly invited me to tag along with him during the day, so I headed down to Tribeca to wait for him. An unscheduled rear cassette issue meant he was about 20 minutes late, so I drank a coffee, sunbathed, and was asked for directions by no less than five passers-by, who had clearly mistaken me for a local bike messenger and assumed I knew my way round, which I didn’t. Ha.
(Ahhh, the familiar sight of bike, bag and coffee. I’m looking forward to going back to work on Friday…)
Drew finally arrived, and took me up to his office, which happened to have one of the best views I’ve seen yet.
We picked up a package, and headed uptown, along Hudson. After a few blocks, it made sense to both of us to stop for a bagel.
I’ve got into the habit of whipping out my camera whenever anyone puts food in front of me, and Drew seemed to think this was a good idea too. It reminded him of an evening when a photographer friend of his desperately needed two models at the last minute, and he and his girlfriend were drafted into a shoot for a restaurant, where they simply had to eat and drink for several hours, and be photographed doing so. Needless to say, I was awed to be in the presence of a bona fide food model, so insisted on taking this shot, which I’ll use for boasting purposes when he’s modelling caviar for Armani, and I can claim I knew him way-back-when.
We eventually got round to delivering the package. Postrooms seem to be the same the world over – and the elevator guy will always let you in without a murmur if you look like a bike messenger. Terrorism schmerrorism.
I took some grainy action shots.
They didn’t come out terribly well.
We got worms.
I followed him down to the river.
Then waved goodbye and headed north, along the Greenway, towards Washington Heights, right at the tip of Manhattan.
It was a long way.
At one point the road disappeared.
And the path crumbled away into the river.
But it resumed again after a couple of minutes.
I got all the way to the top of the island, turned round, and headed back down Broadway, which goes right from the top of Manhattan to the bottom. It’s a bit hillier up north, which means there are excellent views of Broadway sweeping down into the canyons of Midtown.
As I was passing Columbia, the bike started wobbling, and I heard that telltale FFFSSSSSSSSSSSSHHHHHHHHHhhhhhhhhh……… sound, followed by a rather alarming ting – ting – ting – ting. I was a bit worried I’d broken a spoke, or something more serious, but it turned out to be just a rather impressive Birthday Puncture.
It was easily fixed, thankfully.
But I’m glad I stopped in Toga Bikes, because my Condor got to make friends with a rather dishy brakeless number.
There was, regrettably, no birthday cake – but I made up for that this morning, with an apple cobbler cupcake from Crumbs.
And now I’m just killing time, waiting for the bus that will take me to the plane, that will take me to Heathrow, where the tube will take me back home, and then down to Brixton – where I’ll pick up my new bike, and embark on the next adventure!