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Reflections from the Five Boro Bike Ride

Today, I rode my trusty Dutch bicycle through four of NYC’s five boroughs for the Five Boro Bike Tour. Due to a pressing workload I didn’t make it all the way to Staten Island, but I still had an amazing time.

Unlike most of the 32,000 official participants in the bike ride, I didn’t wear spandex nor an official green race vest. I attached my vest to the front of my bicycle, and wore a cool Sunday outfit of a linen skirt and white shirt. My three cycling companions also bucked the spandex, wearing streets clothes to prove that you don’t need to have special gear to enjoy a bike ride.

I rode my elegant black steed, a vintage-style Dutch bicycle. It’s single-speed, which slowed me a bit on all the bridges, but was otherwise as comfortable and swift as it could be. It also brought comments – “beautiful bicycle” – “nice day for a ride” – and “That’s what I’m talking about!” when I was cruising down the Queensboro Bridge, chocolate chip cookie in hand. Perhaps the best moment was when I was crossing the Pulaski Bridge from Queens to North Brooklyn, and a man started speaking to me in Dutch. I had to tell him I didn’t speak the language but am a fan of their bicycles. What fun.

I saw a few fixies but otherwise, no other bikes quite like mine. Although it was incredible to be among so many fellow cyclists – taking over 6th Ave, Central Park, the FDR Parkway and more, next time, I hope to see a few more Dutch bicycles – sitting upright, no cramped shoulders or arms, it is an incredible way to see the city.

Me and my bicycle in McGolrick Park. Photo by Dimitry Gudkov.

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