Daring the Elements for a Cold Bike Ride on New Year’s Eve

Because of the extremely cold weather over this holiday break, I haven’t been able to be on my bike since last Tuesday; under other circumstances, I would’ve ridden nearly every day. Today—Sunday, New Year’s Eve day—I finally put on my quilted pants; added several upper layers to my torso; stretched my navy-blue balaclava over my head and face; zipped up my down parka; and ventured in to Riverside Park on my old Trek cycle. It’s 16˚ outside, and my hands—in full gloves on the handlebar grips— were deeply cold and hurting in 10-12 minutes. By then, I was pedaling northward in to the wind on the Cherry Walk alongside the Hudson River, and though The Great Gray Bridge beckoned in upper Manhattan, I circled back south. Again, I’d have usually taken some photographs, but today, wincing with hand pain, I was just relieved that I hadn’t gotten far from home when I turned around, after barely a fifth of a standard bike ride. I dismounted momentarily to take this frigid selfie, and am back indoors now, thinking with concern about people who have nowhere “indoors” to go, and all manner of creatures who, warm- or cold-blooded, are assigned by nature and evolution the task of trying to endure despite elements that work against their survival.

In that vein, during the years I had my dear black Lab Noah, I wrote a poem titled “Creature Comforts,” which I’ve photographed and pasted in  below, along with a picture of me and Noah. I was then in school at Franconia College, where temps of 35˚ below zero were known to happen, and I thought a lot in those days about how creatures survived, or didn’t, in the wild.

Since I wasn’t able to take anywhere my usual allotment pictures on this last day of 2017, I’m gonna share a substantial gallery of bike ride photos taken during the year that ends this day, such as this handful.

Happy New Year, may 2018 be be an improvement on 2017!

Favorite October Bike Ride Photos

It’s been a beautiful autumn so far, and almost every day I encounter amazing light and views along the Hudson River during my bike rides. Here are some of my favorites.

Days Getting Longer & Sunsets Lasting Longer

For the first time this year in NYC, the sunset fell after 8pm last night, a kind of celestial milestone on the way to the Summer Solstice June 20th. I pedaled along the Cherry Walk and took a lot of pictures down there along the Hudson River, as the daylight ebbed away, amid a prolonged symphony of color and light. Here’s a thumbnail of those photos just now added to my Flickr album that’s labeled GGB/Sunsets/Hudson. Please visit there for a full sampling of images

Photos from the Wild, Windy Edge of March

Monday dawned gray, rainy, and chilly in New York City. Yet, by around 3pm a new weather front had blown in from the south—in itself unusual—laced with rising barometric pressure, wind gusts that exceeded 40 mph, racing clouds, whitecaps on the Hudson River, higher temperatures, and bright sunshine that lasted until well after 7pm. I was out on my bike as the weather shifted, and despite getting pushed around like a paper sailboat on a lake, I managed to pedal along the river all the way up to what I call Hudson Beach and the Great Gray Bridge. Here are my best pictures from the hours that I enjoyed riding around and reveling in the elements.

Catching a Precious Part of the Day, Pictures March 9 2016

With March advancing toward mid-month, Iit keeps getting dark later everyday, and on a fine day such as this one was, it was light until past 6:30. I’ve been under the weather, and so not riding my bike this week, but I got down to the Hudson River for the first time in several days late this afternoon, leaving my home office after 5:00. I left work on my desk, lest I lose the chance to see how today’s sunset would turn out, and I wondered if I’d catch much of the light. As many who know me and this blog may attest, I have an appetite for late afternoon light. The amazing thing about living on the west side of Manhattan? We happen to have great sunsets, especially right at the river edge, or standing on the bluff above in Riverside Park, peering across to the river, with New Jersey on the far shore, and the rest of the continent beyond. I live near the park, and appreciate this practically every day. My appreciation of the neighborhood—the enchanted landscape and majestic bridge amid all the urban-ness, with people running, biking, walking dogs, plus the noise, aircraft overhead, traffic rushing by on the West Side Highway, and the light—began in 1990. I moved to the upper west side that year and had a Senior Editor job with Prentice Hall Press, then a division of Simon & Schuster. PHP staff were located—not in Rockefeller Center as S&S was, and is still—but in the office tower just north of Columbus Circle known then as the Gulf & Western Building. I had a small office with a window that invited me to peer westward across the Hudson, out toward America. We were on a pretty high floor, above the thirtieth, and it used to really sway in heavy weather. They do that, one hears, but it felt a bit like being on a ship. The building overlooked Central Park on the side away from my office, a great nabe to work in from July 1990-July 1991.

Quick as I could, I scrambled down there on foot and found the light this evening was extraordinary, and still evolving as a long drawn out event. These picture were taken near the Oscar Hijuelos Tennis Courts, the handsome clay ones, located along Manhattan’s west side river at around 96th St. It was one of the finest sunsets in all the years I’ve been photographing the Great Gray Bridge, the shore, upper Manhattan, the New Jersey side, always reveling in the light and atmosphere, and it lasted longer than most. You may click here to see more from tonight. And, if you want to see more photos like these, you can visit my flickr album labeled “GGB/sunsets/Hudson.”

Pictures of the Week along the Hudson River—Sunsets, Clouds, and the Great Gray Bridge

Although today’s temperature is 17 degrees, several days in the past week I was able to ride my bike along the Hudson River and got some great pictures. I hope you enjoy these views!

A New Flickr Album Chock-full of Hudson River and Great Gray Bridge Photos

As readers of this blog may’ve noticed, I am fond of photographing the George Washington Bridge, the Hudson River, and sunsets along the shoreline on my regular bike rides in upper Manhattan. While I post many of those photographs in my social media accounts (on my Instagram; Facebook; and Twitter accounts), in truth I take more pictures than I can reasonably share on those platforms. Not all are good, but enough are that the circumstance motivated me to start a Flickr album I’ve labeled GGB/sunsets/Hudson as a repository for the greater bulk of those photos. If you enjoy those pictures, as many friends tell me they do, I invite you to visit the Flickr album for many more views of the sort like the ones shown here..