It wasn't just to prove a point that I rode to family celebrations in lower Manhattan yesterday, Christmas day.
If I had not, it would have been the third day in a row I had used motorized transport to get into lower Manhattan. And I was really bored with it.
It was a lovely day when I hatched my scheme to use Tiggy's old wagon to carry all the Xmas gifts, and attach it to the back of my bike for my 10 or so mile trip across the George Washington Bridge, and down the Greenway to Jane St. in the Village.
For one, the southern bike path to the bridge was open. This would not have been possible had it been ironically any of the summer months this year or last, when the southern path was closed. With my trailer, I would have been unable to climb or descend the stairs.
I made it easily past all of the narrow points on the bridge, and then through the streets on 177th, 178th and 179th Streets, over to the Greenway.
The ride down was gorgeous with the sun lighting the way, and little "traffic". There were few pedestrians and even fewer cyclists on the Greenway. I was posed as a cycling Santa in my red and white bike jersey, with FAO Schwartz bags piled in the back carryiing toys for my niece and nephew.
Other cyclists smiled: they understood that carrying all your 'schtuff' for the holiday in the back of your bike was a noble cause: One Less Car, and a few less pounds for me.
I had a strong light outfitted on the front of my bike in case it would be dark on the way back, but I am glad I came back when the light was still there. I got a chance to see the most beautiful winter scenery, with contrasting colors, geese grazing, and fisherman fishing.
As I got back to the GWB, the light had finally fallen: my only close call was trying to ride west against traffic along 177th St. because my wagon was too wide for the sidewalk: Two drivers saw my light, but chose to come too close too fast, it seemed on purpose to "teach me a lesson" that I should not be on the road. I saw their overly consumptive bodies as they passed, and wondered if they weren't a touch envious, as I proceeded, unscathed, to the bridge entrance.
They have no idea how much they missed. Wouldn't it be nice if we could all go to Xmas like this?