The temperature is in the forties. Groundhogs will be groundhogs, but cycling is an outdoor activity and at this time of year I take my opportunities where I see ‘em.
There's plenty of snow on the street.
Forget that that's a dumb ass reason to begin with, the sight of this unplowed entrance already gives me my answer...
The path itself actually looks better than it did a couple of days ago.
Forward - Return(dread)2 = Go Back Now.
When I get to the 1st Promenade, its clear there's no ascending.
I double down, returning to the River in the hopes there may be a way up to the 2nd Promenade. In spite of the fact that the road to the tennis courts was barely navigable last time (and we've had another storm since then), in spite of the fact that there are virtually no other cyclists around, in spite of the fact that the path now looks like this:
"This is your opportunity to experience disappointment."
(Expectation - Reality = Disappointment)
It didn't feel like such a great opportunity then. And it doesn't now.
The thing about this sallying forth on my own, is that if something happens it's not just me I have to think about; I also have a bike. I cannot just ditch Janet (whose fault this was not by the way). I'm at around 96th Street I think. The next ramped exit isn't till 72nd st. I start walking, wheeling Janet with my good arm, feeling a little faint. Water, and the need to keep going bring me around.
Meanwhile, I veer between panic at my situation, and shame at my recklessness. I have some great rides ahead of me I've been planning for months. Will this be the end of them? Will it be the end of my riding?
We are headed towards Beasty Hill. Which has some metal plates that are slippery as hell.
I navigate carefully up (that's the only way you can do it) hoping to avoid another injury. I'm wondering if I can fit Janet in a taxi. But I know I'm headed to the ER where her presence will only add to their chaos - and my stress. Then I remember that my mother's apartment is nearby.
How could I have been so foolish?! One little fall can change everything! I continue to flagellate myself thus (with the good hand) until the following night when I run into a cyclist who says simply, "If you hadn't fallen you wouldn't be stupid." Huh. I guess that's true. And falls happen to everybody (though mostly I live in denial about it). But the best way to reduce your chances of falling is to avoid situations like this. Which won't be hard because the 6 more weeks of Winter we're expecting will be pretty much the time I need to heal.
Surprisingly, this fall has not made me more fearful - or less. I't seems that fear has a life of its own; it needs to be faced on a daily basis. And that's my plan, with one modification. The new equation:
Fear + Courage - foolhardiness = Smart Riding
*Disclaimer: BikeNY advocates for bike safety. They never advised riding in these conditions. That was my big idea...