Street Warrior

I have been a New York City bicycle rider for years. I have lost gallons of sweat on 5th avenue, right before passing the Public Library where I usually have to pass several express buses, have managed to avoid bike versus pedestrian collisions, frozen my fingers off in January and caught a sinus infection in the process, had some of my greatest insights while barreling through a Manhattan canyon and - yes - landed flat on my backside at the intersection of 34th and 2nd. (It was HIS fault, by the way, but that's beside the point, when you're riding a bike in New York City). I AM A STREET WARRIOR. To borrow a phrase from our president: Make No Mistake! Riding your bike in Manhattan IS WAR. I have won many battles and lost a few, and who knows about the eventual outcome, but so far so good. When riding a bike on the Great Avenues of this splendid city I tend to adhere to the infinite wisdom of Yoda, who gave Luke a very useful piece of advice in the marshes of the Dagobar system during the crucial "raising of the ship"-sequence. "Don't try. DO!" You either ride a bike, or you don't. There is no room for dawdling or dabbling. If you want to dawdle, go ride with the hordes in Central Park.

My bike is a sturdy beast that can sustain a dip into a pothole or the very unpleasant trip up the freshly stripped 1st Avenue, and my marbles are protected by a fire-red helmet. But I do know that it's dangerous. I have seen the white-painted bikes marking the sites of deadly accidents, and I have had my share of close calls. But I have also learned to assume that a) nobody sees me b) everybody around me is insane and c) will do unexpected and irrational things. Shifting my attitude that way has, strangely, also helped me get a handle on life in general. So, life lessons learned here are:
1) Don't try - DOOOOOO!!!!!
2) Everybody around me is insane!
3) And WILL do unexpected and irrational things!

And now I'll grab my black, duct-taped, aging bike and helmet, weather the late June heat and ride into the sunset on Park Avenue (ok, no sunset, but definitely Park! - it's sooooo wide!!!)

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