This past weekend I went up to New York City to meet up with friend. I always like to see new things each time I go, along with partaking in some of my favorite things (usually food related). This time, one of my new adventures included renting a bike and riding all over Central Park. The day was beautiful, not typical August hot at all, the bike rental place was packed and we were ready, except for a lingering concern over what we would do with our shopping bags from a little bit of morning splurging.
Eureka! We could request baskets! Now we looked super cool and sporty, completely upright on a heavy bike with a basket full of purchases.
"Where are our helmets?" My friend just laughed at me, then realized I was serious.
"If you want to wear a helmet, go ahead. I'm not. You have to be younger than 14 to wear one."
Wait a minute. Why is my head less important than the 14 and under crowd? In my home state, EVERYONE has to wear a helmet. All the time. It's completely normal. In her state (Florida, naturally...the place of my birth), nobody needs a helmet. Everybody's head is basically an egg, ready to crack, at the first accident. I sucked it up and went helmet-less. I was living on the edge. I felt rebel free.
The photo above is a Hans Christian Andersen statue in the park, near the famous Alice in Wonderland statue. I would have pictured her, but there were approximately 14 million children, and adults, climbing all over her. So I went with Hans. I would have stood in the photo with him, but I was likely bent over, trying to catch my breath. Central Park, especially upper Central Park, has some hills, man. Long ones. I did not expect that. I immediately realized, as if I hadn't known this before, that I am not cut out for the Tour de France. It's good to know certain things about yourself.
The soreness from riding bikes for three hours that afternoon lingered over the next couple of days. I don't think, however, that the pain overshadowed the overpowering smell of urine and body odor that emanated from a summery New York City about every four feet. A couple of cocktails, though, helped with everything.