03 February 2011

Back on the Bike!

Operation Mass Transit took a break because January was Sick Month around here. Actually, it started in December, but I won't bore you with what my colleague calls an organ recital.

Except for this: I made the mistake of thinking I wasn't going to get better. And then suddenly I was.

The bike path on the Manhattan side of the East River, under the bridges, was almost mine alone tonight. One or two joggers, a couple of people sitting on benches, but otherwise just my own shadow chasing itself as I passed the street lights, and the water a flicker of colored lights refracted and reflected from buildings on the Brooklyn side.

Years ago, The Mate filmed a scene for a movie under there. Our Hero, riding his bike, got doored* and ended up in the hospital, where the wife and the girlfriend ran into each other visiting him.

I was line producing the movie -- low-budget, of course -- and my job to prepare for shooting that scene was to drive around the city looking for discarded mattresses to pad the actor's impact. Yep: before bed-bugs became the scourge they are today.

Soon enough, the days will get longer and warmer and I'll be sharing the path again with joggers, fishermen, tai chi devotees, pedestrians, children, shopping carts, and who knows what other manifestations of humanity. For now, I'm enjoying the solitary ride and putting up with the icy wind.

*getting doored is when you're riding along, minding your own business, and someone in a parked car opens a door right in front of you. Depending on speed of travel and reaction time, you might stay upright and maybe eat some handlebar as you scream to a stop just in time; or you might slam into the just-opened door and end up on the pavement on the other side. No, this is not urban legend.