It's not exactly quiet. There's the thump of traffic on the FDR overhead, the clatter and rattle of trains on the East River bridges, and the occasional thwack of a helicopter taking off.
But ending my day biking next to the East River in the dark is, somehow, incredibly peaceful. I'm alone, or close to it -- a state seldom possible in New York City.
I check the temperature on the Watchtower building and shiver a little; I glance up at the stream of light flickering its way across the Manhattan Bridge, I pedal along mesmerized by the constantly shifting colors reflecting off the water in the river.
Spring will come. Days will lengthen, temperatures will rise, the joggers and the fishermen, the lovers and the loiterers will return. I will appreciate not having to bundle up against the cold, not arriving home with chilled ears and fingers and toes. But I will miss that solitude. Right now, I find I am enjoying the winter.