First posted July 9, 2014. Updated!
I used to be an athlete. I played summer soccer for seven years as a kid, and I played tennis all through high school. I also danced for eleven years.
Despite all those years of physical activity, I never seemed like an athlete. I wasn’t very coordinated in gym class, I couldn’t run a mile all that quickly, and don’t get me started on push-ups. While I was a decent soccer player and a decent dancer and a decent tennis player, I wasn’t great, so it’s unsurprising that by college all that stuff fell to the wayside. Barring a few months of working out sporadically in college, I avoided words like “treadmill” and “elliptical” and “weight-lifting” until about two years ago, when I joined a gym.
If the rain holds off this weekend, there is something all the New Yorkers reading this should check out on Saturday: Summer Streets. If you’re out of town, or it does rain, don’t worry — you’ll get another shot next the follow two Saturdays, 8/9 and 8/16.
Summer Streets is an event in Manhattan each summer where a long stretch of road is closed to car traffic for the morning, from 7 a.m. until 1 p.m., from the Brooklyn Bridge all the way up to Central Park. The route is almost seven miles long, and if you go to check it out, you can walk, run, bike, scoot, rollerblade, or basically use any non-motorized form of transportation to travel through the city.
When you were out and about this Sunday, did you notice thousands of bicyclists riding through the city? I was home sleeping in and after a busy Saturday, but apparently it was the annual Five Boro Bike Tour.
The first spring I lived in NYC, my dad did the Five Boro ride. It was far from a perfect experience for him (I think even the organization admitted that it was not a great year, with problems including the simple but critical one of too many riders) but he enjoyed it enough to suggest we ride it together the following spring.