Red Sleeves

So I'm out on my bike on Saturday. And I'm wearing a sleeveless T-shirt.

It was a beautiful day out to go for a ride. Sunny, warm but not too warm. A perfect day to head up to the George Washington Bridge, then go all the way down to the Battery, and then back up home.

Gentle reader, I am not a small man. And I am no longer as young as I once was.

The ride up the river was stunning. I really shouldn't be writing about this, for fear that others will discover it, but I'm writing about it anyway. Heading up the river from my apartment, I go through Riverside Park South, Riverside Park, Cherry Walk, past Fairway at 125th Street, past Riverbank State Park, back into Riverside Park (called Upper Riverside Park, I think), finally ending up at the little red lighthouse underneath the George Washington Bridge at approximately 180th Street. The lighthouse is actually in Fort Washington Park, but I'm kinda vague on where exactly the boundary of Riverside Park and Fort Washington Park is. A quick search on Google indicates that I'm not the only person who doesn't know where the one ends and the other begins. Perhaps the best part of the ride is the relative paucity of other riders and joggers. Compared to Central Park, the riverside is abandoned and desolate.

My legs are actually in pretty good shape, all things considered. It takes about a mile or so to really get them loose and warmed up, but I guess that's just age. Or something.

Turning around, there's an amazing view of Manhattan. And a pretty nice view of New Jersey, too. And the ride down is nice, too. Once past 59th Street, I'm in Hudson River Park, an ongoing project to turn Manhattan's West Side waterfront into something that's actually attractive. A smooth paved bike path extends from 59th Street all the way down to Chambers Street. It's so well put-together than I don't even notice that I'm zipping past most of Midtown Manhattan.

No, it's not the legs that are the problem.

I hit Chambers Street, and turned right into Battery Park City. Dodging runners with jogging strollers and the odd fisherman, I weave my way down to Battery Park, at the very southern tip of Manhattan. Then I turn around again and head up to Pier 25, just north of Chambers Street, for a burger and some lemonade.

I take advantage of the opportunity to rest.

I also investigate The River Project Estuarium on Pier 26. It's an interesting look at the Hudson River as a biological habitat. If you're ever down there, I recommend that you check it out.

Then I climb, every so slowly, back on to my bike, and head back up the river towards home.

See, the problem is that I'm a big guy, and I have a proportionally big behind. Unfortunately, bike seats aren't big at all. In fact, they're rather small. So there's the problem of a particular amount of mass that's concentrated on a small area that's not used to supporting so much.

Now I know why bicycle shorts have padding.

I get home, and take a shower. I'm getting dressed when I look in the mirror and notice the sunburn. Remember that sleeveless T-shirt? Well, as I stand there, it looks like I'm wearing a white shirt with red sleeves. Bright red sleeves.