Dangerously Fabulous

Bike riding is becoming a big deal across America. Major cities are adding miles of bicycle lanes to their congested streets, people are urged to bike to work, laws are being passed to protect bicyclists. Bicycle riding is becoming a big deal across America. Big deal! I was riding a bike, in New York City, in Manhattan, 40 years ago. Without a helmet.

Years ago, way back in the 1970's, before helmet laws and dedicated bike lanes, on Saturdays and Sundays, weather permitting, I would ride my sleek maroon 10-speed racing bike to Central Park and then ride miles around and through the beautiful landmark park, with its zoo, boating lake and walking paths.

On these weekends I would take off on my racing bike, riding from my residence on Manhattan's Upper East Side, along 79th St, to Central Park. I had to dodge trucks, cars, cabbies, drivers who parked their cars and then opened their car door into traffic - without looking - as I was riding by. And I had to avoid pedestrians, lots of pedestrians, many of whom thought nothing of jaywalking. And this was way before there was any "Bicycle Awareness" programs, or signs, or dedicated bicycle lanes. And, worse, I had to avoid ALL the many sewers in the streets; the sewer grates had open slots, slots that were wider than my bike tires and if I hit them my tires would go into the grating and my bike would crash, sending me flying head over heels. While riding the streets of New York, I had to swerve into traffic to avoid each of the many sewers, on every block.

Nonetheless, despite all the dangers, I loved riding my bike in New York City. I loved riding my bike in Central Park. It was magical. It was fabulous. It was dangerous. It was dangerously fabulous!

Eventually, I moved to L.A. And instead of buying a bike I had to buy a car.