Meet Wednesdays at the Rapha Club, espresso to clacking cleats on design clean floors and racks of the style that is now familiar in a way that hides just how much it was reactionary years ago. Rare civilized departure hour for The City, now 10:15 on all the smartphones that we’re checking for last minutes. Exchange small greetings, small cups into the bussing bin, hats gloves zip up pull the wheels off the wall. Each of us wondering of newcomers just what the freelancing is on this advertised as Freelancers’ Ride.
Smile: street cobble in front, we weave to the Hudson River, four or three or seven of us, once there was eleven. At the entrance to the GW we collect a rider on a slick tired mountain bike, Members Only jacket tails flapping in the pace, no helmet. He introduces himself as Fabian and decides to join and he keeps up for awhile. A little later recruit Nana, smart clad in her team kit on her cross bike. With fixie Ben lunging into the climbs, we’re a motley jolly crew, Jonathan shrugs, Gordon quips.
Churn hard into punchy tiny ups, river now to our right branches slivering the before noon light, letting go of the near memory and in this spotlight it’s a happy country pedal. The idea of it is a companionable, hard in proportion to the brevity time. Like the city, charge fast before the next thing, don’t linger, maximize because there something else happening. Not like spooling out into the map for five hours. Different, not worse, how could a bike ride be worse? Back on 9W, so familiar it’s like parody, but that makes it so that we break through to just the revolutions.
Look off the George Washington bridge again, down to tracks highway lanes and circumscribed green space, eye line an impossibly urban contour, the famous and biggest buildings are gravity. Harlem then Morningside Heights architecture puts me at ease, back at right for another coffee o’clock.
Thanks to Rapha NYC for hosting these. Join us.