There are few more liberating pursuits after a day of being cooped up in the office, than taking to your bike and morphing into a Westside, two-wheeled demon.

Which is just what I plan to do in about 5 minutes!

It’s the perfect antidote to eight hours of sitting with your butt on a seat, the most calorific motion being a series of frantic double-clicks as you test the robustness of your desktop by opening a flurry of applications and windows.

This is particularly the case in summer, when the days are long (it stays light until around 8:30pm).

So this evening, I plan to make a pitstop at the New York Public Library to drop off a book, head across town to Hell’s Kitchen as fast as possible, change into something comfortable crowned with a lurid green helmet, and (to coin a recent Tour de France advertising slogan), “let the cyclism begin…”

Breezing along the bikepath that runs almost the entire length of the west side can take you to Manhattan’s southern tip where you can watch the last rays paint the Statue of Liberty a warn hue; or north, through parks and community gardens, tennis courts and the congested westside highway. And, if you’re intrepid enough, through the oil slicked, forgotten reaches under the highway underpass to the very toes of the George Washington Bridge.

It’s a great ride either way, although I prefer heading north: less traffic, and always the opportunity (in summer) of stopping off for a drink at the Boat Basin Cafe, or a hot dog dinner at one of the temporary, outdoor cafes.

So… time to put the pedal, well, to the pedal.



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