Monday, December 21, 2009

Here We Go A-Barreling

I was introduced to the frightful joy of downhill snow biking in the mid- 90's by my friend Bald Matt in Queens. He had two old mountain bikes with BMX handlebars which we brought to the local "Suicide Hill" sledding spot. This particular hill had one or two decent-sized berms running its width. Bald Matt pedaled furiously downhill for each descent, barreling like mad, catching sizable air with each spectacular berm-hit. My runs consisted of more coasting than pedaling, but that made for enough speed to keep me entertained and fearing for the safety of myself and everyone else on the crowded hill. I haven't done any downhill-bike specific day trips since then, but have thoroughly relished every snowy hill that I've happened upon while riding since then.

Late Saturday night, we finally got our first proper snow. I know it has snowed before this winter, but this was the first nice, dry, fluffy proper snow. At no point in the overnight storm was there any rain or "wintry mix" garbage. That was snow as it should be. El Prez sent out his virtual Bat Signal for a Sunday afternoon trip to Riverside Park for sledding. I don't own a sled, but I did have a hankering for some snow biking. Kerri was among those intrigued by the idea, and in a photographing mood, so she offered me her commuting bike for snow flogging, on the condition that I would fix anything that I broke. That seemed fair. We made our way through Constitution Plaza toward the Riverfront Recapture area. The elevator by the outdoor amphitheater was not working, despite it being within the posted hours of operation. The next logical choice was to ride down the slopes of the amphitheater itself, which was fun and more than a little bit dicey.

A half dozen people answered the call and met up at the top of the dike at the northwestern corner of the park. We took turns flying down the steep, fast slope on the lone snow tube.

I only did a couple of runs on the bike, as the climb back up proved a difficult mix of heavy bike and low traction. It was a total hoot though!

We wrapped up the afternoon with a ride over to the railroad bridge to watch and listen to the ice on the river drift and collide.


Kerri said...

Nice post!
I'm glad my bike didn't require any fixing, but I am a little disappointed that the downhill riding was as graceful as it was. I was hoping to see some non-bone-shattering wipe-outs.

Jeeran said...

Beautiful Images. I like Snow Places... Prevents Ulcer