Day 1 of 38

Okay so I lied. You didn’t get a special Stevie introduction post. That’s okay though because what happened the other day is so much cooler than me trying to stage photos of my bike in my living room. With the help of a lovely guy named Eric, from the East Coast Greenway Project, I biked down most of Manhattan! I can honestly say that ordinarily this is not something I would have attempted, NYC traffic has always seemed hugely intimidating and I would call myself at best a casual commuter bicyclist. Thankfully, the Hudson River Greenway travels down the west side of Manhattan providing some of the most spectacular views of the city, and none of the traffic. A group of us rode down past the cloisters, under the GW bridge, all the way to Chelsea Piers. We passed a very serious T-ball tournament, several piers, water taxis and so many people. It was wonderful seeing how well used the trail was, by everyone from racing cyclists to roller-skating families of 12 (okay so maybe it was 5).  It was a good thing that the path was so welcoming because we were quite the varied group ourselves. Eric brought the coolest collapsible bike ever which unfortunately required him to take about 8 times as many pedals as the rest of us (major props if you’re reading this) and another member of our group rode a Citibike that he picked up halfway down the route. We all made it though and at lunch at the Chelsea Market Eric explained to us how the East Coast Greenway stretches from Calais, Maine to Key West, Florida with more than 30% on protected trails meaning cyclists don't have to compete with cars on those segments. I know that I'll be visiting again because Google Maps does a great job of navigating the route.

 Yours truly having a very difficult time locking up her bike outside of the Chelsea Market 

Yours truly having a very difficult time locking up her bike outside of the Chelsea Market 

Learning about this organization and seeing Manhattan from a bike was, for me, the perfect jumping off point for this trip. After all, this is first and foremost a learning experience. This is probably the largest, most diverse and informative classroom I will ever encounter and I couldn't be more excited. 

As the day came to a close, and I thought about all the craziness that the next month and a half has in store, I was very happy to be chugging away from New York watching the sun sink into the Hudson from the coziness of my roomette. Stevie and I were in good hands on America's passenger rail system. 

- Elena 



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