By Jay Franco, Associate Sales Director, DK
Riding a bicycle evokes nostalgia for me like nothing else. Bike riding has been a part of my life since I was about five-years-old and with each decade of my life came new and exciting biking adventures. Here is what biking has looked like to me over the years growing up in the boroughs of New York City. What did it look like for you?
It all started in Brooklyn, I was five-years-olding, teaching myself to ride on a dead-end street on my first bike, a little, yellow banana-seat bike. Once I got started, and stopped falling, you couldn’t get me off the bike. I’d ride morning until night, it was a magical summer I’ll never forget. I spent my teen years growing up in the suburbs of Staten Island, and spent countless hours roaming the streets on our bmx bikes with my friends, riding day and night. This was also the time when I first started jumping, learning tricks, and racking up some battle scars as well. To round out my teen years on my bmx bike, I also had a paper route which I delivered on that same bicycle. My bmx bike was a big part of my life growing up.
As I graduated high school and began college, I received a mountain bike as a present. I never thought I’d get into it but began trail riding on the green belts and parks of Staten Island and found renewed bicycle love in the form of in multiple gears, bar-ends and knobby tires. To this day, I still own that battleworn mountain bike, I’ve had it twenty-five years and rebuilt it multiple times. Even though I’ve amassed a few bikes since then, that first mountain bike has been through it all with me, so many good memories and adventures we’ve had.
I’ve spent the last dozen or so years living in Queens, this time north of Manhattan instead of south, and I’ve found there is no better way to learn the neighborhood than on a bicycle. Sure I had to convert a recent mountain bike for my Queens environment: no shocks, street tires and a few other customizations. At this age I traded in a racing saddle for a more cushioned seat, but I continue to ride. Whether that means Sunday casual rides to Astoria Park under the Hellgate Bridge or riding the service roads and parks across the borough near Citi Field, there are new roads to be explored in this big city, and I’ve only just scratched the surface.
Sure, life gets busy and it always seems like there is less time, but I try even now that I’m over forty to make time to ride when I can, be it a quick ride around the streets of my home or a long cruise along the path below the Whitestone Bridge along the Cross Island Parkway. Bicycling will be a part of my life for as long as I can keep these two wheels turning.