Hwy 10, West of Mandan

Hwy 10, West of Mandan

Saturday, February 2, 2013

A Visit to The Big Apple

Travelling benefits us in so many ways, one of which is often a greater appreciation of your hometown.  A recent visit to the east coast provided an especially notable contrast between bike lanes/paths here in Bismarck/Mandan and those in New York City.  Over three very full days, I ventured forth with my wife and daughter to explore different parts the 'concrete jungle', otherwise known as Manhattan.  The intensity and speed of automobile traffic was mind-boggling at times, and made us happy to be on a bus or subway for most of our transportation needs.  While I was impressed with the network of bike lanes (which were painted green, but fading badly), their use by bicyclists was sporatic.  Here's what they look like...

Admittedly, we were visiting during a holiday weekend (MLKJ), which may have contributed to limited use.  Still, I wonder how much they're used on a normal weekday given what seemed to be exceptionally dangerous riding conditions, particularly at intersections.

Most bikers we saw during our trip rode within the confines of Central Park.  While they still had to dodge meandering tourists, runners, and an occasional horse-drawn cart, it seemed a much more relaxing experience.

I wonder how many of the bicyclists we encountered that weekend are able to 'escape' the city to ride on open roads, without the endless pressure of being surrounded by ten million people.  Conversely, I wonder how many bicyclists move to New York City from other parts of the world where open roads are the norm.  The transition must be difficult.  I know it would be for me.

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