My partner and I decided to start taking bike rides when it was the only thing we could do for recreation in the Spring.

Ehren GresehoverNew Yorker, Cyclist

I started working from home in March. Nonetheless, as a structural engineer some of my projects were considered essential, so I had the need to visit construction sites throughout the pandemic with more PPE than usual. Now, I’m back in the office half time.  Due to fears of being exposed to the virus, I started exclusively using my Brompton to get around to construction sites, to the office, to the doctor, and other essential trips. I haven’t ridden the subway or commuted in the city by car since February.

My partner and I decided to start taking bike rides when it was the only thing we could do for recreation in the Spring.  We didn’t want to go to crowded places, so we started checking out parts of the city that seemed a bit out of the way.  We went to Shirley Chisholm park, a tiny cemetery with only two revolutionary war soldiers graves in Bay Ridge, the new Kosciuszko Bridge, the Transportation Alternatives Bronx Murals ride.  And after George Floyd was killed, we started joining the Streetriders Justice Ride bike protests every Saturday throughout the entire Summer.  Biking for pleasure and to protest for justice kept me feeling connected to the city I loved and that I refused to even consider leaving. It gave me hope that we would get through these difficult times. 

New York City has seen war, depression and pandemics before and it bounced back from it all, so I have no doubt New York City will be back sooner than most people think.  If there is a reduction in commercial tenants in Manhattan, I think it will provide more opportunity for young people and artists with good old fashioned New York City weirdness and chutzpah as they find their place in the city.  Now the streets seem to be more full of people on foot and all combinations of self-powered wheeled transportation, and if that trend continues, the city will be much more livable and attractive as we go into our new normal. 

My partner and I scrapped our vacation plans this year, but still wanted to do something grand. We decided to bike from Brooklyn to Montauk and then hang out on the beach for the last gasp of summer. I’ve done some bike touring in Europe before, but not on my Brompton. It was a dream.  Being able to use the bike as the sole means of transit made me feel normal most of the time, sometimes forgetting that we were living through a pandemic. 

Ehren Gresehover

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