When I moved in to my apartment one of the cooler “perks” was that it was located right on the Mohawk-Hudson Bikeway, a bike trail along the Mohawk and Hudson rivers that is part a New York State bike trail that follows the Erie Canal from Buffalo to Albany.
Over the winter I picked up a 2011 Montague Paratrooper, a folding mountain bike that’s used by the US Military. According to their site, “its patented folding design was developed to allow airborne soldiers to drop out of airplanes and helicopters and into combat.” Most of the reviews I read were all from soldiers who used it regularly in Iraq and Afghanistan, which gave me confidence that it could probably hold up to whatever I would put it through. I discovered Montague when I decided that I wanted a folding bike because of the storage and travel flexibility it offered. Having the versatility to just throw it in my car without a bike rack, or to store it in a closet for the winter, was worth a little extra money.
This week, finally, after what seemed like the longest winter ever, I was able to take it out a few times. Today I met up with a few of my buddies and rode 17.2 miles along the water, stopping frequently to explore many of the locks, both functional and non-functional. By the way, I know I rode exactly 17.2 miles because of My Tracks, the best Android app ever. After the ride was done, I was able to send our “track” up to Google Maps and share it with my friends…so cool.
It’s exciting just to have a new “hobby”. I like trying new things, but as I’ve gotten older and the business has grown and my social life has become busier it’s become harder and harder. Biking is great in that it has a ton of benefits. Aside from just the obvious exercise and getting me off of my computer on nice days, it will be nice to have something to do with my friends beyond just grabbing food/drinks and watching sports. Given that this is a pretty bike-friendly area, I’m also hoping to do some biking to replace driving, which has a nice fringe benefit of saving me some gas and saving the ozone just a tiny bit. My goal is to ride to work once the weather warms up in the mornings. Google Maps says it will be about 10 miles, which I think is more than doable given what I did today.
In the long term, I’ve always wanted to settle in an area where I don’t need to drive my car much. I detest driving. Personally, it’s something I’d rather not do on a daily basis. I’d like to be able to walk/ride to a downtown area. A place like Saratoga would be ideal, but there are countless Northeastern cities and towns that are minutes away from spacious living. So you get the best of both worlds: easy access to food and coffee shops and entertainment, but plenty of space to have a decent sized house and safely raise a family. Anyway, I figure that incorporating biking into my lifestyle now is something that will be beneficial if this ever happens.