Ride 1: October 5 / MUD Coffee / 11.1 miles / Caramel Macchiato
I live on the Upper West Side. I have plenty of coffee shops nearby, but also have the advantage of having plenty of coffee shops that are not nearby. This is also a disadvantage, because with so many coffee shops in NYC, I find it difficult to figure out where to go because I'm not very familiar with any coffee shop outside of my neighborhood. So, where did I turn? Thrillist, and their "The best coffee shop in 30 NYC neighborhoods" article.
I haven't been to the East Side of town very much, and though I fear change more than I fear most other things, I decided on MUD Coffee 5.5 miles away on the Lower East Side. Here is a non-Strava map of my ride.
Since I live on the UWS most of my rides start with me riding down the Hudson Bike Path, or through Central Park. I decided a nice Hudson River ride would be great.
It had rained Saturday and was still 55F when I got going, but it was sunny and the ride along the river was beautiful. Once I got down to 16th St, I chose to work my way across Manhattan towards the East side. 16th St has a great bike lane, but the lights are poorly timed, so the same car will fly by you, yell at you for riding too slow, stop a the next red light, watch you pass alongside and pull in front of him, wait for the light to turn green, and then speed by again, yelling or honking. Great plus for this particular ride: I was NOT almost hit by a cab. The 5.5 mile ride took me 25 min to get down there <PointB>. I didn't set any speed records, but, again, didn't get hit by a cab. Not too shabby.
MUD Coffee is a hole-in-the-wall coffee shop. It was also crazy hipster line-out-the-door busy. However, the lines moved quickly, and it looks like a great place to get your brunch on.
I decided on a Caramel Macchiato...I had heard good things, what can I say?
It was very good.
So, with coffee on board, proof of my ride in hand, and a Broncos game starting soon, I started my ride home. I started with the 1st Ave bike lane going north. Pedestrians in the bike lane, delivery guys salmoning, cars merging to turn left poorly...all pretty par for the course, but it's a buffered bike lane and a lot more pleasant than just riding on most of the avenues in Manhattan. Then I did something ridiculous...I turned towards Midtown.
I don't know why I ever think that riding through Midtown is a good idea. It never is, and yet, like a moth to a flame, I somehow think that 6th Ave still has a bike lane running up it, and I always work my way that way. Anyhow, check out the map: Park Ave for a little bit, over to 6th Ave, and then up to 57th where I headed over to 8th Ave. Remember that lovely Hudson River ride and coffee that put me in a good mood? Well, I can only get honked at while riding with the flow of traffic so many times.
Through Columbus Circle, up Central Park West, and finally over to Amsterdam to head home.
The ride was fantastic, except, again, for Midtown. Coffee: ridiculously good. They also sell beans, and have brunch. Week 1: check.