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Out on the river

There are no bicycles involved in this post.  None.  Instead, our personal transports today were kayaks!  It’s quite cool being a (temporary) family of six — two daughters at 15 and 19, along with a nephew and friend, both 17, both visiting from Spain.  We spent yesterday in the city; today we devoted to the water.

In phase I, we rented kayaks in the Tarrytown lakes for a ‘beginner’s’ run.  Despite the grandiose name, this is really a small reservoir.  You could practically throw a rock from one side to the other.  Traffic hummed along on one side, while the other was full of walkers, joggers, and cyclists.  Despite the tame environs, we had fun getting our various rhythms.  Married team in one kayak, girls in the second, boys in the third.  We were there early, so the younger ones went out first, ended first, and then ate all the food.  Luckily, the married crew are trying to eat less!

We hit the highway from Tarrytown and crossed the river, descending into Piermont for Phase II.  In Paradise Cove, we finally got a chance to launch our own kayak, a sit-on-top double.  The boys took this one while the rest rented two more doubles and practiced our paddling technique.  This was a much wilder trip, as we wove our way through the salt marsh to get to the open water and then down the Hudson for a bit.  My wife, skittish in canoes, loved the kayaks —  even as the swells and the wind knocked us around a bit.

The whole day was a delight.  I’m typing this up in a totally quiet house — everyone else has gone to bed!  Here’s a photo of the girls out on the river, just south of Piermont.  My dad has a ton of old photos and postcards that have this vintage look.  They don’t feature many plastic kayaks, though.  :-)

girls on the river
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still alive

There’s nothing like having your kids and wife return, bringing guests, to fill up one’s days.   It’s been a week or two without a moment of peace, but I had a lovely time today shepherding family and guests to the city.  Grand Central to Union Square.  Walk to Washington Square park and enjoy the street performers, walk west on 14th and stop in Rags a Go-Go.  Continue on to my new favorite New York City Park, the High Line.

We grabbed taxis to make it back to Grand Central in time, and my daughters took the spaniards to Candlelight for wings.  They brought me back wings and fries, but I only needed one of each to be full!  Absolutely not diet food!

The photo below is slightly posterized with the outlines emphasized by blending in a line drawing of the edges, while wiping away most of the color.  The coolest part for me is getting back the gritty feel of the ‘peace ride’ as an artifact of joy in the midst of streaming traffic, all set against the grays of concrete and macadam.  I’m especially happy because I have a ton of pictures to play around with whenever there’s a moment free.  More soon.

peace bike
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still on the bike

It’s been a month since we got back from our Canada adventure and we’re still cycling together.  By any measure, I have to call that success.  We’re back on the bikes in a mountain bike park just twenty minutes or so north of us.  No panniers, no trailer – just singletrack up and down.  Short stuff brought a little glow to my heart by by trying the log piles and rolling down a few of the rocks.  Awesome.

We stopped for a quick photo op but didn’t even set up the camera (had to keep the momentum going).  Blurry but fun.

daughter one

elegance and grace in motion