My Bike, My City, My Life – Serino Coyne
Collectively, we probably don’t think much of our commute. It’s part of the inescapable grind. Mass transit and other means of transportation can lull us into a pattern of a kind of sleepwalking that closes us off to the experience of living.
Commuting via bike starts my day on a high. Biking moves not just my body, but soul as well. It’s a deeply awakening experience — a spiritual experience. How many people can say that about their daily commute?
Biking is an integral part of my life here in New York City. It’s my favorite choice for commuting because it’s the most efficient way to get around, as well as being the most satisfying. I commute via bike all-year, nearly every day and through every season’s brutalities. Biking sharpens my senses and gets my blood moving for the day ahead. Biking demands awareness, responsibility, accountability, alertness, discipline and decision-making that matters. It rewards by providing a sense of control, power, purpose and freedom. It simplifies the daily complexities of life into a moment of time.
The ride: It’s primal. I like that. The morning kick I need comes from a good ride, not an iced coffee. Weekday rides are from the Upper East Side to Serino Coyne’s offices in Midtown Manhattan. On this route I get to take in defining attractions like the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Central Park’s Bethesda Fountain, Carnegie Hall and Times Square. I get to experience it all within an 18-minute ride. This could be considered a full day’s trip for anyone visiting the city.
Biking is more than breezing by these sites. Biking offers me an unshielded hand-to-earth experience. It’s about getting to breathe the sunrises and sunsets. It’s about being bathed by the dancing colors from refracted light created by mega-million prisms and trees. It’s about being a VIP member to one of the largest symphonic spaces. I get to listen to the latest it musicians perform at Summer Stage, hear songs from birds and tune in to the never-ending hum of the city itself. Biking is about wading through a buffet of eclectic scents from food trucks representing the great cultural diversity of the city.
Biking has other more obvious benefits, too. It’s a great source of exercise that’s good for combating stress and decompressing. Bike gear can take on the form of armor used to slay the day’s dragons, or be the suit used to escape Earth’s gravity on an odyssey to the moon.
Biking is, of course, inherently dangerous. Safe riding and biker awareness are very important to me both personally and as part of a community. Aggressive and passive indifference from road sharers are the greatest annoyances and challenges that I face on every ride. It’s important as a biker to set the example with proper safety and visibility gear, and by following the rules of the road.
During the eight years I’ve been a resident and biker in New York I’ve seen great strides by the city to embrace and protect the biker. The city has also helped represent biking as an approachable and welcoming means of commuting. That means slowed speed limits, construction of bike lanes, new road signals, planned congestion pricing and growing coverage of a bike-share system.
City roads are seeing more than just new pavement. Streams of commuters are rolling onto the streets and rediscovering the joy in their commutes. And that is a biker’s dream come true.