I've written the praises of New York City more than countless times in this space. I tried singing them once as well and was pointedly told that I sounded like a cat being dropped into a blender (thanks, Mom) but a story I saw in yesterday's New York Times made me smile and think about a long ago mousetrap on an even longer ago bicycle of my youth.
As much as I regard the most mundane aspects of "The City" as mystical and magical (moronic is another word that starts with "m" that describes my fascination I'm told), I will concede unless you are riding in a bus or walking, a lot of the essence of New York eludes you. That cannot be said of the aromatic atmospheres, especially in the subway but that's a tale for another time.
When my wife, our daughter and I traveled into the city between Thanksgiving and Christmas, we learned first hand about what you see is what you get when you're underground and chose a stroll up Fifth Avenue from around Grand Central Station to the Central Park Zoo as the afternoon's falling light became the evening's glooming. By the time we'd returned to Grand Central Station for the 'home again, home again, jiggity jig' train ride we'd clocked over nine miles on foot.
I ended up thoroughly inspecting my eyelids for holes on most of the journey back to our vehicle in the car park at the New Haven rail station for the drive home to Norwich. "Found and repaired" was my close-out entry.
I'm not sure I could survive a year's bicycle pass but the day pass sounds like a great idea, though when I read the article I kept coming back to Joe Spitaleri's experience with exhaustion on his way to biking to an activity. Not sure showing up more than half-dead would be the ideal type of first impression I should wish to make on anyone whom I visit, unless it's a community health clinic. "Blue Cross: Never Leave Home without It."
I'm not sure John Irving's bear would have a pocket in which to put any form of a bike pass though I'm sure the desire to so do would be visible from space. I don't suppose Lance Armstrong would be in the mood to volunteer as a spokesperson (insert you groan over that pun here).