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Bike New York Rides Again

by Rich Awn

30,000 riders strong, the annual Bike New York outing was blessed with a rainless day and a full turnout this past Sunday.  The bespoked swarm whizzed through the 5 Boroughs beginning in Battery Park up through the “skyscraper canyons” (love that), Harlem, the Bronx, Queens, and then past my apartment in Booklyn on it’s way to Staten Island.

I woke up around 9am that morning slightly groggy from a game of Settlers of Catan the night before (I lost) to the mutterings of people outside my window.  It didn’t register with me that Bike New York was really going on despite the care I took in NOT parking on the street and warning friends that cars we’re being towed in the wee hours of the morning.  The wind blew the shade up to reveal LOTS of people on bikes, some riding at break-neck speeds while others meandered casually, talking and smiling.  With my cup of kombucha tea I walked outside to make myself dizzy looking at all the riders.  A couple of them broke down right in front of me so I lent them my pump (aren’t I sweet?).

Watching all this I thought, “Wow, that’s a lot of kinetic energy.”  Maybe it would’ve been cool for the organizers to calculate just how much energy is produced during a gathering like that.  A little generator powering some kind of voltage meter or battery could be an indicaor.  Or even a kinetic powered GPS device on every bike to show speed and position throughout the race of every rider.  I’m still not sure how this energy could be harnassed but if you’ve got some ideas, let’s hear ‘em!

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