Thursday, July 16, 2009

Bike Racks, Please

These lucky bikes have a place to call home...
Sadly, bikes parked at the River Plaza shopping center in Marble Hill aren't so fortunate.

So I bought a cheap bike a few months ago to avoid alternate side parking frustrations. Here in Bedford Park we have to move our cars from 11:30am to 1pm every day of the week except Wednesday. Boo!!! It's right smack in the middle of the day, and it always causes great angst because if you have a spot that's good for the day, then of course you don't want to go out in the morning and give it up. Then you have to assume that from 11:30am to 1pm, some annoying double parker has pinned you in. So that means you have to wait until 1pm to really try to accomplish anything that's not within walking distance.

In an effort to shed post baby weight (can I even still use the excuse if Pearl is now 18 months old?), I wanted to get to the gym more this summer while Lou is home (he's a teacher) to watch Pearl. Thus, the purchasing of the bike. I go to the Planet Fitness over in Marble Hill to work out... For $10/month, it's definitely the best deal in town. It's located right in the bustling hub of activity that is the River Plaza shopping complex. As most Bronxites already know, River Plaza is home to a bunch of popular retail shops: Target, Marshall's, Payless, and Starbuck's just to name a few.

Marble Hill is technically Manhattan's northern most neighborhood, even though it's geographically situated across the Harlem River right up against the BoogieDown. So the shops at River Plaza serve tons shoppers from Manhattan as well as the Bronx. There is ample free parking, but the traffic around there is absolutely maddening.

So you'd think biking would be the perfect alternative for shoppers to access River Plaza, right? Well, there's one major flaw that I was really surprised to find: there are NO BIKE RACKS in River Plaza! Seems pretty crazy right? I mean, I looked all over and even asked the dude at Planet Fitness if he knew where one would be... but there are none. This was pretty shocking to me. It seems like such a cheap, sensible amenity to provide. So, instead I just lock the bike to one of the shopping cart corrals at Target. I'm just waiting for a car to hit it.

By the way, if you see a goofy white girl riding around the Bronx on a powder blue cruiser style bike, it's probably me. Beep and say hello!


1 comment:

Bruce said...

It's not air conditioned, and is a little run-down, but Urban Total Fitness at Grand Concourse and 184th is probably a fair bit closer than Planet Fitness. The people are nice, and the membership is somewhere around $140 per year.

(I live down on Bainbridge, near Fordham, and went through tons of misery on the search for a gym!)