New Outside Column!

Happy Wednesday, everybody!

As you may or may not know, Central Park is officially going car-free forever this summer, and this week’s Outside column is all about how people started driving through it in the first place:

Writing this column was easy, as it’s a verbatim reproduction of the spiel I give tourists when I take them through the park in my pedicab.  (Though I left out the part about how the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man shot John Lennon to death in front of the Dakota, which is why there’s now a part of the park called Marshmallow Fields.)

Anyway, you’ll excuse me if I seem testy today, but yesterday was a difficult one.  Firstly, I awoke and drew back the curtain only to be greeted by perfect weather, which meant I was going to have to take a bike ride.

Goddamn it.

The soggy, kugel-like trails of spring have been keeping me on the road in recent months, and my Midlife Fredding Crisis in particular has kept me bent over the drop bars, but now that the sun has arrived to stay I figured a casual dirt ride was long overdue.  So I hopped on Ol’ Piney for a t-shirt-and-jorts ride:

During which I had to cope with bursts of color like this:

And excellent trail conditions like this:

If I were ever to curate a Dirt Fondon’t this is pretty much the route I’d use.

And if having to ride a bicycle on a beautiful day weren’t onerous enough, during my ride I stopped to check my email, only to find one from my neighbor on the subject of Yankees tickets.  Evidently he had some for that very evening and wondered if I wanted to go.

I looked at the cloudless sky and imagined myself drinking beer under it with some solid mileage in my legs as dusk fell and professional athletes scurried around for my amusement.

“Yes,” I replied.  “I will go to the baseball game.”

I’m not exactly the biggest sports fanatic in the world, so only after accepting this extremely generous offer did it even occur to me to look up who the Yankees were playing.  Of course it turned out to be the Red Sox, which even a bike-riding non-ball-sports-playing “woosie” like me knows is a hot ticket.  Anyway, it was all just as enjoyable as I imagined it would be, even if the beers did cost like $75 each.

So I guess what I’m trying to say is that I’m a lucky bastard.