Yesterday, I wanted to do something nice for a personal tribute to 9/11. I didn’t want to do anything over the top, and I didn’t want to do anything cheesy. So, I biked to the WTC site and continued on for 22.5 miles around NYC.

I’m not originally from NYC, but I recall(like everybody else) where I was on 9/11/2001. My college roommate woke me up and told me to look at the TV. I looked in time to see the 2nd tower get hit. The ensuing weeks were a blur, but it all seems tied together. I remember attending a candlelit vigil at 7pm on that evening, even though I never participate in those things. This event was like gut punching all of us. I remember a gal stopping by our room at 11pm to invite us to her room for her birthday. “I know today was a really sad day, but like, it’s my birthday and we’re going to celebrate…”, crisp in my memory as the moment she said it. I don’t fault her, and as the years go by, I take time to wish the few people I know w/ 9/11 birthdays a happy birthday.

I never thought I’d move here, but I did. I moved to NYC over 3 years ago, and have learned a lot about New Yorkers. The number one thing? For the most part, following 9/11, they resumed their lives. They went back to work. They went back to their homes, their local pubs, their favorite parks. Why? Because they didn’t have any choice, it’s their home. Whereas many look at the WTC as a place to visit and pay respects, it’s also the workspace for millions of people. A playground for tourists, it’s the local city for millions. It took some time, but NYers returned to Lower Manhattan and the WTC area.

So, I wanted to do something simple, but different from my recent rides. I think the collection of photos show NYC’s great landscape and the fact that you can’t scare Americans away from their home.  I’ll keep biking, because fear has no place here. 😛

This is the second half of my own personal ‘Heartbreak Hill’. I’ve shown the first half before. Yesterday, I didn’t stop once on my way up. It still kicked my ass though.

Downtown Brooklyn. Lots of hustle & bustle, lots of bike lanes, I’d love to live here.

Approaching the Brooklyn Bridge. Beautiful view. Took me about an hour to get here.

Maybe because it was 9/11, the tourists were very accommodating to the bike lane. Usually it’s a big pain in the ass to bike over the Brooklyn Bridge.

Biking down Reade Street in Manhattan, which leads to the West Side Highway. No traffic on Saturday evening.

5 minutes later I was by the WTC area. As you can see, it’s a gigantic construction site. Everybody is happy to see that something is finally being built.

Though Manhattan is so busy, it’s an incredible place to go biking. Dedicated lane run along both sides of the borough, and there are bike lanes on tons of streets. Someday I’ll reach the point where biking in Manhattan is a regular occurrence.

I crossed back over the city and headed home via the Manhattan Bridge. Easily my favorite bridge to ride over.

Sunset over Brooklyn. I knew here that I’d be arriving home in the dark.

The last bit of light of the sky as I entered Prospect Park. I was about 30 minutes from home at this point.

Ocean Parkway at about 745PM. I was about 2 miles from home. I thought it’d be cool to show the contrast of light during my ride.

All in all, a great day to ride. 22.5 miles!