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Where Did You Ride or Walk Today?

Living Car Free Do you live car free or car light? Do you prefer to use alternative transportation (bicycles, walking, other human-powered or public transportation) for everyday activities whenever possible? Discuss your lifestyle here.

Where Did You Ride or Walk Today?

Old 06-11-15, 10:16 PM
  #926  
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My walking mileage as dropped off considerably since my wife changed shifts. Instead of the 10+ miles/week average, I'm down to maybe 3 miles.

If I can get to sleep at a decent hour tonight, I'll see if I can't knock out a 4 miler tomorrow (low priority errands that I want to get done in preparation for next week).
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Old 06-14-15, 09:54 PM
  #927  
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Saturday lasted pretty much forever for us ... and there was quite a bit of walking between this terminal and that terminal, around and about to stretch our legs.

Today (whatever day today is), however, we went for a lovely 14.09 km test ride.
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Old 06-15-15, 12:22 PM
  #928  
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Hiked 20 miles through the woods on Saturday. Biked 30 miles on Sunday.
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Old 06-15-15, 12:25 PM
  #929  
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At rehab class, I rode over 2 miles on the exercise bike and walked almost a mile on the treadmill. It is very good to read about the adventures of my fellow cyclists and walkers on this thread!
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Old 06-15-15, 05:21 PM
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88.89 miles Saturday. Exploring on a road bike. Discovered a few new things. Like a boat launch area for a huge lake. Never been out here before.

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Old 06-16-15, 06:06 PM
  #931  
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We've been shopping at shops we don't have in Hobart ... and walking from where we are staying to do so. A little over 5 km of walking each day the last two days.
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Old 06-17-15, 09:35 PM
  #932  
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Note: The length of this post is part of the reason why I thought there should be a separate thread for this, but if the thread starter doesn't mind...

Summertime in Memphis is one of the reasons why I keep my car around. By mid-June, it is already miserable with temperatures above 90 degrees and high humidity. Even though I've lived here pretty much my entire life, I still find it to be oppressive. Today was an experiment to see what my completely carfree life might be like when I need to make many stops and cover long distances on a day when the mercury soars past 90. I get to single destinations within my neighborhood (a 3 - 4-mile radius) or to single destinations along a bus route just fine in the heat normally, but this would be something different. So, here's how it went:


For me, the plan for any given day starts with appearance. For my experiment, after considering my various destinations, I decided on a black linen dress with a white embroidered design that (doesn't show sweat) and 3/4 sleeves for comfort and protection from the sun, since I still can't find a sunblock that meets all of my requirements. To complete the outfit, I wore black leggings underneath to avoid flashing random passersby and black flats to comply with the closed-toe shoe policy of the water treatment facility that I would be touring later. Minimal makeup - eyeliner and mascara (on top lids only to minimize the chances of looking like a drowned raccoon by the end of the day) and lipstick; afro picked out to maximum, gravity-defying height (I am a True Believer in the Big Hair School of Godliness). Shoulder bag filled with everyday junk, two full stainless steel water bottles (keeps the water cold) tossed into my front basket, and I head out the door.

Home to Bus Stop: 3 miles; temperature: 78 degrees


Once I leave the residential streets of my immediate neighborhood, I use a high-speed but low-traffic street for much of the trip, then cut through a mall parking lot and finally cross a major 7-lane street to get to the bus stop. On the way there, I realized that, in my haste to leave on time, I had forgotten to eat breakfast (Big Mistake #1) or to bring snacks (Big Mistake #2) or anything to read on the bus (Minor Mistake).

I ended up waiting 30 minutes for the bus. I think that the schedule has changed slightly. I know that new routes, etc. generally start around this time of year, and I had noticed earlier that none of the links to route maps were working on their website. Fortunately, this stop has a covered seating area and I could wait under some much-needed shade, but I was still miffed by the time I finally saw the bus come rolling down the street. I bought a day pass fom the driver and settled in for the ride.


In terms of temperature, this segment was not too bad. The breeze was adequate while I was on the bike, but as soon as I stopped moving, I started to sweat.

Suburban area to Downtown core: approximately 19 - 20 miles


The bus ride was uneventful and peaceful except for one woman who got on about halfway during the trip and conducted a very personal cell phone conversation at top volume. I carry earplugs with me at all times for just this reason, but they didn't really help in this case.


Once Downtown, I ran several errands at destinations within a few blocks of each other, stopping to chat with friends and acquaintances along the way. Although there are bike racks along Main Street, I didn't use them. I locked my bike to assorted railings or other structures closer to the entrance of each business, except for at the post office, where I left it unlocked outside the side entrance - a bad habit, I know. Along the way, mail and other assorted odds and ends that I picked up just got jammed into my bag, which was slung over my shoulder as I cruised from one place to the next. The heat began to get a little uncomfortable, but I could deal with it. I had to mop my face and neck a lot before I entered any building, but my clothes still looked nice and presentable.


Downtown to Water Facility: just under 8 miles; temperature: beginning to feel distinctly unpleasant


On a normal day, I would have ridden my bike to my next destination - it's not far and is located only a little bit off from my normal route home, but today I took another bus. By 11 am as I was making my way to this new stop, the temperature had gotten much warmer, and I found my enthusiasm for this experiment wavering just a teensy bit. This bus stop also had covered seating, but it was already full by the time I got there, so I stood in a tiny sliver of shade off to the side. I had been unsure of exactly what time to bus would come, but, fortunately, I only had to wait about 10 minutes.


The trip itself was uneventful. I am not as familiar with this route, but there was a stop near my destination just where I'd thought it would be, and I had a short bike ride on a street with a bike lane and then on a swanky residential street. The guard at the water treatment plant's entry gate did not bat an eye when I rolled up, but he did crack a few good-natured jokes while he manually opened the gate for me. (I guess bikes don't trip the sensor.) After some consideration, I ended up leaving my bike unlocked behind some bushes (in the shade!) near the entrance. I figured that it would be safe there since 1) there was limited access to the facility and 2) no one in their right mind would want to steal a bike if it meant riding off at high noon with the temperature hovering at 94 degrees.


By this time, the heat was definitely getting to me, and I was feeling the effects of not having eaten anything, although I was drinking lots of water. I spent a good portion of the tour fantasizing about what I would eat for lunch.

Water Plant to Botanic Garden: maybe a mile?; temperature: decidedly unpleasant


I rode my bike to the botanic garden using secondary streets that had bike lanes and then a two-lane access street leading to the Garden itself. Their bike rack is one of my favorites because it is located prominently near the entrance and under a nice big shady tree. I locked my bike and made haste to the restaurant inside, where I ate every scrap of food that was set down in front of me and refilled my water bottles.

After lunch, I walked over to the entrance to the farmers market, which was my real purpose for visiting the Garden. This market is the closest one to me and located along my normal route home from downtown, but I'd never been before because it operates during awkward hours: 2 - 6. So, I was happy to finally have a chance to check it out. I enjoyed looking at everything and chatting with the different vendors. I bought produce for the next few days, which gave me a chance to test out the furoshiki and reusable bulk bags that I'd made for myself this past weekend. My purchases were placed on top of my bag in my bike basket and secured with two mini bungee cords crisscrossed over the top. Once I had everything arranged and secured, I jammed my helmet on my head and set off for home.


Botanic Garden to home: 10 miles; temperature: oppressive

I felt much better after having eaten, but the heat was still getting to me. By the time I was on the road for home, we'd hit our high for the day. The route home consists mostly of secondary roads without bike lanes but with wide outside lanes, which is what I prefer. There is a one-mile stretch that I call my nemesis, which I have complained about here before - a major street with lots of lanes and fast-moving traffic, interstate access points, many commercial destinations, and glass-covered, debris-filled sidewalks. I generally walk and/or ride the bike on the sidewalk for that part. Once I clear that section, the rest of the route is usually no big deal.

Today, however, between the temperature and the fact that I was traveling against the wind, the ride itself was slow going. About halfway through, I realized that I had overexerted myself, but I slogged on. It was exhausting, and I ended up riding on the sidewalk for most of the last 3 miles and walking the bike up the last 2 hills. Once in my neighborhood, I took off my helmet and pretty much just coasted the rest of the way home, where I staggered through the door and into the cold embrace of sweet, sweet air-conditioning. Experiment over.


On the surface, this might seem like a negative carfree experience, but it wasn't. I accomplished everything that I wanted to without using my personal vehicle or taking a friend up on her offer to drive me, and even though I had difficulties (which were mostly my own fault), I was none the worse for the wear. After a second shower and a couple of chocolate chip cookies, I was back to my old self and ready to sit down at the computer and get some work done. What I learned today, however, is that, once the temperature gets into the 90s and beyond, 3 miles is my limit for any individual bike trip. I don't think that there's really anything that I could have done to make the bicycling segments easier. So, I will have to keep that in mind as I plan for total carfreedom.

Highlight of the day: a group of teenagers yelled out some complimentary comments about my bike as I passed by.


Sorry for the lack of pictures. I had every intention of taking some to go with this narrative, but any time I stopped moving, the only things on my mind were finding shade and drinking water.

Edited to remove some funky formatting.

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Old 06-17-15, 10:10 PM
  #933  
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Originally Posted by Drv1913 View Post
Note: The length of this post is part of the reason why I thought there should be a separate thread for this, but if the thread starter doesn't mind...
I don't mind at all ... I think it's great!! Thanks for posting!

Would a different clothing choice have made the heat easier to bear? It used to hit temps like that in Winnipeg in the summer (and humid too), and I found a light-coloured cotton/poly blend to work about the best for me. When I moved to Australia, I got a few arm coolers ... they're like arm warmers but they're white and light and are supposed to both reflect the heat and keep the sun off my arms. They're good to quite warm temps, but there is a point where I prefer the breeze blowing across my arms, and I just switch to sunscreen ... but others swear by them.

Your comment about the woman having the personal conversation on the phone made me smile ... at the airport the other day, after being awake for getting on toward 24 hours, I wanted an hour or so of sleep before my next flight so I curled up on my carry-on luggage and no sooner had I done that, a woman started screaming in Spanish at the top of her lungs on her phone one one side of me, and a kid began yowling on the other side of me!! You just have to shake your head sometimes! Ear plugs ... and sheer exhaustion ... got me to sleep.

I'm glad you had a positive experience ... even though it was tough at times. And again, thanks so much for sharing it with us. I would like to see more of this sort of thing in this thread.

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Old 06-18-15, 06:41 AM
  #934  
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Originally Posted by Drv1913 View Post
Note: The length of this post is part of the reason why I thought there should be a separate thread for this, but if the thread starter doesn't mind...
pl;dr (Pretty long; DID read)

Very interesting post. I think this would make a fantastic NEW thread! Something like "Carfree trip on a hot summer day".
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Old 06-18-15, 09:44 AM
  #935  
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How does the helmet work with the afro?

Man I hate the muggy days we have sometimes here in Western Oregon in the summer, and I know they're not nearly as bad as much of the rest of the country. I sweat a lot, which doesn't bother me if I can keep it out of my eyes but you were saying you had to look presentable.

It was an interesting story and thanks for sharing it.
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Old 06-18-15, 11:34 AM
  #936  
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The 'Tulsa Parade of Homes' is this week. We've spent the last three days driving around to various communities and all price points... and the one that the wife and I both like the most (and in no way can afford ) was this new construction townhouse on the east side of the downtown sector. Totally blown away my country girl wife actually liked that urban space.
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Old 06-18-15, 12:43 PM
  #937  
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Originally Posted by enigmaT120 View Post
How does the helmet work with the afro?
It doesn't, and it's becoming a real problem as my hair grows longer. At the end of my story when I mentioned that I had to jam the helmet on my head, I wasn't kidding. I have to really press down on it to get it to fit. Of course, that ruins the 'do. I've been forgoing the helmet when I'm on my way to some place and only using it when I'm on my way home. This is not ideal, but it works out ok because my outgoing trips tend to be within 3 miles, while I am more likely to ride my bike all the way home, over a wider variety of streets and traffic conditions. But seriously, somebody needs to invent a better helmet for big hair.
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Old 06-18-15, 01:26 PM
  #938  
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Originally Posted by Drv1913 View Post
...Today, however, between the temperature and the fact that I was traveling against the wind, the ride itself was slow going. About halfway through, I realized that I had overexerted myself, but I slogged on. It was exhausting, and I ended up riding on the sidewalk for most of the last 3 miles and walking the bike up the last 2 hills. Once in my neighborhood, I took off my helmet and pretty much just coasted the rest of the way home, where I staggered through the door and into the cold embrace of sweet, sweet air-conditioning. Experiment over.

On the surface, this might seem like a negative carfree experience, but it wasn't. I accomplished everything that I wanted to without using my personal vehicle or taking a friend up on her offer to drive me, and even though I had difficulties (which were mostly my own fault), I was none the worse for the wear. After a second shower and a couple of chocolate chip cookies, I was back to my old self and ready to sit down at the computer and get some work done. What I learned today, however, is that, once the temperature gets into the 90s and beyond, 3 miles is my limit for any individual bike trip. I don't think that there's really anything that I could have done to make the bicycling segments easier. So, I will have to keep that in mind as I plan for total carfreedom.
Remember, it really does get much easier as you continue. You will get better physical conditioning, more acclimated to the heat, find better equipment and clothing, and just generally get more organized and efficient.

For example, before I started walking and riding everywhere, just getting from the car to the door seemed like too much work in the hot summer. I constantly needed air conditioning. At this point, i no longer am bothered much by the heat (although I still prefer cooler weather). I have gone 5 or 6 summers without AC. Even when I had central air in my house, I didn't use it. Now I don't even have AC. I just use a fan on very hot days.

So hang in there! The learning curve is pretty steep, so it will get easier and more comfortable in a very short time.
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Old 06-18-15, 03:47 PM
  #939  
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Originally Posted by Machka View Post
Would a different clothing choice have made the heat easier to bear? It used to hit temps like that in Winnipeg in the summer (and humid too), and I found a light-coloured cotton/poly blend to work about the best for me. When I moved to Australia, I got a few arm coolers ... they're like arm warmers but they're white and light and are supposed to both reflect the heat and keep the sun off my arms. They're good to quite warm temps, but there is a point where I prefer the breeze blowing across my arms, and I just switch to sunscreen ... but others swear by them.
Maybe, but I don't really think so. I know that conventional wisdom says to wear light colors in the heat, and that might be a little cooler, but then I'd be worried the entire time about looking sweaty, so that would decrease my emotional comfort. The dress that I wore is actually very comfortable. I made it myself, so it fits perfectly, and it's a tunic style that has enough ease for moving around and getting things done and also for letting air circulate. I've seen arm coolers like you mention in the Terry catalog and have often wondered how practical they would be.

I can't seem to find a sunscreen that doesn't melt into a white, gloppy mess as soon as I start moving around. I recently bought a new kind from a hippie catalog, and it's the best I've tried so far, but it still makes me look like a cadaver after about 20 minutes of activity. Goth is just not a good look for me, much as I like the music and culture.
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Old 06-18-15, 03:55 PM
  #940  
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Originally Posted by Roody View Post
So hang in there! The learning curve is pretty steep, so it will get easier and more comfortable in a very short time.
I believe you, but today's outing will have to wait until after the sun goes down. I can't take two days like that in a row.
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Old 06-18-15, 10:01 PM
  #941  
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Originally Posted by Drv1913 View Post
Maybe, but I don't really think so. I know that conventional wisdom says to wear light colors in the heat, and that might be a little cooler, but then I'd be worried the entire time about looking sweaty, so that would decrease my emotional comfort. The dress that I wore is actually very comfortable. I made it myself, so it fits perfectly, and it's a tunic style that has enough ease for moving around and getting things done and also for letting air circulate. I've seen arm coolers like you mention in the Terry catalog and have often wondered how practical they would be.

I can't seem to find a sunscreen that doesn't melt into a white, gloppy mess as soon as I start moving around. I recently bought a new kind from a hippie catalog, and it's the best I've tried so far, but it still makes me look like a cadaver after about 20 minutes of activity. Goth is just not a good look for me, much as I like the music and culture.
How is linen for breathability? I don't have much experience with it.

I use a nutrogena sunscreen I like which doesn't glop when I exercise. It is the first one I've found which works for me, otherwise I have the same experience as you do with them. I'll have to look it up.
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Old 06-18-15, 10:02 PM
  #942  
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Rowan and I completed a ride we have been talking about and preparing for for a while. We rode a century (100 miles) on our Bike Friday Pocket Llamas (folding bikes)! And all without involving motor vehicles.

We didn't break any speed records, but ...

We set off shortly after 9 am and rode with my father about 14 km, then he returned home and we continued on ... to Hope. The route is a little bit hilly out that way, but nothing too significant. We flew into Hope with an increasing wind behind us, but knew that we'd be into it on the way back.

So we stopped at DQ for some fuel ... chili cheese dogs and blizzards.

Returning to our start location wasn't too bad at first, but the last 7 or 8 km were a slog ... right into that ever-increasing wind.

118 km complete!

We stopped for more fuel and then made a decision about where to go next. We decided it would work best for us to cycle into the wind, and then to return with a tailwind.

The route we chose zig-zagged into the wind so that sometimes it was, again, a slog, but other times not too bad. And finally, we turned around and cruised home. We would have done the trip home a lot quicker if we hadn't been as worn out as we were. The wind takes it out of a person ... and I was experiencing one particular fit issue which we'll need to sort out if we're going to entertain the idea of doing longer rides.

Nevertheless ... our first century this year is complete. And we did it in 9 hours and 40 min, including all breaks, which is well within rando time.

And along the way we saw ... planes and trains ... and cows, horses, goats, hawks, crows, geese, cats and dogs ...
Kept us entertained!
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Old 06-19-15, 11:24 AM
  #943  
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I like headwinds when I'm climbing hills on a hot day, as I don't go fast enough to generate enough breeze to cool myself down. Of course a side wind would be just as good for that!
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Old 06-19-15, 01:43 PM
  #944  
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Originally Posted by Machka View Post
How is linen for breathability? I don't have much experience with it.

I use a nutrogena sunscreen I like which doesn't glop when I exercise. It is the first one I've found which works for me, otherwise I have the same experience as you do with them. I'll have to look it up.

This is the one and only sunscreen I've found that I like because it goes on dry, and isn't all icky moisturising and gloopy:

Nutrogena's Ultra Sheer® Dry-Touch Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 30
Ultra Sheer® Dry-Touch Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 30 | Neutrogena®


We picked up a Sports version of it, and I should have used that yesterday!!
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Old 06-19-15, 01:44 PM
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Originally Posted by enigmaT120 View Post
I like headwinds when I'm climbing hills on a hot day, as I don't go fast enough to generate enough breeze to cool myself down. Of course a side wind would be just as good for that!
I don't mind light breezes in those conditions, but strong winds on flat ground do get a bit daunting after a while.
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Old 06-19-15, 01:53 PM
  #946  
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Originally Posted by Machka View Post
I don't mind light breezes in those conditions, but strong winds on flat ground do get a bit daunting after a while.
they suck your soul out.
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Old 06-19-15, 11:51 PM
  #947  
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Originally Posted by Roody View Post
they suck your soul out.
Yes indeed!
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Old 06-19-15, 11:51 PM
  #948  
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Originally Posted by Machka View Post
And along the way we saw ... planes and trains ... and cows, horses, goats, hawks, crows, geese, cats and dogs ...
Kept us entertained!
We also saw mountain views, fields of corn and blueberries, and lots of large trucks ...







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Old 06-20-15, 07:45 AM
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Originally Posted by Machka View Post
How is linen for breathability? I don't have much experience with it.
Linen is really great for hot weather, very breathable. It is my favorite fabric to work with and wear, which is saying a lot because I love me some cotton. To minimize wrinkles, it is good to have a lining and/or look for a blend that still has a high linen content.

Thanks for the sunscreen link.

Your century adventure sounds like it was a lot of fun.

Last edited by Drv1913; 06-20-15 at 07:46 AM. Reason: typo
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Old 06-23-15, 05:59 AM
  #950  
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Oops, the post I wrote was intended for the quaxing thread! Okay... well, I rode my bike to my local train station down in NJ, took the train into the city, and rode a Citibike to my office. After work I'll ride my folding bike over the 59th St bridge and take the train out to Long Island.
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