It was Sunday morning and I was finally going to bike to and through Harlem with the Bike the Big Apple Sensational Park and Soul Tour. I left the POD Hotel in Brooklyn and made my way to the Pedal Pusher Bike Shop on 2nd Avenue.
Off we went. After guide Marc had given us a brief explanation on how to behave on the road we were on our way to Central Park. Our group was small; a family from Colorado, two cousins from New Orleans and the brunette Newyorkcitytripper.
Every now and then Marc stopped to give us info about where we were at and what we were seeing - which he sometimes had to point out to us. Along with some interesting details that made us say "really...huh...I never knew that".
Yep. This is also New York City. All the way up in Central Park.
"Hallelujah. Praise the Lord. Amen. Welcome to our church brothers and sisters, friends of Marc. It's freeeezing outside. But nothing can stop you from riding the streets of New York City!". What a nice welcome we received in that small church that Marc brought us to. The reverend asked us where we were all from and made me promise to bring him a pair of wooden shoes when I next visit Harlem. Will do! We got treated to several songs and the beautiful prayer that Mother C so passionately directed to "Dear Lord" - while resting on her cane - brought tears to my eyes. I loved every word she said. And must admit that there were a couple of times when I thought "dear sweet lady BREATHE!". It truly was a wonderful warming experience. Really warming because it actually was cold outside!
Lunchtime! Next stop in Harlem was Manna's. The place to go for soulfood. Soulfood is the thing to eat in Harlem and although I can't say that the place is a hip hangout the food sure tasted delicious! It was buffet style which you pay by the gram. I don't know what I had put on my plate but I loved every bit of it. Especially the fried chicken. Along with the banana sort of pudding.
In front of the Apollo. Where big stars once made their debut.
We saw these beautiful brownstones in 121st street. Can you imagine that back in the 1980's nobody wanted to live here and actually just abandoned their homes? And that these houses are now listed for over one million dollars?
Back in Central Park. With Park 432 sticking out in the background.
After Marc had made us sing Strawberry Fields - it was sort of the Bike the Big Apple Karaoke - we had to have our picture taken on the Imagine memorial. I imagined myself in an appartment in Park 432....
Next stop was Bethesda Terrace. Looking out on the Bethesda fountain. See the Loeb Boathouse in the back?
And that pretty much was the biketour. About 5 hours after we had left there we were back at the Pedal Pushers Bike Shop, thanked eachother for a great day and went on with our New York City trip. With lots of new interesting inside info about life in New York City, a huge amount of pictures and in my case a big taste for a beer!
So I stopped at PJ Clarke's on my way back to the POD Hotel in Brooklyn for a Blue Moon. Man that tasted good!
After I had finished the beer I noticed that the clock still said 4. I never found out why.....Happy Hour perhaps?
Bike the Big Apple has lots of interesting tours. If you like to ride a bike and want to experience New York City I'd really recommend that you sign up with them. Click here to see their schedule.