Author Archives: Toni

1st Friday Ride – Great Weather

Last Friday was a great 1st Friday ride. The streets were rather clear of snow, it wasn’t too cold in the beginning and the weather was great for the beginning of February. The meetup started at the monument at 6pm, which is normal, but the snow banks around the monument we not. Then again if your always downtown and see the massive piles of snow bigger than cars, it might be normal.

Three of us, Claire, Ken and I (Toni), hung around talking and we were joined by Jim. We stayed there till 6:30 getting cold and waiting to see if anyone else was going to join. At that point we decided to head to Broadway Arts Center, which meant going down the ‘hill’. The hill is State street which normally isn’t bad, but for one I hate that hill and two the slush on the road just sucked on State. We all made it safely to the bottom and checked out some very nice pieces at BAC. I particularly enjoyed the painting in the back room that had a cyclist in it. It caused  a lot of where is waldo jokes around around for the night, except waldo in this case is a cyclist in the any kind of artwork.

After BAC we went to the Albany Center Gallery. The show was rather interesting with a mix of cute paintings and artwork by Radical. From there were headed up to  Lark and picked up a cyclist who was heading home. After the ride down Lark we headed to Davey Jones Locker which had a great showing. The fish are always really cool, and I love looking at the sea horses. The art show was really great. I actually saw a few pieces that I might decide to purchase.

Once, everyone was ready to head out we went to the Wine-n-Diner for dinner and the show. Dinner was awesome. It was my third time there and I have it down what to get. I recommend the hummus appetizer and the Hawaiian burger. Both are great. Dinner was the last stop on the ride and from there we all went home, by that point it had gotten rather cold out. So, yeah it was an awesome 1st Friday ride. Good art, good conversation, great riding and great food. I hope to see ya’ll next month.

Written by Toni Cameron

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Filed under Events, First Friday, Rides

Why would someone ride in the rain?

“Mommy, why would someone ride a bike in the rain?”

The little girls voice was behind me, still walking up to the door of the Pines Hills branch of the Albany Public Library. The mom hushed her and they hurried inside out of the weather. It was an interesting question, even more so since a little kid asked it. I was standing there under the roof taking a moment to catch my breath, sheltered from the rain, before I locked my bike up.

It caught me off guard.

Why did I ride out in the rain today? I am not a hardcore cyclist. I tend to not ride in the rain, cold, or snow. That weather, goodness, is not really my thing. I tend to go for the sun streaming down on hot roads and tank tops.

I really don’t know the answer to why I rode out today in horrible weather. Maybe it could be because I went on a ride last night for Friday Friday. Or, maybe the library is so close that I didn’t want to drive. A better answer would be there are rarely parking spots on Saturdays and several cars did the loop around the building before leaving. Those all would have been good answers for today, but why would someone normally just ride in the rain?

I rode in the rain today because I wanted to. I missed being on my bike and it felt good to get back in the groove. There really isn’t a reason that the weather should hold me back. Winter is way too long in the northeast to stop riding. Or at least for me it is.

Why do you ride in the rain?

Written by Toni


Filed under Comings and Goings, Winter Cycling

Critical Mass – Extended Version – Better Late Than Never Edition

Critical Mass last week was just the beginning of a much longer ride. We started at the monument and rode around Washington park with a four-year-old in lead. His dad was riding a big bike that kept getting glances and cheers from kids all over the park. Once, we exited the park we headed up some side streets towards UAlbany. We ended up turning down Ontario, then back on to Western heading down to Lark. All along the way we drew looks and cheers from pedestrians, it was great. On Lark we lost a few riders, but it a group of seven continued on. From Lark we went on a sharrow tour, down Delaware up New Scotland, before heading back towards Western, before ending Critical Mass at Dunkin Donuts on Madison.
That was just the ten miler beginning.
We relaxed and chatted at Dunkin Donuts for a few, while waiting for another rider to join us on, a Full Moon Ride. Once, the five of us were ready off we went down to the bike trail, heading towards Troy. Downtown near the river was busy as heck as live music and fireworks went off. Once, we left the crowds behind the moon was the main event. The harvest moon lit up the sky, and it was an awesome site. The weather was perfect as we rode to Troy.
Once in Troy, we headed to Brown’s for some dinner and relaxation. Little did we know that this was just phase two of the ride.
We hung out at Brown’s for awhile, eating good food, when the conversation came up, “Do we want to just go back the way we came or take the scenic route?” Everyone agreed to take the scenic route up the  rail trail. The rail trail was very cool and we got to go through 3 tunnels which were slightly creepy. This part of the ride was interrupted by a flat tire. Once, the tube was changed out off we went. We took the rail trail to Latham, where we left it before it hit GE. We hopped onto another bike trail near British American Blvd to Sand Creek, then down a side rode to cross over Central. From there we headed towards the dump and hopped on another bike trail that let us out onto Fuller road near the Pine Bush. We took Fuller to Western Ave, which was where the ride finally broke up, the four night riders going our separate ways.
Overall, it was a great ride, and I had no idea half the bike paths we went on. One, I speak to the ride leader, I will update with the names since it was late and I can’t remember. It was my longest ride at 42.3 miles and it was awesome.
Written by Toni Cameron

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Filed under Article, Critical Mass, Editorial, Rides

1st Annual ABC Picnic

The day started late, and it was totally my fault. I broke my crank arm on my bicycle and had a loaner. Everyone else arrived at the monument on time, I arrived late at 12:45… Thankfully, that was the only downfall on the perfect day. The weather was perfect as we started riding towards Five Mile Waterworks. We took Western to the loop around UAlbany to Fuller rd. The ride to the park was nice and slow. We arrived at Five Mile around 1:30 and John was there with his van with a great spot picked out. It didn’t take long for the charcoal to get going along with interesting conversation.

Whenever a bunch of us get together the conversation is always great. This time we also added awesome food. I give thanks to everyone who came and brought dishes, it helped make the picnic such a success. Chris B brought vegetable bruschetta with awesome bread, Lorenz makes a kicking cucumber salad, Paula besides carrying coolers on her big momma brought awesome fresh pears, chips and burgers which we didn’t even get to. John, Ken and I brought skewers with lots of veggies and different kinds of meats on them. John also brought the makings of s’mores which was the perfect finish to the meal.

Everyone was stuffed by the end of that meal and there were a ton of leftovers. Overall, it was a perfect day with an interesting ending with something found discarded in the grass.

Written by Toni Cameron

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Filed under Events, None

1st Friday Ride

1st Friday always starts off at 6pm with a meet-up at the Monument in Washington Park. Everyone slowly rode in and began talking about different bicycle related events ABC is planning. A decent amount of riders showed up and we had a few stop by just to chat before they went off on their own rides.

By 6:15 pm we set off from the Monument. The first stop on the ride was the Wine ‘n’ Diner on Delaware Ave. We spent some time there waiting for a few people to catch up from a stop at the Downtube. The art work was really interesting and the place was really busy.

From the Wine ‘n’ Diner we headed back down Delaware riding down the newly installed sharrows, down to Davey Jones Locker (Gallery).  The photography inside was fantastic, along with an awesome painting of a squirrel with a lovely miniature hamburger. We spent a good amount of time there, and by the time we started to gather to leave, the sun was getting ready to set.

The next stop on the ride was Grand Street Community Arts Center, where they are getting ready for an auction later in the month. The ride down to the old church was fantastic, as we blew down the steepest part of Madison Ave. It’s usually a fun ride. While there, we met a former NYC bike messenger who just moved to the area and hopefully will be joining us on future rides. It seems everywhere we went last night we kept running into people who rode bikes. It was also great to hear that everyone knew that we met up at the monument for 1st Friday and Critical Mass. Hopefully we will see some new riders.

Our third to last stop was the Broadway Art Center, where we saw some fantastic photos and had a chance to speak with the artist, who was nice enough to keep the gallery open until we had a chance to look around.

The 1st Friday ride is such a great time, and its great when we ride somewhere and everyone is excited to see a pack of bikes rolling up.

The second to last stop was the “Warehouse” (Marketplace Gallery) on Broadway which was one of the coolest stops, as usual. Many of us signed up for a future Papergirl ride, put on by the artist responsible for much of the bicycle art there that night.

We ended the art tour here, but we continued our ride back up to Lark to spend some time getting food at Soho Pizza and having great conversation. Cheers to another awesome 1st Friday Ride. I hope to see you all at the next one.

Written by Toni Cameron

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Filed under First Friday, Rides