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At some point in my life I read that the word posh was derived as an acronym for “port out, starboard home,” supposedly the preferred cabin arrangement of people traveling to and from the British colonies in the Far East. That appears to be hogwash, but I can’t help think of it as it relates to my bike commute into and out of Manhattan, for which I’ve coined the acronym BIMO: Brooklyn (Bridge) In, Manhattan (Bridge) Out.
I typically go over the Brooklyn Bridge on the way in to Manhattan because the Brooklyn-side ramp onto the Manhattan Bridge is crazy steep. Who wants that? Of course, you might say the Brooklyn Bridge is equally crappy but for a different reason—tourists. Well, if I get an early enough start, I avoid most of the tourists on the Brooklyn. Plus, the Brooklyn In route puts me onto the West Side Greenway, a more pleasant ride and a better way to start the day.
On the way home, though, I usually take the Manhattan Bridge into Brooklyn. That’s ’cause the Brooklyn Bridge really is lousy with tourists at this hour. They’re watching the sunset (who can blame them?), walking in groups of 20, and wandering into the bike lane to take pictures. Plus, it’s just nice to shuffle it a bit and get some variety in the day’s riding. (I do have to say, though, that the East Side Greenway is a piece of crap. Totally full of potholes and joggers, and huge pools of standing water after it rains.
Inbound, the ride is roughly 7.5 miles. Homeward-bound, it’s about 8 miles. I’m getting faster, and the commute is getting easier, so I try to keep it challenging by trying new tricks. Like lately, I’ve been avoiding shifting into 1st gear. (Yeah, that sounds lame, but I’m out of shape. The good news is that I can do the ride both ways now without resorting to 1st gear.)