biking + bbq.

One of the wonderful things about living in New York in the summertime is the multitude of free activities available to locals and tourists alike.  This afternoon, my sister and I walked over to tourist central, otherwise known as the South Street Seaport, with one purpose in mind: renting bikes – without the rental fee.

I received a flyer in my mailbox a few weeks ago advertising locations of free bikes at the seaport and Battery Park, but it took us a while to finally manage to make it over there.  In preparation, I put on my practical shoes and knee sleeves; my sister…did not.

biking shoes

Now, a little background:  the last time I was on a bike, I was nine years old.  That was a long, long time ago.  So today I had to do a bit of practicing, and the first few minutes were looking a little bleak.  Mounting a bicycle for the first time in almost fifteen years on Manhattan streets – not exactly an ideal locale.

Although there were some near misses with cabs, small children, and delivery boys, as well as an unfortunate collision with a pole, the experience of zooming down the West Side Highway was a fantastic way to spend an afternoon.  Once the first few unstable minutes had passed, pedaling into the breeze was as easy as – well, riding a bike.

The last time I was on that path was also the last time I ran, and riding down there today was nostalgic – but in a positive way.  Honestly, I’m relatively sure I’m going to go rent a bike on my own sometime this week.  Exercise is always more fun in the fresh air!

IMG_2709

After our ride, my stomach was audibly hungry, so I got to work on dinner.  My task of the evening was to conquer mustard greens and actually enjoy them.  I passed my test:

bbq beans and mustard greens (serves 1)

  • evoo
  • 1/2 c onion, chopped
  • 1/2 c diced tomatoes with juice
  • 1/2 large zucchini, diced
  • 1/2 c kidney beans
  • 4 c mustard greens, chopped into bite size pieces
  • 2 T barbecue sauce
  • 1 T rice vinegar
  • 1 T maple syrup
  • 1 t ground mustard
  • 1 t cumin

Heat oil in medium saucepan.  Add onion; sauté until soft.  Meanwhile, whisk together barbecue sauce, rice vinegar, maple syrup, mustard, and cumin.  

Add zucchini, tomatoes, beans, mustard greens, and barbecue sauce mixture to saucepan.  Simmer, covered, about 10 minutes.  

barley, bbq beans, mustard greens

I served it over barley and felt as though I should have been dining in a Southern backyard, rather than my New York countertop.  A good one for a muggy summer evening.


Do you remember the first time you rode a bike?  Did you fall?  Need training wheels?  Were you a natural?  (My answers would be yes, yes, and definitely no).

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9 Comments

Filed under dinner, exercise

9 responses to “biking + bbq.

  1. My uncle tried to teach me how to ride a bike but it didn’t work out and I thought I would never learn. My dad was able to teach me in less than an hour though, and I spent many summers of my childhood biking everywhere with my friends!

  2. verbalriot

    yay for bike riding in NYC! I love it 🙂

    I learned how to ride when I was about 8 or 9 on my brother’s bike. He pushed me down a hill into a huge pile of hay. I kept doing that until I learned how to balance myself! No training wheels in Ukraine!

  3. traveleatlove

    I remember falling a lot when I first learned to ride. When I was around 11 our town enlisted a helmet law (uh hello parents, why wasn’t I wearing a helmet prior?) and I was too cool for a helmet and stopped biking. Fast forward to now where I am terrible balancing a bike and terrified to go out on the streets!

  4. I DO remember the first time I rode a two-wheel bike: My dad was holding on to the back, running along while I biked. After a while though, he let go and I had no idea, and just happily biking along, chattering to my dad who was alread far far away! When I realized he wasn’t behind me, though, I panicked and crashed into a tree!

  5. My parents bought me a blue bike when I was a kid. It had training wheels which was then detached after a week or so. Biking around town with my cousins and friends is a favorite childhood memory. My cousin and I share a really funny biking story which we always laugh at when we talk about it.

    I just read your previous posts which are lovely as always. I love avocado on rye bread and yes, I do love trying out new restaurants and sharing different dishes.

  6. i can’t remember the moment the training wheels came off but i do remember them being on and then off. i loved bike riding as a kid but i hate it now as an adult. i don’t like traffic or pedestrians!!!!

  7. My Dad taught me to ride a bike and my friends and I would bike all over town, we loved it. Yes I was definitely a natural and reading your post makes me want to take up cycling again.

  8. Ah, yes. My mom taught me to ride a bike and two of the more memorable error parts of the “trial and error” mantra were a crash into her rosebush garden and a run-in with a fire hydrant.

    I swear they both just jumped out in front of me from nowhere.

  9. My dad taught me to ride a bike! I remember it so well- our garden backed onto a large parking lot which had two patches of grass. One small one and one huge one. He told me that once I was able to ride around both in one go, without stabilisers, he would get me a basket for my bike. We spent HOURS out there! I can’t remember how long it took me or how many time I fell…but I remember the huge smile on his face when I succesfully cycled around the two patches of grass 😀

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