This morning I had to decide - kayak or bike - and not surprisingly my choice was the river. I keep saying that I want to do more biking to build up my abilities, but in summer my heart is always with the river. I think that come mid-fall, when the water turns cold and the dry suits come out, I'll turn more to biking.
I headed out of Columbia Island at about 7:30 AM and as I paddled up a completely empty and beautifully glassy smoth river I kept an eye on the Mount Vernon bike trail to my left, already crowded with cyclists and joggers. Ahh, I made the right decision, not having to deal with crazy weekend crowds on the trail. Just for fun I yelled, "On Your Left!" to some ducks as I passed them.
The river changed as I approached Georgetown. First, in the channel along Roosevelt Island I found myself suddenly engulfed in a swarm of paddle boarders. They looked like a fitness group, as they were all pretty buff and were paddling hard. Mostly young, hunky guys, plus a couple of women with astonishing abs, and a couple of more normal looking people trailing behind (must be new to the group). The group was spread out across the width of the channel and I had to just push my way through and make them open up a path for me.
As I rounded the Georgetown bend I noticed an awful lot of scullers about, many in the beginner recreational shells. I had stumbled upon a Thomson's Boathouse "Learn to Row" class (I've taken that class). One way I could tell they were newbies is that they were stopping frequently to look behind them (scullers row facing rearward and so have to turn around to see what's in their path). This group clearly hadn't yet developed rower's arrogance - the assumption that you own the river and that you can just plow blindly along making everyone else get out of your way. It occurred to me that scullers are a lot like the Lycranaut bike riders I frequently complain about in this blog (and have coffee with Wednesday mornings). They feel that they have the right of way and everyone else needs to get out of their way so they can go straight and fast. They own the trail/river, in their minds. Well, I will say this for the scullers - at least their outfits are a lot less silly than the bike pseudo-racers.
Anyway, other than the couple of on-water traffic jams I had a nice paddle. Eight miles, with a coffee break at my turnaround point and a little rolling/bracing practice at the tip of Roosevelt Island. The multi-cultural duck family (black ducks, white ducks, mallards, etc.) was out and about. Very little boat traffic. Not too hot.
And I caught a Magikarp Pokemon at the marina on my way back. See here for more about Pokemon.