During one summer in my early 20's, I was a bike messenger in NYC. It was one of the many jobs that I tried to support myself while I was dancing and leading the life of an underpaid performer. I was living on Ludlow St. and biking every morning up to 91st and Park Ave. to get my first assignment. Then I would ride all day around midtown Manhattan delivering envelopes and packages to smartly dressed receptionists in high heels. I, of course, was wearing shorts, a tank top and flip-flops... as little as possible to keep cool. It was a hot, dirty and dangerous job. As I became more confident, I would take more risks, riding in and out of traffic, around buses, trucks and pedestrians. One day I woke up with the feeling that I was going to have a serious accident, so I quit. The job lasted about two months. That was enough!
Recently, I got my bike (not the racer I used to ride) out of storage. I haven't ridden in about 15 years. I decorated it with long strips of knitting, a new Pylone bicycle bell, rick rack tassels and a carrier for Pippi on the front. Its quite a different experience now. I end up riding on the sidewalk a lot because the street scares me a little - sometimes Pippi and I just walk the bike for a few blocks until we can fine a clear path. I love my bike now. Riding around Manhattan isn't a job anymore, its performance art!