Five years ago I got a call from my editor at The New York Times with a potential assignment photographing HSS Bike Club, a group made up of doctors and employees at the Hospital for Special Surgery. "Do you know how to ride a bike?" she asked, "Because you'll have to follow them as they do laps around the park." I had ridden a bike once, in Venice Beach in 2010, since coming to America in 1995 but never in my beloved New York City. Enter Tread Bike Shop in Inwood. Renting a bike for a day was a breeze. And off I went.
This was me dorking out on the bike.
The morning of, the bike rode with me on the A train to Central Park where I met up with the HSS team. I could have ridden all the way to location for sure but I needed to be alive for the assignment. Upon introduction, I distinctly remember one of the guys pointing to my bike and asking, "You plan on riding along with us with that?" which was followed by a round of chuckles from the rest. The plan, for my sake, changed to me finding myself at certain spots and hope I catch them zooming by. It wasn't easy.
That's the story of how I got to photograph for "Cycling and Socializing in Central Park" written by my friend Daniel Krieger. Here are outtakes from the assignment. Can you guess what the guy in the middle in second picture is hinting? I know.