The day after my ride along the Hudson River I drove up with my wife, sister-in-law and a friend to Piermont to visit some family friends, almost on the very same route. It was really cool to get an idea how far I've ridden on my own. I snapped the picture above just as we got turned around off the George Washington Bridge onramp. For years I got confused as to which direction was north and south coming out from the subway. There aren't many landmarks to help orientate oneself. I used to use the Chrysler building and Empire State Building, but they're often obscured by other random tall buildings. Eventually, you just know, but it takes some time.
I think cycling is the best way to get to know any city. You remember shortcuts and which streets are one-way or the wrong way. The subway has this ability to make a relatively dense city even more of an epic sprawl. Once you've ridden through connecting neighborhoods you begin to connect the dots, and the city doesn't seem as big as it used to be.
On our drive I could connect those dots quite easily. There's the bridge, and there's the Hudson River Greenway. Oh, now we're at the bridge and just over there is Henry Hudson Drive. I could replay and fast forward the entire route in my head.