Okay, so I’ve been slacking. Sue me.

After a transitional 2013, I decided to start off 2014 on a good note.  On a whim (and thanks to surprisingly cheap prices), I ventured off to the land of the Pharoahs; New Year’s Day, and I was on a plane to Egypt!


Cairo, if you’ve never been, turned out to be an amazing city filled with wonderful people; I felt blessed to have visited. Stepping inside the Great Pyramid of Cheops, visiting the Western Desert while riding an ATV, getting to view the treasures of Tutenkhamun up close for myself – it really is indescribable, the wealth and depth of history you feel. My trip was far too short, and I would happily return.

Jump ahead to the end of the month.  After a thought-provoking conversation I had in a bar with someone who themselves managed some 40-ish Meetup.com groups (!), I had to admit to myself that I regretted the lack of activity and ultimate demise of a particular Meetup group I’d joined, dedicated to fans of the New York Renaissance Faire in upstate Tuxedo, NY.

His advice was for me to just start a group myself, and after a bit of soul searching I threw caution to the wind, manned up and did it. “Gotham Rennies” was born.  For those in and around NYC, if you’ve any interest in joining – please do! We’ve got a full calendar planned, and I’m always open to Medieval and Renaissance-themed events and activities.


Plus: we try and drink a lot of mead whenever we can. Lots, and lots of mead. Huzzah!

Continuing on my “YOLO” year (and I will deny, vehemently, that I ever used that acronym) I decided to knock something else off my “bucket list” – learning to ride a bicycle.

Don’t laugh. I was an inner-city child, a by-product of the 70s with an over protective single mother.  The fear of me being robbed for my bike overwhelmed any argument I could have made, and with no one to advocate on my behalf I was doomed. Doomed! Keep in mind, I owned both skateboards and roller skates as a kid.  Why I couldn’t own a bike, well…

So: despite being able to snowboard, rollerblade, drive a car, pilot a boat.  Kneeboarded. ATV’d. I, at 45…could not ride a bicycle.  Note that I taught both my younger sisters how. Really, it was: I hold onto the back, they keep their balance, I catch them if they fell until they got comfortable pedaling. Easy peasy, right?

Except me trying as a teenager was out of the question. And look the fool, falling off a bike? In public? Oh the shame! It was more important to me to look cool – total nerd that I was – than to look like a dork.

Fast forward to now.

BikeNYC, a non-profit here in – well, New York City, of course – sponsors adult bicycle learning courses each summer.  After two years of forgetting to sign up early, I managed to catch a class before it filled and took a two hour lesson.

It’s okay to look the fool, when you’re amongst a pack of fools. There were probably a good 16-18 of us, all over the age of 20-something, weaving and tilting and giggling like schoolchildren as we tried to figure this thing out together.  It was actually pretty fun in that environment, and I’m glad I took the plunge.

Since the class in April I’ve since went out and bought my own bike; I realize going forward it’s all about practice, practice, practice and waiting to get into another class – well, it’s clear there are a LOT of folks in this city who also never learned how to ride. Good luck to them. Me? I’m starting to feel a little more comfortable on mine 🙂

bike– Eric Trickster