Michael Boladale is determined to learn how to ride a bike. So he took one of Bike New York's free lessons at Riverside Park.
"You're never too old to learn something new, so I'm just trying to learn something new," Boladale said.
He's an X-ray tech who currently drives to his job at Harlem Hospital, but hopes to change that — and bike ride instead.
"If you live in New York City you know the whole process of driving is horrible looking for parking, the congestion on the roads, I look for parking, it can take up to an hour," Boladale said.
Having worked through the COVID-19 pandemic, he said he always prioritizes his health, this time with a new workout.
"More efficient for my life, more efficient for my body you know stay healthy," Boladale said.
Learning free of cost was another draw for Boladale.
"I was doing research, as anyone does research throughout the city, and one thing I did learn, it is kind of more expensive to try to find classes for bikes and this one is actually free," Boladale said.
Bike New York is offering free bike education classes through November throughout the five boroughs.
"They're funded mainly through our events, the Five Boro Bike Tour, we have some smaller events," said Rich Conroy, director of education for Bike New York.
Besides teaching students how to ride, the classes also focus on cycling in New York City.
"We teach them how to stay safe, how to be visible, how to be alert, how to understand how traffic works how bicycles fit into traffic," Conroy said.
He started everyone in the class without pedals.
"It makes it more secure for them, less scary, they can keep control over their own balance," Conroy said.
And the method definitely worked for Boladale. He was able to graduate to pedaling.
"It's a workout," Boladale said while laughing. "Actually a really good workout. Trying to get used to it, trying to get the hang of it. I think I'll be fine after a couple of more tries."