It was a wonderful ride.
The sudden death of high-powered Manhattan attorney Howard Godnick — whose many lives included being a mime in Times Square and a bit player on SNL — inspired many memorials, but none quite like the ones from his fellow Peloton pedalers.
The stationary bike riders, who gather online to cycle together as they break a sweat to music, conducted not one but two “tribute rides” in honor of Godnick, an early Peloton fan who died Nov. 28 at age 63.
“What an inspiration. Can’t believe I’m crying in the kitchen over someone who I casually saw share his soul and himself in our weird little Peloton community,” Peloton member Ryan Mulloy posted on YouTube.
Peloton instructors Jenn Sherman and Christine D’Ercole led the tribute treks on the bikes to nowhere for Godnick, with Sherman unable to hold back tears during her 30-minute effort, which was broadcast Nov. 30.
“I was a mess. It was just really emotional for me. I didn’t know Howie before Peloton,” Sherman told The Post this week. “He was just a joy to be around. He was the most humble, giving, hilarious person. Howie used to hold court before Peloton. He would arrive about a half hour before class. He would welcome new riders with open arms. He wanted them to enjoy the Peloton experience.”
The memorial soundtrack — curated by Sherman — included tunes such as Billy Joel’s “Summer, Highland Falls,” Genesis’ “Follow You Follow Me,” and The Who’s “The Real Me.” Even actor Zero Mostel’s rendition of “If I Were A Rich Man” from “Fiddler On The Roof” made the list.
“Howie and I bonded over many things but we shared an enormous love for music. His favorite band was The Who — and lucky for him — they are one of my favorites,” Sherman said.
Godnick had a Peloton bike at home but was an in-person rider at the studio on West 23rd Street. He was a regular for six years in Sherman’s Sunday 9:30 a.m. class.
“He never missed and he was always on Bike 11. He was in the front row. Always,” Sherman recalled, adding, “He was one of the most beloved and well-known Peloton members. People were excited to meet him. People were as excited to meet Howie Godnick as they were their favorite instructor.”
A quintessential New Yorker, Queens native Godnick was a marathon runner, actor, street mime and stand-up comic all before graduating at the top of his class in 1986 from New York Law School.
The Bayside High School product, who also attended Stony Brook University, was a recurring extra on “Saturday Night Live” from 1981 to 1983, and a law partner at Schulte, Roth & Zabel, where he once scored a monumental legal victory: a court order barring the Federal Emergency Management Agency from evicting tens of thousands of Hurricane Katrina victims from their government-funded hotel rooms.
A divorced father of two sons, Max and Andrew, Godnick needed quadruple bypass surgery when he was 35 and had a long battle with heart disease, but remained positive — his credo being, “I didn’t die, I have to live.”
His wit was on full display in 2013 after somebody included him on an email missive which spammed scores of lawyers across the country.
While others angrily answered the annoying emails by demanding they stop, Godnick took a different tack and replied to everyone on the list with a question about his favorite film, “West Side Story.”
“I, too, have no clue what this matter is about – nor do I care to find out. But, before I bid my adieu … let me put to the group a question that has been plaguing me for some time and, perhaps, I can finally resolve:
“With Tony laying mortally wounded on the cold, wet pavement of a Hell’s Kitchen playground, having been struck down by a single bullet from Chino’s gun, why did Maria choose to sing ‘Somewhere’ to the supposed love of her life instead of dropping a dime in the pay phone outside of Doc’s store and calling for an ambulance?”
Godnick “had a brilliant career that he was very proud of. But he wasn’t a flashy guy. He walked around everyday in his Peloton sweatshirt and cap,” said Sherman. “He was a menschy guy, a New York guy. Generous. He made everybody feel special. He loved the Peloton community.”
Howard got his Peloton in 2015, recalled the recently married Max Godnick, who said he’s been “overwhelmed” by hundreds of people from the Peloton community “who have reached out to share how much [Howard] changed their lives.”
“He mentored strangers, gave money to fellow riders in need, and even got people through suicidal episodes. Riders flocked from all over the country to the 23rd street Peloton Studio just to meet my dad,” Max Godnick said, adding “I now know how incredibly real this community is and what a profound impact he made on it.