5 Boro Bike Tour

This has been a tough week to catch up the blog in…actually, I still owe the SavingsCycle my take on the Complete Streets forum that was a couple of weeks ago now…but with vacation ahead, there should be some more activity to come.

The Five Boro Bike Tour was last Sunday, May 2, in NYC. 32000+ cyclists came out for a 43 mile (69,2km) ride through all 5 boros. In a mob this big, a bit of logistical difficulty was to be expected and the start of the ride was slooooowww. Kicking off at 8:30am from Battery – I was substantially further away, hanging out some estimated 12 blocks back. I arrived at the ride around 7:20, after a really nice ride down Broadway using all the nice bike infrastucture Manhattan has to offer. After standing still for about an hour and a half, the pack started to move around 9:15am and I made my way S on Broadway to and through Battery Park, up Trinity towards Church St.

View of the Starting Line...You can see me 12 blocks back 😛

I love big pack rides for the comraderie of it as well as the small amount of riding skill required. Much like in mass traffic, you are relying on both your own balance and coordination, as well as on that of those around you, to ensure minimal collisions (of which there still end up being a few). Everything started off well and the pack moved N through Manhattan with relative easy, stopping at regular intervals with the help of traffic control to allow pedestrians to continue to cut across the city. I can’t imagine exactly how long 32,000+, cycling at comfortable pace, looks like in terms of city blocks but my guess is that the peloton took up a good 45+ blocks of the city at any one time as it moved across. My cousin apparently started the race a few blocks from the back and that was at 32nd street…but I’m sure it stretched much more than that.

Mob Scene

We moved fairly unabated until we hit central park where we ended up standing in the shade on the S end of the park, where 6th enters, for what felt like a good hour again. This put us, I think, around 11:30am? The rumors flew about what the reason for this hold up could be. I heard there was a collision in the front with several injuries, that there was another event in the park holding us up, and even a real humdinger that said an automobile had been damaged in a collision with 3-4 of the cyclists and that they couldn’t bring it back out through the crowd. Ha! At any rate, we started moving again and wouldn’t be slowing down for any really significant lengths of time from that point forward.

Entering Central Park before a long wait.

The good news is that this lined us up perfectly to go through Harlem as 11 o’clock mass let out… meaning the streets were lined with the locals in all of their finery. There were some amazing hats and pinstripes as well as great architecture to take in as we went N before hanging a right at 138th St for a trip over the Madison Avenue Bridge and a brief interlude in the Bronx. We quickly exited the Bronx via the Third Avenue Bridge before trucking down Harlem River Rd and then the FDR south along the east side of Manhattan down to 60th Street where we took on the Queensboro Bridge. The climb onto the bridge crippled a great number of riders although it really wasn’t that much of a hill…I thitnk a great many of them were just playing it up for a better and slower view of the city.  Down through Queens, short interlude i the Bronx, and then through Brooklyn right down to the Staten Island Ferry for the ride back.

really good picture. They made me look athletic.

A couple of interesting things I noticed on the ride are that some New Yorkers have super hardcore kids (43 miles on training wheels?  WHAT?!), New York City is way way cooler than I thought, and I apparently need to start doing some road racing as I am physically unable to ride my bike at a slow pace.  The final thought is that I wish that everyone had an opportunity, in their own town, to ride with this many people.  You feel way stronger as a group this size and can really take in the world around you.  Seeing all of the varieties of bicycles (and uni/tricycles) was also grand…on a leisurely ride like this you can really see it all.  The had a great photography team on hand and managed to get 9 pictures with me in them, which were then placed online.  The only poor part?  Me.  It was $55 to buy those 9 photos and buying individuals was not an option…Oh well, the price you pay for memories.

The Ride:
2010 5 Boro Bike Ride

Total KM Ridden: 423.75
Total $ Saved: $170
Curent Savings: $5 – 5 Burough Bike Tour ($165)


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