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5 Boroughs Ride in NYC

  • Tue, February 14, 2012 11:41 AM
    Message # 825234
    Deleted user
    I will be riding this year and wondered if anyone had any reviews or suggestions.
  • Sun, March 04, 2012 11:24 PM
    Reply # 847663 on 825234
    Jim Hudnall (Administrator)
    Jane and I did the ride twice in the 90's. Our daughter lived in Manhattan then, so we had a place to stay. We drove up on Saturday morning and drove back home on Sunday night. The mass start makes for a slow start, but by the time you get up to Central Park, riders are spread out and you can enjoy riding without a lot of stop and go. We enjoyed the ride both times, in spite of several flat tires the first time and a long wait in rain for the start the next time. My flats were because a local bike shop that replaced a bad rim the day before the ride had not used rim tape. I was able to get mechanical support at each rest stop. The late start was because we had to wait for the mayor to get to his reviewing stand. The rain stopped after the ride started, the sun came out, and we had a good ride. Cycling through the five boroughs on car-free streets is a unique experience. 
  • Wed, May 09, 2012 8:16 AM
    Reply # 915447 on 825234
    Deleted user
    The 2012 ride was quite an experience.  Picking up the numbers at the Bike Expo was a bit inconvenient, but they were very organized.  Problems were handled efficiently.  I went with 2 friends -- 2 totally different takes on this event.  2 of us will do again as a weekend adventure; 1 will not go back

    One friend was a speedy rider who came in the night before (we picked up her packet), left the hotel at 6:30am to try to get to the front of the 8:30 'red' start line.  She saw 11 crashes, 3 requiring ambulances, as people that were frustrated by moderate speeds cut loose in Central Park.  She was angered by the lack of ride etiquette from 'experienced' riders and absolute novices alike.  She was done before noon, raced back to the hotel and jumped on the "Bolt" bus and went home (great deal for $26, but we had to take her bike).  

    Now my other friend and I ride so we can eat, so we drove up early on Saturday to pick up packets & look around at the Bike Expo and Seaport; and to eat our way through town!  We stayed at the Marriott which was close to the start.  Beautiful, but pricey.  They would not allow bikes in the room, but had a 'secure' area in the parking garage for us to stow them.  NOT the place for your best bike, as it gets bumped and I saw several go over.  The streets were clean enough for a road bike, but we had our fitness hybrids and were more comfortable.  We got our bikes, stopped for breakfast at a nearby deli and wandered to the start.  Rather than 'rows' from the line, we were a couple blocks, but it did not matter.  I shot pictures of people (good idea to decorate your helmet, so if you do get split up from your friends, they are easier to find) and architecture.  The actual start was slow moving, but things thinned out remarkably fast.  People would stop to go in stores and restaurants along the way.  You do have to ride defensively, as there were REALLY obnoxious people going way too fast for the venue and complete novices who couldn't glide in a straight line.  Honestly, though, it was not that bad! (I was more aggravated at the Seagull Century)  The rest stops had plenty of potties; also water, energy foods, bananas.  Having entire city blocks to ourselves and disregarding traffic lights was just cool!  We pedaled past Radio City Music Hall and other noteworthy places.  It was flat other than the Verazzano Bridge, but even that wasn't as bad as the hills of Croom!  The wait for the ferry was long, but we just hit it at the wrong time.  Next year, if there is a line, we're going to one of the local watering holes nearby til it settles down.  We were done by 1 (we are B/CC riders, but took a leisurely approach), wandered the event at the end, waited an hour for the ferry, back to the hotel by 3:30.  Marvelous dinner and a comfy bed.  The event offered a slight discount at the Marriott, but you had to stay 2 nights, which was fine with us.  We got up early Monday morning, stuffed in more food, went to the 9-11 memorial, picked up pesto chicken paninnis for the ride home and left.  We will definitely do this again and bring less experienced friends along without worry.

    Speaking to a multiple ride lady:  she stays elsewhere for less.  She does not wait at the starting line, but will go to the sidelines of the route near Central Park(could do anywhere along the route, as you have a map in your packet) and just join in -- no waiting around (though she would definitely recommend you do the ride start if you haven't done it before).  She felt the packet pick up was horrible & preferred numbers were mailed.  She said the 3 different starts (the 32,000 were split into 3 different starting points & times) resulted in a lot less congestion.  She was in the front and also saw the accidents in Central Park, but noted there were fewer problems this year, as there were 3 lanes going into the park rather than 2, but agreed the problem was riders who wanted to go too fast.

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