I have a pretty big network of bike riding friends, both locally, in Southern New England, and not so local, like Seattle, WA, Portland OR , Toronto and Panama City, Panama. Locally, I’m trying my darndest to get the locals to expand their sense of adventure and do something different besides the same old rides, weekend after weekend, year after year. One of those adventures is the NYC Five Boroughs Bike Tour.
The ride is 40 easy miles riding the five boroughs on traffic free streets, avenues, highways and bridges. 32,000 people register for this ride and even with that number, it’s difficult to get accepted. Most people know that, and when registration opens at 10 AM, the Bike NY website slows to a crawl and access is at a premium. It took me multiple tries and close to an hour of constantly reentering all my information. Finally it went through and I was accepted. I soon got an e-mail that four other people had joined our team.
Packet pick up is required on Saturday the day before the ride. It’s a madhouse with so many converging on Bike Expo NY held at Basketball City at Pier 36 in Manhattan. Out of town riders also have to find a place to stay. NYC has no problem accommodating that many people, but if you value your arm and leg, finding a reasonable place to stay requires booking on the day of registration. If you don’t mind paying $300-$400 per night, you can wait till it gets closer to the ride date.
The event is not just the Sunday morning bike ride. It’s a weekend in New York city. Every year I make it a point to visit different parts of the city. Lower Manhattan, China Town, the Financial District, East Village and Brooklyn. New York is a walking town, and walking the bridges is a great sightseeing thing to do. We have walked over the Brooklyn Bridge, The East River Bridge and the Williamsburg Bridge. When talking about New York City, do I even have to explain about the food? Your right, I don’t. I will mention one of my favorite place Cafe Himalaya, which besides the wonderful Tibetan and Napali cuisine, includes lots of old movie locations. It’s in the Bowery, very close to Five Points. A few short blocks away is the Tenement Museum where you can explore the restored apartments of past residents from different time periods.
The New York City Five Boroughs Bike Tour is my premier bike ride every year. It’s fun, it’s easy and it’s very cool. There is still time to register and if you do, consider joining team “amidnightrider.com”.