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Three of us drove to NYC over the weekend to ride the Five Boroughs event. Riding on closed roads at 15MPH is a wonderful way to see New York. There is plenty of support along the route including officials and police at all cross streets, rest areas to get snacks, water and relief and plenty of encouragement from the many along the route.
We spent Saturday hanging around the Lower East side of Manhattan in the Bowery district. We had lunch at a really good Napal place called The Himalayan Cafe which all three of us highly recommend. After lunch we walked over to Basketball City to pick up our event packages and register for the ride.
One of the must things to do for us when visiting New York is to walk over one of the bridges. We tossed around the Manhattan and Williamsburg before settling on the old standby, the Brooklyn Bridge. Because of the construction, most of the view were blocked which took away most of the reasons for walking over this one. It is a hoot however just to say you walked over the Brooklyn Bridge.
David, amidnightrider and Brandon in Brooklyn with the Brooklyn Bridge and Manhattan in the background.
Sunday we began our day by taking the 6:30 AM ferry from Staten Island to Manhattan. We were in the first group of 11,000 in this years staggered start and were off and riding by 7:45. This way my 6th Five Boroughs ride and have to say that this one by far was the best, most organized and trouble free ride. The weather was a comfortable 60-65 F and the sun was shining. We had no problems with the hills, the bridges or the crowds this time.
There were some quirky people on this ride, and with 32,000 participants it's only right that there be a few characters.
The first group of 11,000 riders. There were two more groups of this size behind us for the staggered start.
Riding in heels.
This one was very annoying.
There were also families with children and on tandems
In previous rides, before the staggered start times, it was a free for all for starting locations. If you were to get stuck near the back of the pack in the family section or novice section you were pretty much screwed. It was very slow going with lots of walking up hills and over bridges. The time I got stuck in that pack, I finished the ride at 4PM. Today, with the three tier start times and locations, our group finished the ride just after noon. That gave us time for a leisurely lunch at a pizza shop that came highly recommended by two Staten Island policemen, Pier 76 Pizzeria. You have heard about New York style pizza, I'm sure. This is one of the better ones.
This event is always on the first Sunday of May. They limit the participants to 32,000 and they sell out very quickly.