Too much going on since and I got back and too many more interesting things to write about have delayed this report much longer then it should have been delayed. Unfortunately there was a bit of a lack of interest in writing about this on top of that as well. The ride itself was a bit of a disappointment to me and was nothing when compared to getting hit by a traffic cop in NYC.
(My new saddle, look at that color coordination!)
Anyway, the ride was a great route, though a bit too much highway riding in my view of things. With over 32,000 riders riding it, it was also a bit too crowded for my tastes. I definitely saw areas that I’d never seen in my previous two visits and many I’ll likely never see again so in that sense I really liked it. I probably would not do it again due mostly to the number of people involved, though a big group of friends and plans to stop at a few places along the way for beers and food would be tremendously helpful for dealing with that aspect.
(Waiting at the start.)
After the ride due to ferry issues we had to wait for an hour and a half to get back to Manhattan; sitting with thousands of other cyclists in the hot sun with little to no water and no way to really get out because of all the bikes and people every where. Better planning on that part would have been good also. We ended up being in a bit of a rush to get to Penn Station to catch our bus home so that didn’t help with the aggravation factor either.
(Just a small taste of the number of people around us waiting to start.)
In the future, I will absolutely use my bike for more city tours, though I’ll stay away from tours that are too big. Using the bike to get around as a tourist the day before was great assuming you are comfortable with riding in heavy city traffic. The next time I go up I will definitely be bringing my bike again.
As for the Five Borough Bike Tour, if you want to do it go with your family (not too young of kids since it is an all day thing) or a big group of friends and plan out some stops ahead of time for food and beer. Either get there extremely early or plan on waiting around. Probably plan on leaving a car or staying on Staten Island and forego the ferry experience and ride slowly and casually with your friends. Also watch out for idiots flying through the crowds doing their best Robbie McEwan sprint impersonations (though imagine it from the back of the peloton instead of the front).