Thursday, May 1, 2008

The 2008 NYC Five Boro Bike Tour is This Sunday

... And I haven't got a thing to wear.


I rode in the 2007 5Boro - AKA the Commerce Bank Five Boro Bike Tour (although why they can't spell 'borough' correctly, I'll never know.) Some people call it the New York City Bicycle Marathon, but I think that's pushing it a bit - it's only 42 miles long.

What it was, was very fun, and very cold, and from the weather report, it looks like more of the same. Last year I had the pleasure of A: being stood up by every single person who was going to ride with me, and B: ending up so far back in line at the start that I was 'blessed' by the priests of Trinity Church who came out onto the overpass a swung a censor over my head while I shivered in the cold.

I stood alone, freezing, waiting to move for what seemed like hours. From the start time at the head of the field, to the time I actually got to move, was endless and my lips were turning blue.

It doesn't look like it will be significantly warmer this year, so I'm trying to figure out what to wear that will be ok for standing around in the cold at 6:30 am, cruising along at around 18 to 20 mph on the BQE after all the 'halfwayers' leave the field at the base of the Brooklyn Bridge, and then keep out the wind on the ferry ride back to Manhattan. I must admit that I'm stumped.

I know, I know. Layers. But layers of what?


If you are not already signed up, you're sort of out of luck. Registration closed about a month ago and the ride is full, but I know from experience that around this many days before, a lot of people who were gung ho a month ago start developing strange ailments that 'force' them to drop out.
If you still want to go, try getting an ID number off craig's list, I would guess there are people looking to re-sell or give away theirs.
The thing is, you can't ride without one.

This is a very well attended, and therefore, very well organized ride. It is heavily staffed and the marshals will divert you from the route if you don't have a number.
So what, you say? Well, you can ride 42 miles around NYC any old time you want to, but on Sunday, more than 30,000 of us will be closing this city down to automobile traffic. That's what makes it fun.

How often do you get to ride on the FDR or the BQE? Other than Critical Mass, how often do you get to share the streets with thousands of cyclists and watch the car drivers shaking their fists in the vain hope that someday they will get to move? And my very favorite part? How often do you get to ride a bicycle across the Verrazano Narrows Bridge? Other than this ride? - Never.

No comments: