The night before the big day the NYC Century website still claimed the ride was going to take place “rain or shine”. An email sent out by the organizers re-enforced that point even though the remnants of tropical storm Hannah were dumping heavy rain on the city. With multiple alarms sounding at , we staggered out of bed. A check of the weather showed that the forecasters had got it right. The storm was long gone, leaving behind blue skies.
The ride makes a clockwise loop around the city of
Jim and I had our bikes all geeked out. Our handle bars looked like the CIC on the Battlestar Galactica. We each had a Magellan GPS, and a bike computer. We communicate back and forth with Motorola Walkie-Talkies with VOX head sets. I also had the Oregon Scientific solid state action video camera mounted. I had so much crap mounted to my handler bars I barely had enough room for my hands.
I’ve uploaded the track file from my GPS to the Bikely.com website. A mini version of the route is embedded above. I prefer the full version which has additional tools to view notes and step through the route in sequence. If you want to see the full version CLICK HERE.
SEGMENT #1 –
This was my favorite part of the ride. We left
The rules posted for the ride made it very clear that when on the roads, you are a vehicle just like a car and expected to follow all the laws accordingly. We’ll dumb us – At the first intersection we hit a red light and stopped, only to be passed by two ride marshals and about 50 people! At one intersection in Time Square, we were waiting at a red light with a NYC police car parked across the intersection. No less than 30 people go roaring by us – nothing said by the police!
Later I saw some people wearing “
It was on this segment I figured out why so many New Yorkers are angry. There are 8.2 million people who live in New York. Of the many who live in Brooklyn and also own a car, no one has a driveway let alone a garage, All the houses are built wall-to-wall. Can you imagine what a pain in the ass it must be to park? I take for granted driving home each day from work and pulling into my garage. After a tough day at the office, these people now have the additional stress of trying to find a parking spot. When we road through Brooklyn, most of the city was still asleep. I didn’t recall seeing a single empty parking spots on the street. If I lived in
The neighborhoods in
The highlight of this segment was the view of the Statue of Liberty and the
Shortly after leaving Canarsie Pier we entered
We did have a nice stretch in the Forest Park Greenway. It was nice to get off the roads and enjoy a car-free ride in a shady park for a few miles.
I’m really glad I did this ride. It was a day I will always remember; a once in a lifetime experience. I really got to see
What I will remember from this segment was the route took us to the ¼ mile
SEGMENT #4 – MORE QUEENS
Fifty miles done, fifty miles to go. Segment #4 was going to be another 25 miles in
We ended the segment at the
SEGMENT #5 THE BRONX
Gilbraltor. There is a moment in the classic World War II U-boat movie “Das Boot” when the crew receives new orders to forgo returning to their home port on the French coastline. Instead they are ordered to travel across the
At one point on the bridge we finally cleared all of the stairs, and had a fast downhill run towards the street. I looked down at my bike computer and saw that I was coasting downhill at over 20 mph. I look up and saw about 500 feet in front that the bike path had disappeared. It was like we had reached the end of a cliff. Without warning, the path abruptly ended and there was yet another flight of stairs that took us down to the street. Jim stopped with less than a foot to spare!
Once we finally got off the bridge, we were now in the
The only time we got lost was in the Bronx. We picked up a Greenway alongside of the cross
The miles were starting to wear on us. hungry, tired, and thirsty we pressed on. At one point I was starving and had to reach back into my bag for a cliff bar. It was with great relief we pulled into the final Van Courtland Park rest stop. One quick snack, a refill of the water bottles and only 9 miles to go!