NY Century Bike Tour

What a great day to be on a bike in NYC! I did the 35 mile tour, which including the journey to and from my apartment to the start/finish turned out to be about 40 miles. Weaving through an amazing cross section of the city - Harlem, Columbia University, Upper West Side, Chelsea, Union Square, Foley Square, City Hall, over the Brookyn Bridge, Brookyln Heights, Park Slope, Prospect Park, Williamsburg, Long Island City, Astoria, over the Tri-boro, Ward's Island and back to Central Park!

Hats off to Transportation Alternatives (TA)on a very well organized event, and a great coupon book full of environmentally friendly products that I am sure even City Hippy would be proud of.

Without much recent training, I really couldn't have managed to do more than the 35 miles. I was very glad that I did not attempt anything more. Still, my whole body aches now. Next year I hope to make it up to 50-55 miles and feel less pain.

The best feeling of the whole ride was the strength in numbers. We flooded the streets and cars had to respect our presence on the road. We had a few honks and I resisted the urge to respond in typical New York fashion and a few times even managed to get out a yell of "PATIENCE" instead. Maybe next time I'll shout back - "at least I'm not paying $3.50 for gas!".

I had a small issue with my gears as we neared Astoria Park. It didn't really interfere with my ride much, but it was kind of annoying. Thanks to Graham at TA for trying his luck at fixing it.

Here are 3 simple things you can do to supporting biking in NYC:

  1. Join [Transportation Alternatives https://www.transalt.org/about/online.html].

  2. Sign the petition to make Central Park Car-Free and go to the rally they are planning for October.

  3. Write to Mayor Bloomberg and tell him you support the Critical Mass rides and do not approve of the actions of the NYPD in tackling riders and confiscating bikes without cause.

Get out there and ride more. Maybe bring your camera and take some photos of double parked cars blocking bike lanes. Particularly in front of police precincts. Those are keepers.

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Shockingly enough, we (the volunteers) helped Trans Alt get their stuff out of Central Park and into their offices by 10pm. Ironically enough, we ended up getting a lift from a guy who works for the Parks Dept, so he drove us through the park during car-free hours (in his Parks truck). It wasn't lost on us, but we appreciated it nonetheless.