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  1. #1
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    Ride Recap: Pedaling through NYC

    I remember when I was a child and my parents used to give my brother and me $5 a week for an allowance. Once a month, they would take us to Toys R Us…. usually on a Saturday all the week before, I was trying to think of what I could get. Running ideas through my head of what action figure I would like (I was really into GI Joes and also in cars). My mind would change daily and then…on Friday night, I couldn’t sleep. My mind kept going and going and going and then the anticipation set in hard core. Before I knew it, I couldn’t sleep and it was time to wake up.

    Well… Saturday night was just like that for me. So much anticipation a few weeks leading up to that night and then when the night came, I had the best intentions of going to bed early but it didn’t happen. Well, I strike that. It did happen but I couldn’t sleep. I was thinking of what we would see, the cool people we would meet and more cool stuff we would see. I know for some folks, being in New York City is nothing but for me, not growing up here, it was something to look forward to. Yes, I have been to NYC a few times before BUT never on a bike. See, things change when you are on the bike. When you walk, you can only cover so much ground. When you drive, you can’t see all the fine stuff but on a bike…YOU GET IT ALL.

    So Sunday morning quickly came. Amazing how fast 2 AM rolls around when you went to sleep at midnight. Hopped in the shower, got dressed, and the drive was on. Took some time to get to Middletown but I met Jim so early and it was soooo cold out. You would pretty much freeze your hands off trying to load the bike on. Then we picked up Jim B and then drove into Jersey to pick up Peggy. A full car of fun, anticipation and bikes. What else could be better?

    The drive to NYC was flawless. Not much traffic and before you knew it, we were at the starting point which was at Staten Island Ferry. This is a neat place because riding the ferry was free for bikers and walkers. A nice little perk! It was great to see other riders too from other clubs. Makes you really appreciate other riders who share the love. Plus it’s neat to look at their bikes, scope them out and see what neat modifications they did on their bike.

    Anyway, we loaded up on the ferry (which was a site to see in itself…aka: a lot of bikes) and headed to the city. The ferry was scenic (and cold). The day started chilly and overcast. The cold kept on being cold throughout the day but it turned sunny later.
    At the end of the ferry ride, we gathered outside the docking area. I bet we all looked funny… a bunch of bikers in lycra on a cold December day. We got some instructions from our ride leaders, mounted our cold behinds to the saddles and off we went.

    Zig zagging in and out of different streets, hopping on the bike path, riding between cars, merging with traffic, looking back to see a sea of taxis behind us while we rode…. All exhilarating! A little prayer goes a long way when trying to cross four lanes of traffic with taxis up and down the streets!

    Some of the places we saw (not in any particular order and I apologize if I miss any)

    World Trade Center: This was special to me because I was attending culinary school at the CIA in Hyde Park, NY when everything happened. I remember the day as if it happened yesterday. A week after the terrorist attack, some friends and I went down to ground zero (as close as we could get) and the smell was terrible…. You could smell the burnt hair and death was in the air. It was sad. But to see it today, the rebuild, the life around it, the memories…. was amazing. I am so glad to have been able to see it.

    Rockefeller Center: Crowded place but by bike, it was easy to get too and we find a small little place to park so we could take a look and take pictures. I have heard many things about this area and have seen it on the news so it was extra special to see it, especially this time of year with the Christmas tree and the skating rink. Pretty neat.

    Time Square: I have walked down to this area a little bit when I visited but never by bike. We did have to dismount to be able to walk through all the crowds. It was cool to feel the vibe of the people and see all the happens in Time Square.

    Macys: Glad my wife didn’t come because she would be GLUED to the windows! When I got back to work on Monday, I told a coworker where we went and she told me that each year, Macys picks someone (a company) to decorate their window fronts. That’s neat.

    Hudson River Greenway: I think of this as a really freaking cool bike path. It runs along the Hudson River and it was great be on. The paths were wide, well kept and it seems like everyone that was walking were used to bikers. Can’t say that for every bike path!

    Central Park: What a beautiful place. Imagine a park where no cars could go and just bike riders, walkers, runners, etc. The park is really big, great roads and a wonderful place to be!

    Harlem: It was amazing to just say I rode in NYC but also to ride in Harlem was something special too.

    Bridges: We got to see the Brooklyn Bridges and the George Washington Bridge. FYI…. Pictures of those turned out great!

    Greenwich Village: I have a few culinary friends that live there and I have visited that area before. It’s a wonderful place to be in and even better to ride in.

    We visited many more places and got to see other wonderful things. The thrilling part for me was to ride in traffic, learn from other people with more knowledge about riding then me, meet new people, and to just be in NYC by bike!

    If you want to see some pictures, go here:

    https://picasaweb.google.com/1044663...my0syE3ufjlgE#

    If you want to see some of my friends pictures, go here:

    https://picasaweb.google.com/1111481...eat=directlink

  2. #2
    Senior Member green427's Avatar
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    Agreed, it was a great ride. Thanks for posting the report. Would love to do it again, but with a smaller group and not around a holiday.

  3. #3
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    Great pics, but it did look cold! Man, I would love to ride through Central Park. Was this some sort of organized ride, or just a bunch of friends hanging out?

  4. #4
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    Central Park was amazing. Wish every city had something like that. Its amazing to see the aggressive bike support that NYC has in support of cycling. I love it.

    It was an organized ride that White Clay Cycling Club put on. You didnt have to pay or anything.... just sign up. We had 30 riders and two ride leaders with two sweepers.

  5. #5
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    If you ever take the SI ferry for the start of the 5 Boro ride you will really know what a lot of bikes looks like. The year I did it, there were so many people two ferries filled while we were waiting in line. When we finally got on, we were packed like sardines in the area where cars used to go.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Mithrandir's Avatar
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    Cool ride!

    LOTS of pedestrians in those pictures though, I'd be nervous riding in that!

  7. #7
    SERENITY NOW!!! jyossarian's Avatar
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    Did your ride take you up to the Cloisters in Ft. Tryon park just north of the GWB? It's a climb, but beautiful once you get up there. Also, there's a Central Park moonlight ride once a month that takes you on the walking paths of the park where you probably didn't ride. It takes you deeper into the park to see things you'd only see if you were on foot.
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  8. #8
    I don't know. RB1-luvr's Avatar
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    I have been wanting to ride in NYC for years and this post makes me want to do it even more. The Central Park Moonlight Ride sounds like fun too.
    Rast ich so rost ich. (When I rest, I rust)

  9. #9
    Senior Member Mithrandir's Avatar
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    My sister loves to visit NYC. I think sometime next year I will take my first tour, destination NYC. Then have my sister drive me back. I'm not sure. I would love to ride around the city.

    A few years ago I drove around the city but was annoyed by constantly being stuck in traffic. I imagine a bicycle would be much more fun.

  10. #10
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    mith: we are planning a another trip there in spring time. maybe you can come with us.

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    You all should consider FIVE BORO BIKE TOUR 2012. Here is details from this year's tour

    http://www.nycbikemaps.com/spokes/fi...-may-1st-2011/

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    i thought about it. i heard good things and bad. A lot of people got lost because of the lack of markings. Not a fan of getting lost!

    I should give it a try though. I love riding.

  13. #13
    Senior Member tony_merlino's Avatar
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    What a great ride! I loved the pictures - really made me want to go out and ride in the city. If you decide to do the 5 boro tour, I'll volunteer to make sure you don't get lost. (I drove a taxi in the city when I was in college, and although it was still a Dutch colony at the time, I don't think the geography has changed all that much ).

    Have you tried any of the New Jersey tours? There's one that sounds really intriguing, from High Point to Cape May. 238 miles, cutting right down the center of the state. Lots of up and down. I'm going to try an easy one first, from New Brunswick to Lambertsville, on the tow paths. No hills.

    You might like this site: http://www.state.nj.us/transportatio...ike/tours.shtm
    L'asino di Buridano...

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    tony: we are planning a ride for the spring time in NYC. Let me know if you wanna go.



    thats a real neat website. Let me know when you plan to do it. I might be able to go along with ya.

  15. #15
    Senior Member tony_merlino's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chefisaac View Post
    tony: we are planning a ride for the spring time in NYC. Let me know if you wanna go.



    thats a real neat website. Let me know when you plan to do it. I might be able to go along with ya.
    Yes, I'd love to go in the Spring, if kids/work/etc cooperate. As far as the tow path ride goes, I'll definitely let you know - it won't be until after the holidays, though, and might wait for good weather again.
    L'asino di Buridano...

  16. #16
    SERENITY NOW!!! jyossarian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigDNY99 View Post
    You all should consider FIVE BORO BIKE TOUR 2012. Here is details from this year's tour

    http://www.nycbikemaps.com/spokes/fi...-may-1st-2011/
    They're moving to a lottery system for next year's ride so you may or may not get a spot. Last year it sold out in two days, and a few years ago they capped the ride at 30k people after it had grown to over 40k and people were complaining of all the bottlenecks and delays.

    There's also the NYC Century in September. Weather is still nice, there's a range of distances, but the ride's not as crowded and while it skips Staten Island, you get longer rides in the other boros. For ex., you go all the way out to Gateway National Park in Brooklyn, to Kissena velodrome in Queens, etc. There's also the Tour de Brooklyn, Tour de Queens and Tour da Bronx if you want to do each boro separately.

    Edit: There are 3 moonlight rides. One in Central Park on the first Friday of the month, one in Prospect park the 2nd Saturday of the month and one in Riverside Park on the 3rd Saturday of the month. They're all organized by Times Up! They're not hammerfests. Bring your slow bike, lights and be prepared to ride slowly while chatting and looking around a lot.
    Last edited by jyossarian; 12-09-11 at 01:45 PM.
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  17. #17
    Senior Member missjean's Avatar
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    A small group of friends went to the 5 Boro's ride a few years back. We rode our bikes from the hotel to the beginning of the ride, (20/30 blocks?), and was pleasantly surprised how easy it was to navigate the city streets. I'd love to go back some day, not necessarily to the 5 Boro's ride, but just to see the city like you did.
    "I bet German has a word for it. German has a word for everything."

  18. #18
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    If you want to ride TO NYC, check out the Bicycle Club of Philadelphia's yearly event. You can ride from Philly (135 mi.), New Hope, PA (96 mi.), Neshanic Station (70 mi.), NJ or Lyons, NJ (50 mi.) to Brooklyn Heights via Manhattan (Hudson River bike path) and the Brooklyn Bridge. Beers and showers at a nice hotel, dinner on your own in B' Heights (lots of cheap and expensive eats), a stroll along the promenade overlooking lower Manhattan and return bus and truck transportation for you and your bike. Held every year the day before Labor Day. Details should be on the club's web site in July or so.

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