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  1. #1
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    NYC Century bike tour

    hi all,

    just started riding again last month after many years off...when i was in college I got doored pretty bad and put me off for a while. Anyways, really enjoying getting back into it. I've been doing 15 - 20 mile rides so i think i should be game to take on the 55 route in september. this is what I'm talking about

    http://www.nyccentury.org/

    anyone have any experience with this or planning on participating?

    I've never done a large group ride, and this seems pretty fun - also a great way/time to check out nyc on a bike.

    best

  2. #2
    LET'S ROLL 1nterceptor's Avatar
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    I've volunteered as a safety marshal for a few of TA's rides.
    I will probably attend this event as a marshal again. I've
    never done this ride but it looks like fun and the reg. fees go
    to very good causes. To get more training help and a feel
    for group rides check out:

    http://5bbc.org/rides/2011/tatrain.shtml

    Good luck and I'll see you there

  3. #3
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    awesome, thanks!

    this training help sounds great, ill be sure to check this out.

  4. #4
    Senior Member reducedfatoreo's Avatar
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    I've done the NYC Century twice now, and hopefully will be able to do it again this year. Loved the ride. Good food, people, and of course, marshals! You've got plenty of time to get ready for the 55. See if you can't convince a friend to do it with you, that'll make the ride that much better. The NYCC is a great way to learn how to bike safely in and around NYC, since no roads are closed down and they take you on paths and lanes.

    If you're feeling especially game, you can even follow old routes...just look for the spray-painted C's that you find every so often on lanes and greenways. Those orange arrows mark the route each year.

  5. #5
    SERENITY NOW!!! jyossarian's Avatar
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    It's a well organized ride that takes you pretty far out. The 55 mile is a good distance, but it skips Queens and the Bronx which is fine since you can do those next year, or you can do the Tour de Bronx in October if you like hills and fried seafood on City Island.
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    That sounds great! thanks for sharing

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    Professional Fuss-Budget Bacciagalupe's Avatar
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    Yeah, the 55 should be a good length. It's a flat ride so it won't be all that challenging, and you'll see some parts of the city you probably haven't seen yet.

    I concur that it's usually very well run, but just keep in mind that as with any organized event, the pit stops might not have everything you want. Fortunately since it's in the middle of NYC, there are lots of places to get food and snacks.

    If you haven't done so already, by the way, make sure you know how to change a flat, and that you have a spare tube, patch kit and pump.

  8. #8
    Calamari to go cc_rider's Avatar
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    It is a good ride. Great way to see the city.
    I've done it several times, all distances except the really short one. Just signed up for this year's last week.

    As others have said, the 55 mile might be a good route. Mostly flat.
    But if you're not sure what you can handle, try taking it one rest stop at a time. Start early (I start close to 6am regardless of the distance I plan to ride (I like seeing the sun rise over the Brooklyn Bridge)) and at each stop see how your legs are feeling. If you're still good, continue to the next stop, and if not, switch to a shorter route or make your own detour. You can save a lot of miles by cutting though Flushing Meadow and picking up the route again near Shea (pardon, Citi-Field)

    Starting early is a good idea. The Astoria rest stop runs out of the good stuff early.
    Have fun.

  9. #9
    Senior Member FrankieV's Avatar
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    It's a great ride. I've been a riding marshall for the past few years and have done it as a participant before that.
    It's nice because, like others have said, you can bail at any time. Especially if you know your way back home.
    It's also not crowded like the 5 Boro and not a snail's pace like the tour de Brooklyn, Queens, etc.
    I see you're from Brooklyn. They have a start from Prospect Park for the past 2 years.
    In the past, the only start was at the north end of Central Park.
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    Yeah, looks like the start is at grand army plaza which is less then a couple miles away from me...cant beat that!

    I think everyone has sold me here. It'll also be something to help push me ride more this summer! hope to see some of you.. thanks all

  11. #11
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    I've done the century twice, enjoyed it both times, even though:

    - The start (at that time) was at Central Park) and I had not pre-registered. Thus it was a long wait getting going.
    - I had a collision with a salmon rider at the start on 5th Ave. making a sudden left turn in front of me, endo'd, broke a rib, screwed up my R wrist but rode on regardless.
    - It's a LOT of stopping and starting, a result of city riding, stop signs, red lights, etc.. Makes for a tiring ride and about the most difficult of all the assorted centuries I've ridden.
    - The rest stop Nazi's at Coney Island were very stingy with the water bottles.

    All said, I'd do it again. Riding in the city to places you never knew existed is so rewarding. The organizers know the city well and find all the coolest bike paths and routes, I'd never know about some of these places if I hadn't done the tour.

    They've changed it since I last rode, with the Prospect Park start as well as the Central Park. Makes it much easier logistically.

    I'd aim for the 75. If you train for 55 and know you can do 55, you can squeeze in 75 with no issue. Then next year the 100.

  12. #12
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    For those of you who have done the NYCC, would you recommend riding a performance oriented road bike with 23mm tires? Or would it be better to fit 25s or 28s due to what I imagine are rough roads in many places? How about a single speed (for those so inclined)?

    I'm planning to do the 55 mile route. But I'm used to plying the much smoother roads of suburban and semi-rural New Jersey. I'm kind of a wimp when it comes to cycling in Gotham (but looking forward to this opportunity)! Any gear recommendations are appreciated.

  13. #13
    SERENITY NOW!!! jyossarian's Avatar
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    I've ridden a FG w/ 28's and a roadie w/ 23's. You're riding in traffic so watch yourself at intersections, be predictable and hold your line.
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  14. #14
    Senior Member reducedfatoreo's Avatar
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    Most of the ride is quite flat, excepting the bridges, unless you're doing the full century. In that case be prepared for some lovely hills in the Bronx and Northern Manhattan. Fun to have those grades on the last 15 miles!

    I ride with 23s on my road bikes all over the city, but they're Nashbar's kevlar tires. 25s should be fine, but you'll be ok with 23s, too.

    Last time I did the century there was a guy on a unicycle keeping up with us the whole time. I saw him at every single rest stop. If he can finish it on his "single-speed," there's no reason anyone else can't, either. I've had a couple friends do it on single-speeds, and they were fine, albeit zonked. Just remember about those hills at the end!

    Since you're doing the 55, I'd say ride whatever tires and gearing is most comfortable. Finish up those miles on the bike you like the most, then on subsequent tours and races you can challenge yourself by riding single-speeds and what have you.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by OrangeRoubaix View Post
    For those of you who have done the NYCC, would you recommend riding a performance oriented road bike with 23mm tires? Or would it be better to fit 25s or 28s due to what I imagine are rough roads in many places? How about a single speed (for those so inclined)?

    I'm planning to do the 55 mile route. But I'm used to plying the much smoother roads of suburban and semi-rural New Jersey. I'm kind of a wimp when it comes to cycling in Gotham (but looking forward to this opportunity)! Any gear recommendations are appreciated.
    Ride whatever you have and don't spend or sweat over something "better". I have seen a lot of folks on expensive road racing bikes and have noticed that they tend to suffer more flats, especially on the bike path under the Verrazanno, but possibly they don't run tires with flat protection (which is marginal against glass slivers in any case). I run 27mm's as that's what I use to commute on and they are pretty bomb proof, but it's not really that important.

    SB

  16. #16
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    Thanks for the comments. Mostly I worry about flats from jagged detritus or mega-potholes. I have carbon and Ti road bikes, plus a steel SS road bike. I'll probably get some tough 25s and fit them to one of my geared bikes.
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  17. #17
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    people grossly overstate the poor condition of nyc roads. it's nothing more than minor discomfort if your a heavier rider like me. 23's are fine. they do a good job planning the route to keep it on good surfaces and as someone else mentioned, do the 75 mile option. this is as flat of a ride as you will ever do. the full century has a few small hills in the BX, people always overstate thosehills because manhattan is so flat but they really aren't that tough at all.
    I did the 75 last year because I do a ton of riding in the BX already and I wasn't going to get to see anything new. here is a link to my ride last year, you can see it's very flat, only about 3000 feet of climbing over the span of 70+miles. http://runkeeper.com/user/cpfitness/activity/16312683

  18. #18
    Senior Member reducedfatoreo's Avatar
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    We also overstate those hills because they come at the *end* of the century, when some of us have started to bonk

  19. #19
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    I did the 75m one last year, my first year, on a single speed road bike. That was the most I'd ridden in 1 day at that point. It was a lot of fun and it's a bummer that I'm out of the country for the 2011 ride. I was looking forward to doing the century this time.

    That said, I recommend starting in Central Park. I started in Brooklyn and was supposed to end in Brooklyn, but getting to the Brooklyn finish line proved to be too much of a challenge for me. The directions got really confusing at this point and I got lost. I rode around an extra 10 miles or so trying to find the finish line. I never did. I didn't see any other riders there and I rode by myself (no cycling friends) and didn't have a smartphone at the time, and the directions and markers kept me going in the same circle over and over. So after I clocked in at 85 miles after riding around Prospect Park for a while I called it a day and went home. There was no big fanfare finish line in Brooklyn anyway (that was in Central Park) but it was still an anti-climactic ending to an otherwise fun day.

    So, unless you have the necessary navigational tools or you know the area well enough, I'd recommend starting in Central Park regardless of convenience.

    Another reason I think starting there is better is because you get most of the Manhattan riding out of the way early in the morning when there's less traffic. It would have improved my timing.

    Since then while riding around Rockaway I've come across the Century markers and I follow the same route sometimes - it's a really nice ride. The riding surfaces vary from very good to very bad.

  20. #20
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    I was thinking of starting in Prospect Park and Ending in CP to make it an 85 mile ride. When I did the full 100(+) from CP I was too tired to get back on from CP and ride home to Brooklyn and took the subway, and I think I'd feel the same way after stopping in CP if I started in PP.

  21. #21
    Calamari to go cc_rider's Avatar
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    bump

    Less than a month to go.
    Anyone interested in a CP meet up for the 100 start?
    Not sure if I'll do the full 100, but I plan to ride at least 75.

  22. #22
    Senior Member FattyArbuckle's Avatar
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    Wish I could go, but I have an 11AM wedding to get to out on LI. That & the North Fork Century this weekend is looking like a bike-through-hurricane-irene catastrophe. I think there's something on the calendar during the Tour de Bronx, too this year. WEAK!!

  23. #23
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    I started the Escape NY century a few years ago when there were forecasts of heavy rain from hurricane Hugo. The ride started at 122nd & Riverside, and I was at the other side of the viaduct over 125th St when the skies just opened up. I made it to 168th St & Bway, where I waited under an awning for about a half an hour before I made a dash to the subway. At some point while waiting a lightning bolt came down and they cancelled the ride, but not before a lot of people were already in NJ. I was totally soaked and when I sat down on the A train the water squished out of my riding shorts. Ewwwww.

  24. #24
    Car-Free Flatlander Stacy's Avatar
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    Few years ago when I did the Northfork Century I heard thunder just a couple of miles past the first rest stop. I should've turned back because by the time I reached the second rest stop I was drenched. There was no shelter -- not even tents to shade the food and volunteers -- and despite the invention of cell phones, no could give a straight answer as to when the sag bus might arrive. After hanging out in the only shelter available, a toilet, I finally decided to take the short cut back to the start. Not surprisingly the roads were flooded and many of the markings were either under water or under cars that had stopped at intersections. After about 40 miles I finally got picked up by a SAG van that took me back to the start. The hot shower and veggie burger turned out to be the most appreciated I've had in years.

  25. #25
    Senior Member FrankieV's Avatar
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    Since we're telling "war stories", my favorite is when I did the Harlem Valley Ride (one of my favorite rides).
    It was a beautiful day until the skies turned black in the distance when we were stopped at a rest stop.
    Everyone mounted up a rode thinking we were headed AWAY from the storm.
    But the road turned and we ended up heading right into it.
    We were in the middle of corn fields when it hit. Lightning strikes all around us, thunder and then hail.
    It continued like that for about 15 miles when we reached the next rest stop, cold and wet.
    Our bikes were put on a truck and we were about to be SAGed and the sun came out.
    Most kept their bikes on the truck, but a few of us die hards rode to the finish.
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