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Old 02-21-12, 12:27 PM   #51
indyfabz
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I've been closely following the posts on forums like here in BF about this 5 Boro Bike Tour in NYC and now I'm seriously having second thoughts as to whether I should do it or just make a pass in favor of other more serious bike events. I joined my pals when they applied for the lottery, and we all got selected. But sadly, I only have until this Tuesday (21st) to secure my spot. The multiple-year experiences that you all had makes me think if it's really worth spending the $75 registration, then add the incidentals like lodging, food, gas, tolls, and of course the all-important time. If it's still going to be borderline chaotic similar to what some of you described in the past, then I can foresee it's no different than going to Times Square on New Year's Eve then getting stuck in Manhattan till 6am on New Year's Day trying to get back to Jersey. I've done it once and I'm relieved it's been checked out of my Lifetime Travel Goals.

Coming from Chester County, Pennsylvania I really have to be 100% sure I wanna do this without any regret.

Decisions, decisions.
Don't go. Trust me.
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Old 02-21-12, 07:58 PM   #52
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Shinjukan

My thoughts would be if you've never done this ride it's worth doing at least once. Sure logistically it's sort of a nightmare, for an out of towner it's expensive. But if you chill out and just roll with it you can go through some cool parts of the city and not have to deal with car traffic.
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Old 02-27-12, 09:37 AM   #53
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I hear you fusilierdan and indyfabz. Something happened to my registration which made me miss the Feb. 21 deadline due to incorrect data. It was one of our members who registered everybody in the group but he can't believe something went wrong, and it's only on mine. To Bike NY's credit, they accommodated me by making the change and extending the deadline till 12 noon today (27th).

I really like to experience even just for this time how it is to ride on the 5 Boros of NYC together with the 'chaos' some 32,000 other riders would bring to the event. But my distance to NYC plus the incidentals I have to incur are hard to ignore. The big question mark on what the weather would be on the day itself is a true wild card, and if it rains on that day I obviously can't afford to get sick with a flu in the days after.

Maybe I'll just take the $7.30 as the only loss instead of the full registration price. I can instead use the savings to reward myself with either a good cycling shoes or a saddle upgrade. Now that I think is worth it!!
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Old 02-27-12, 12:54 PM   #54
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Or you could save your money and do the NYC Century. There aren't as many riders as the 5BBC but you can drive in and ride the same day. You'll get a much better tour of the City and you won't have to invest in walking shoes.

http://nyccentury.org/
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Old 02-27-12, 04:15 PM   #55
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i know my limits right now. forty miles of laps in central park (training for 5boro) today whooped me pretty badly.

a century would be very very difficult for me in my current condition.

strict diet and training from this moment on would probably get me in shape for it by september, but it's too much of a commitment right now.

sooo tempting though.... maybe next year.
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Old 02-27-12, 04:32 PM   #56
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i know my limits right now. forty miles of laps in central park (training for 5boro) today whooped me pretty badly.

a century would be very very difficult for me in my current condition.

strict diet and training from this moment on would probably get me in shape for it by september, but it's too much of a commitment right now.

sooo tempting though.... maybe next year.
You don't have to do the full century.
There is a 15, 35, 55, and 75 besides the 100.
I marshall both the 5 Boro and the NYC Century.
The NYC Century is the tamer of the two but you must do the 5 Boro at least once.
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Old 02-27-12, 10:15 PM   #57
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Frankiev - thanks for the info on NYC Century. I got shut out of the 5 Boro but I think the NYC Century would actually be better for me, esp since they have a 15 mile and 35 mile option.
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Old 02-28-12, 06:33 AM   #58
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NYC Century is much better I did the 5 Boro once and that was enough for me.i
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Old 02-28-12, 07:37 PM   #59
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You don't have to do the full century.
There is a 15, 35, 55, and 75 besides the 100.
I marshall both the 5 Boro and the NYC Century.
The NYC Century is the tamer of the two but you must do the 5 Boro at least once.
nice, thanks.

I should look more closely into this.
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Old 02-29-12, 12:39 PM   #60
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The NY Century is a nice event.
I've done the BNY5B nine times. Enjoyed it, but probably won't do it again. Almost always the same route, weather is iffy and the crowds have gotten huge.
I've done the NY Century 7 times, different distance and different route each time, and still enjoy it. Crowd is more manageable, usually better weather and I like the variety of routes.

NY Century is the better event, but BNY5B is worth doing at least once. See how you like it, and if nothing else, you get to say you did it.
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Old 02-29-12, 01:19 PM   #61
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i know my limits right now. forty miles of laps in central park (training for 5boro) today whooped me pretty badly.

a century would be very very difficult for me in my current condition.

strict diet and training from this moment on would probably get me in shape for it by september, but it's too much of a commitment right now.

sooo tempting though.... maybe next year.

40 miles in Central Park is much tougher than the 5 Boro. For one, you get to walk a lot with the 5 Boro and, aside from the bridges, most of the tour is relatively flat. Toughest parts of the Five Boro are Cat Hill in Central Park, from the FDR to the upper level of the QueensBoro Bridge, and the Verrazzano with its cross winds. If you can do 40 miles including a spin around Central Park then you're probably in good enough shape to complete the Five Boro Bike Tour. Riding the 5 Boro is much more about patience than endurance.
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Old 02-29-12, 03:21 PM   #62
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40 miles in Central Park is much tougher than the 5 Boro. For one, you get to walk a lot with the 5 Boro and, aside from the bridges, most of the tour is relatively flat. Toughest parts of the Five Boro are Cat Hill in Central Park, from the FDR to the upper level of the QueensBoro Bridge, and the Verrazzano with its cross winds. If you can do 40 miles including a spin around Central Park then you're probably in good enough shape to complete the Five Boro Bike Tour. Riding the 5 Boro is much more about patience than endurance.
it was 3.5 miles to Central Park, maybe 5 laps around(?), 3.5 miles back. 40.06 miles.

2,900 feet of climb said the gps.

i was thinking this is an adequate training route for the tour.

Edit: to say, I know Queensboro bridge very very well from my past commute (crossing to the queens side is the easy way even), and will continue to train/die on the hills in Central Park, so I thought the Verrazano (nearly 3,000 feet of climb if I'm not mistaken) was the only real "question mark" for me. Considering the Verrazano is at the end of the ride, I'm sure I'll be spinning slowly up it....

Last edited by BridgeNotTunnel; 02-29-12 at 05:31 PM.
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Old 03-01-12, 12:44 AM   #63
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it was 3.5 miles to Central Park, maybe 5 laps around(?), 3.5 miles back. 40.06 miles.

2,900 feet of climb said the gps.

i was thinking this is an adequate training route for the tour.

Edit: to say, I know Queensboro bridge very very well from my past commute (crossing to the queens side is the easy way even), and will continue to train/die on the hills in Central Park, so I thought the Verrazano (nearly 3,000 feet of climb if I'm not mistaken) was the only real "question mark" for me. Considering the Verrazano is at the end of the ride, I'm sure I'll be spinning slowly up it....
Maybe your GPS is off. I just can't imagine you could get 2,900 ft elevation gain in only 5 laps around the park since the highest point in Central Park is only about 130 feet above sea level. Most of the bridges around New York, like the Brooklyn and the GWB are no more than 200 feet above sea level. According to Wikipedia the Verrazzano has a clearance of 220 feet, so add another 20 feet for the lower level and that's still under 250 ft.

Someone on the New York Cycle Club page mentions 220 feet gain, per lap in Central Park, as measured on his Polar Cyclocomputer.
http://nycc.org/node/33768

Keep in mind this is a ride for families so it's not going to be all that challenging.

EDIT: The ride over the Queensboro is tougher than you're accustomed to because it uses the upper roadway, accessed from a side street, which gives you a steep climb.... or hike.

Last edited by Stacy; 03-01-12 at 12:51 AM.
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Old 03-01-12, 09:13 AM   #64
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Here's the link to the info RE: bridges on the route. I thought it included climb stats but only includes span lengths. http://www.bikenewyork.org/ride/five...t-the-bridges/

5 laps was an estimate as it's difficult to tell with overlapping lines on the google map, nor was I counting as I made the laps.

One lap being 6.1 miles, 40 miles less 7 for the trip there and back, leaves 33 miles inside Central Park = 5.41 laps.

It was nearly 2,600 feet of climb as shown by the GPS (not 2,900), including both ways over the Queensboro bridge.


Best(5000 yd): 16.83 mph
Max Speed: 25.00 mph
Max Pace: 02:24 min/mi
Average Pace: 04:47 min/mi
Total climb: 2582 ft
Total descend: 2513 ft

GPS may be far from perfect, but I doubt it's grossly inaccurate.
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Old 03-01-12, 12:27 PM   #65
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A word on the Verrazzano: The climb is not that steep, but it is longer than any other climb on the tour and will be even longer this year as I understand the route will not be the entrance from 92nd Street, as in prior years, but up from the bridge approach which is below street level.

The Verrazzano can get a little hectic during the height of the tour. The early arrivals are usually strong riders who zip up and over. As you get to mid-pack, you will get a combination of folks who walk and folks who want to stop and admire the views and take pictures. Slower riders and those walking should stay to the right, but you get a few very entitled souls who refuse and block up the left lanes. Another thing to watch for are the riders going down the long decline on the bridge, some of whom go way too fast for their skill level and the size of the crowd.
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Old 03-01-12, 06:24 PM   #66
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I was wondering about the Verrazzano the most, thanks.

My LBS offered me a free spot on the Northfork Century.

Sounds like a century I could probably complete.

Also, the accommodations sound fantastic.

http://www.northforkcentury.com/North_Fork_12/Home.html
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Old 03-01-12, 08:01 PM   #67
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billm45s is correct: this year's route will not use the Belt, but is planned to take a straight shot via Gowanus. As to the Queensboro Bridge, remember that you are climbing in some way almost from the moment you exit the FDR. I don't know the climb numbers, but that QB climb on the 5BBT is a lot more than you think if you are used to the bike lane.
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Old 03-02-12, 12:17 AM   #68
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Thanks DSchilichting

I am familiar with the grade of the upper roadway via car, and yes it would be more difficult than the grade of the bike path in that direction.

I see a lot of spinning in my future.

I'm hoping to walk as little as possible but I'm sure bike traffic, steep grades, and assorted factors will make staying in the saddle basically impossible.

I'm definitely keeping an open mind, and will try to just have fun with it whatever happens.
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Old 03-09-12, 08:37 PM   #69
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I can't see them needing a lottery. Last years fiasco should discourage the crowd of applicants
amen lol
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Old 04-04-12, 09:57 AM   #70
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An out-of-towner here. I'm flying in from Vancouver, Canada to see the Lepage Ring at the Met, and I'll have my bike with me to check out the area. I noticed that the 5 Boro tour was on the Sunday where I've got nothing scheduled, and that it's possible to still get in for $300 as a VIP, but screw that. Do riders ever just go in and ride the course at the end of the pack before it's closed? Or is security really tight? (I would imagine they would take steps to eliminate free riders.) I take it that they close bridges that are normally not open to cyclists? (I do not know NYC at all). Basically, I'm just a tourist on a bike who happens to be watching (and following) a parade... (and I have no intention of stopping at any of the rest stops!) I just thought this might be a good way to see all 5 boros. Otherwise, I'll just take a bike map and ride all five boros on my own. Is this a better way to do this? (I've been a regular bike commuter for the past 40 years, I've ridden PBP on my fixie, yada,yada, just to give you an idea of my level of skill & experience to aid in formulating your recommendations...)

Also, what's with these hotels charging $20/night for bicycle storage? Is this common in NYC? I have NEVER been charged for bicycle storage at a hotel! (In fact, one of the British Columbia motel chains, Accent Inns, actually encourages cyclists - you keep your bike in your ground floor room, they have a bike servicing area with stands and tools and rags, etc.)

Luis
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Old 04-04-12, 11:55 AM   #71
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You do see people riding the BNY5B without the bibs, but there are a couple of checkpoints. Without a bib they won't let you over the Queesboro Bridge (but you can take the lower level bike path yourself), the Verrazano Bridge (no route alternate there) or into the rest stops.
Given how crowded the BNY5B is, probably better to do your own ride.
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Old 04-05-12, 05:24 PM   #72
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40 miles in Central Park is much tougher than the 5 Boro. For one, you get to walk a lot with the 5 Boro and, aside from the bridges, most of the tour is relatively flat. Toughest parts of the Five Boro are Cat Hill in Central Park, from the FDR to the upper level of the QueensBoro Bridge, and the Verrazzano with its cross winds. If you can do 40 miles including a spin around Central Park then you're probably in good enough shape to complete the Five Boro Bike Tour. Riding the 5 Boro is much more about patience than endurance.
You don't have to train. Seriously, I've seen kids on training wheels, adult on single speed beach cruisers and kids on BMX bikes complete the 5BBT
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Old 04-09-12, 07:13 AM   #73
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+1. Analysis Paralysis is what some people would say. If one is relatively fit, then it's hard to think that they'll be 'owned' by that 40-mile ride with just a few inclines to hurdle. Just keep yourselves within your target goal and don't forget to bring bags of patience. If it's any consolation to those who will be riding this tour, just watch this YT clip and say to yourself if you can't do that.

http://youtu.be/V2cw2uxU2qI
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Old 04-09-12, 09:27 AM   #74
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I've done the 5Boro a few times - definitely not worth the trouble anymore as it's gecome more of a circus than anything else.
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Old 04-09-12, 04:21 PM   #75
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Anyone get their registration info? I'm interested to see how they broke it out this year. I'm "blue" with a 7:45a start.
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