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  1. #1
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    Five Boro Bike Tour, Ride, Walk, Stand - sold out?

    I just got another email from the Bike New York inviting me to register for this year's ride on May 4. I rode it several times, but having endured it last May I decided to skip it this year. In fact, it seems like I have done this more than once: the first year after I ride, I remember what a PITA it was the last time, and I skip it; the second year, I've forgotten the pain and I sign up again, like a squirrel who can't remember where he buried his nuts. Seems like I ride every other year.

    Anyway, does this email indicate that it did not sell out after several hours, as it has in the past? Does it mean that others feel as I feel -- that the annoyance of overcrowding (or the fear of terrorism?) overcomes the enjoyment of the unique venue? Or are they offering the VIP package only?

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by csi56 View Post
    I just got another email from the Bike New York inviting me to register for this year's ride on May 4. I rode it several times, but having endured it last May I decided to skip it this year. In fact, it seems like I have done this more than once: the first year after I ride, I remember what a PITA it was the last time, and I skip it; the second year, I've forgotten the pain and I sign up again, like a squirrel who can't remember where he buried his nuts. Seems like I ride every other year.

    Anyway, does this email indicate that it did not sell out after several hours, as it has in the past? Does it mean that others feel as I feel -- that the annoyance of overcrowding (or the fear of terrorism?) overcomes the enjoyment of the unique venue? Or are they offering the VIP package only?
    I hear what you are saying. The ride is a PITA, and I have done it a bunch of times, but it is still fun for me. Like you, I was intrigued by that 2nd email from Bike New York, because the ride always sold out fast in recent years. Personally, I think the registration price is so high for a one day event like that. That is why I am skipping it this year. Maybe others felt the same way.

  3. #3
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    The price is now $90.00 dollars this year. They can keep the one borough bike tour because Queens and Brooklyn are ridden on highways! Oh, did I mention the Bronx and Staten Island are barely touched?

    I still think it will sell out but unless they have the tour and city streets, I'll pass this year, again!

  4. #4
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    Today's email, unlike the last from Bike New York, says "Standard Registration for the TD Five Boro Bike Tour presented by REI is sold out! You can still register as a VIP or on behalf of one of our 50+ Charity Partners, but hurry! Spots are filling up fast." So I suspect the LAST email was a kicker to finish selling all the spots.

  5. #5
    Senior Member walrus1's Avatar
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    Last I heard they still weren't allowing bags cause terrorism. Until cooler heads prevail and I can bring what I need I'll pass on it.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by csi56 View Post
    Today's email, unlike the last from Bike New York, says "Standard Registration for the TD Five Boro Bike Tour presented by REI is sold out! You can still register as a VIP or on behalf of one of our 50+ Charity Partners, but hurry! Spots are filling up fast." So I suspect the LAST email was a kicker to finish selling all the spots.
    I knew it was going to sell out. If you really want to go, wait until the day before and search Craigslist. You'll find loads of people trying to unload them.

  7. #7
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    I did the CL thing a few times, and yes you can get tickets. At $90 a pop, I decided not to sign up as there would be 3 of us, my daughter and my son along with myself. That's just too much money and ridiculously expensive. I asked my daughter if she would do the NYC Century, but she declined. Besides, she'll be in college by then, hopefully a place with good riding so I can visit!

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    The only tour in my opinion is Manhattan. Otherwise, you're better off taking map making of route for example of Brooklyn and ride the streets. Much cheaper and you'll see way more than just an expressway.

  9. #9
    Senior Member blacknbluebikes's Avatar
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    I rode this last year, as well as the NYC Century ride, so just wanted to set a few facts straight, based on first-hand observation.
    1. Brooklyn and Queens are not "just an expressway" ride. Maybe some posters have not ridden this recently.
    2. Yes, the "not riding for charity" slots do sell-out the first day. Raising money for a cause gets you a second opportunity.
    3. I had no issues riding with my backpack last year.
    4. The crucial element is that the *roads are closed for the ride,* which is not true for the NYC Century. Closing 40 miles of road in NYC is no trivial matter. I must have "clipped out" of the pedals forty times on the NYC Century. Not part of my season's training routine.
    5. Each year the organizers improve things. Start is better, course is better, rest areas are better, freebies are better.
    6. I've got about 35 weekends to ride better asphalt with fewer cars on a better bike with no bozo's. But this event is a "one-of-a-kind" NYC culture and community thing, not the Vuelta or Paris-Roubaix. Let some air out of the tires and enjoy the first weekend of May with friends, family and, preferably, a steel frame.

  10. #10
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    I figured this ride would be a nice 1-time experience and signed up with a friend this year. I have heard a lot about the stopping and standing involved and am looking for advice from veterans. I am choosing between bringing my road bike with clipless pedals or a hybrid with 1/2 platform, 1/2 SPD pedals. The road bike has speedplays and they sell plastic "platform conversion kits" that I was thinking of using on the bike for that ride since it sounds like clipping in and out for long waits would be annoying.


    Thoughts? I could always use the hybrid, but I like the road bike (Trek Domane) much more.

  11. #11
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    Bring the road bike. Just make sure you stay alert due to the volume and, on more than one occasion, bottlenecks do occur especially when going through narrower streets. I only fell once last year in Brooklyn when the guy in front of me stopped short due to congestion. It was unavoidable but learned my lesson along the way.

    I'm registered to ride this year but still on the fence if I'll actually ride. The group I was supposed to ride with decided to wait and now the event is sold out so I'm all alone. Oh well, we'll see. It's definitely more fun riding it with a group.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by jcg878 View Post
    I figured this ride would be a nice 1-time experience and signed up with a friend this year. I have heard a lot about the stopping and standing involved and am looking for advice from veterans. I am choosing between bringing my road bike with clipless pedals or a hybrid with 1/2 platform, 1/2 SPD pedals. The road bike has speedplays and they sell plastic "platform conversion kits" that I was thinking of using on the bike for that ride since it sounds like clipping in and out for long waits would be annoying.


    Thoughts? I could always use the hybrid, but I like the road bike (Trek Domane) much more.
    last year I rode my Tarmac and wore sneakers instead of my SPD-SL shoes .. I have Shimano clips and have no issues! This ride is made for people enjoying themselves with friends and family and the city around them! This ride is nicely organized and well stocked .. Like mentioned above, the freebies and rest stops are awesome! As for the stopping and standing around .. it isn't as bad as some would have you think! .. last year, the whole ride was stopped due to a medical issue on the queens boro bridge.

  13. #13
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    Thanks for the input, six and tsw. I think I was really just looking for any reinforcement to bring the road bike as I really want to.

  14. #14
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    I did this once on my mtb and regretted it. Road bike all the way, although I guess a hybrid would also work. 40 miles of road on knobby tires was just too much.

  15. #15
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    My hybrid has 700x28 tires on it that are essentially slicks so I think I'd be ok from that perspective. It's mostly that I prefer the road bike for, well, anything, by a factor of about 1000 (the hybrid is mostly relegated to pulling children). But also I have some concern about comfortable hand positions for that long of a ride. Before I had the road bike I actually thought I was developing carpal tunnel syndrome and switched to ergonomic keyboards at work since I had pain in that area during the day. Switching to a drop bar bike eliminated that, an unexpected benefit that "cured" my ill.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by jcg878 View Post
    I figured this ride would be a nice 1-time experience and signed up with a friend this year. I have heard a lot about the stopping and standing involved and am looking for advice from veterans. I am choosing between bringing my road bike with clipless pedals or a hybrid with 1/2 platform, 1/2 SPD pedals. The road bike has speedplays and they sell plastic "platform conversion kits" that I was thinking of using on the bike for that ride since it sounds like clipping in and out for long waits would be annoying.


    Thoughts? I could always use the hybrid, but I like the road bike (Trek Domane) much more.
    This will be my third time at the 5 boro. The first was 2011, which was a complete horor show, we where stopped a few time for an hour or more, the finish 'festival' was a joke. Getting back to Manhattan via the Staten Island Ferry took a few hours, mostly standing waiting to get on the ferry. I rode my trek 7.5 fx, spd pedals and shoes(good thing!)
    2012 it was on my sons birthdayso we didn't go.
    Last year it was much smoother, we only stopped when we wanted to, and at cross streets for traffic. The finish 'festival' was better, but we didn't stay long. Instead we stopped at a bar on the way to the ferry for a burger and a beer, turns out this was a good idea, and we'll probably do it again. Just look for the bar with a ton of bikes in front, and lots of guys wearing tights inside! Getting on the ferry was then a peices of cake. Again I was on my Trek 7.5.
    This year, I have a Roubaix, and I'd prefer to do the ride on something different. SO do I put the SPD pedals on the road bike, or use my 29'er(which is a single speed and heavy), or my trusty 7.5? I'm leaning to the Roubaix because it will be fun to go up the VZ bridge on it.
    The most important thing is to keep an open mind, you'll see every kind of rider, on every kind of bike. Keep your eyes and ears open, more so in the first few miles, and ride defensively. Expect people to stop and turn with out warning, and cut corners. The only real hills are the bridges. If slower riders/walkes would stay to the right, that would be nice, but don't expect it. Just have fun with it, and save a sprint for the VZ bridge.
    If you don't know the way, you shouldn't be going there.

  17. #17
    Senior Member blacknbluebikes's Avatar
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    Bag limits / guidelines posted this week for 2014 ride. bascially:
    PROHIBITED
    Backpacks, hydration packs, panniers and “bags larger than 420 cubic inches”
    PERMITTED
    water bottles, saddle bags, fanny packs, baskets and “bags smaller than 420 cubic inches”

  18. #18
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    I think the one reason I would take the Five Boro Bike Tour is for the chance to ride over the Verrazano. I just happened to be on my own four borough bike tour on the day of the ride last year. I didn't realize the tour was happening until I saw a few of the riders. It turns out that my route was similar, though I took in much more of the Bronx, which they barely touched, and I didn't go so far south in Brooklyn, since I wasn't heading to Staten Island.

  19. #19
    LET'S ROLL 1nterceptor's Avatar
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    I just came back from the volunteer marshals' orientation tonite. Something new this year; all riders(including safety marshals) will be wearing multi colored helmet covers to identify them as FBBT participants.

    BNY MARSHAL ORIENTATION by 1nterceptor, on Flickr

  20. #20
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    Thanks again for the feedback. I had to call a bunch of places but eventually tracked down a pair of the Speedplay pedal platform kits, then had the idea to just swap the SPD/platform pedals from the hybrid for the day. Not sure why I didn't think of that one before!

    Looking forward to the ride.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by wilfried View Post
    I think the one reason I would take the Five Boro Bike Tour is for the chance to ride over the Verrazano. I just happened to be on my own four borough bike tour on the day of the ride last year. I didn't realize the tour was happening until I saw a few of the riders. It turns out that my route was similar, though I took in much more of the Bronx, which they barely touched, and I didn't go so far south in Brooklyn, since I wasn't heading to Staten Island.
    I almost forgot to mention. The Bayonne bridge walk way is closed so now everyone has to take the ferry back to Manhattan. Yuk! Remember to stay clear of any cyclists when going down hill, especially on the highway portion. There's always someone being taken into an ambulance at the bottom. Always look for a clear opening because people drop water bottles all during the ride.

  22. #22
    LET'S ROLL 1nterceptor's Avatar
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  23. #23
    Senior Member FrankieV's Avatar
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    Thanks for the video. I didn't make it this year.
    With the new staggered starts, were there any bottlenecks?
    '10 Specialized Roubaix Expert
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  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by FrankieV View Post
    With the new staggered starts, were there any bottlenecks?
    Yes there where.
    My wife and I rode last year, we started in the first wave, after the VIP($$), and charity riders($). We had clear roads the entire way, we only stopped when we wanted to. Moderate lines for food and the bathrooms, and getting into and out of rest areas.
    This year we started in the last wave. We stopped and walked more times than I could count. EVERY up section had a bottleneck at the bottom. People can not understand that 1) there are 10,000 people behind them, and, 2) walkers and slower riders should keep to the right.
    And people don't want to realise that they can't ride a bike and text\take pictures. I saw one idiot with one had on the bars, looking down, weaving back and forth. I saw trouble so I hung back. Somebody else didn't, and dhe weaved right into the passing rider. Down they went. Then of course her friend slams on his brakes and stops right in the middle of the street.
    Funny thing, going up the biggest hill, the Verrazano Bridge(my favorite part of the ride) had no delay at the bottom, and I didn't have to scream at anybody to move over.
    If you don't know the way, you shouldn't be going there.

  25. #25
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    Decided to sell my spot this year. I heard the wind was brutal but it would've been fun anyway. Maybe next year ...

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