June Softly

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

NYC 5 Boro Bike Tour

Well, it may not be the kind of bike that first comes to mind...
But it was a great ride!

42 Miles of Bikes and Only Bikes!    Every year, riders come from across the country and some 20 countries around the world to experience the magic of New York City by bike.  photo credit

Founded in 1977, the non-competitive event has become one of the largest in the country, selling out in a matter of days. Taking place the first Sunday in May each year, the event's route changes slightly from year to year and shuts down sections of highway as it winds from Manhattan through the Bronx, Queens, Brooklyn and Staten Island.  Read More

The 5 Boro Bike Tour is 32,000 bike riders on a 42 mile car-free bicycle ride around NYC.
Tickets $385/person.  In 2011, the tour sold out in one day!  Read More

First we started in Battery Park in Lower Manhattan~that's it to the far left-all the red trees

View of Lower Manhattan from Staten Island

View of Lower Manhattan from Brooklyn Heights

Anchored by Wall Street, in Lower Manhattan, New York City is the financial capital of the world
 and is home to the New York Stock Exchange.  The former site of the World Trade Center.  
Also home of  Battery Park City, South Street Seaport, TriBeCa, Chinatown, SoHo, the 
Meatpacking District, the West Village, Greenwich Village, Little Italy, Nolita, the East Village, 
Chelsea, Union Square, the Flatiron District and Gramercy.  Read More

We rode up 6th Avenue through Midtown Manhattan

View of Midtown Manhattan at night

Midtown Manhattan is home of:

Then, on this first Sunday in May, we rode through part of Central Park in full bloom.

Central Park

Bigger than the typical city park, but then, almost everything is bigger in Manhattan. Central Park is roughly 2.5 miles long (from 59th St. to West 110th St.) and .5 mile wide (from 8th Ave. to 5th Ave.).  Read More

After Central Park we went through Harlem to 135th Street.

Harlem is home of the Apollo Theatre on 125th Street  Read More

After traveling 15 blocks in Harlem, we made a right, and crossed the  Madison Avenue Bridge so we could ride through streets in the Bronx.

This photo was in Mott Haven, but not the only amazing Graffiti  I saw that day.

5Pointz Building  Read More

5Pointz Building  Read More

I did not ride past 5Pointz, but I did pass much other cool graffiti on the route.  

New York's Five Boroughs at a Glance
JurisdictionPopulationLand Area
Borough of
1 April 2010
The Bronx
Staten Island
Source: United States Census Bureau [1][2][4]

The Bronx is home of Yankee Stadium, 
NY Botanical Garden, Bronx Zoo, 
and Co-op City.

Co-op City
On an island in the Bronx lies a city within a city.  Its 15,372 residential units, in 35 high rise buildings and seven clusters of townhouses, make it the largest single residential development in the United States.  It sits on 320 acres (1.3 km2) but only 20% of the land was developed, leaving many green spaces.                                          

After the small taste of the Bronx, we took a different bridge back to Manhattan, rode past the Upper East Side on the FDR~along side the East River~and headed towards Queens.

Our first taste of open highway.  It's too cool riding on a closed
FDR freeway that once held me in tight traffic!

Next, we were off to Queens by crossing the Queensboro Bridge from Midtown Manhattan to Queens

Queensboro Bridge

The island in between Midtown Manhattan and Queens is called Roosevelt Island.  Read More

Typical residential street in Queens

Forest Hills Queens

Together, the neighborhoods in Queens comprise the most diverse county in the United States and are home to a diverse mix of many different ethnicities.  Read More

Part of the BQE (Brooklyn Queens Expressway) was closed just for us!
It was really cool zipping down a freeway that I had waited in hours of traffic on before.
I know the riders in the back did not have the same experience of 'zipping' like I did  :)
I wonder how many New Yorkers were cursing our bike ride because they could not use the freeway?

We moved on through Queens and into Brooklyn

View of Brookly Heights from Lower Manhattan

Greenpoint Brooklyn

Willow Street Brooklyn

Park Slope Brooklyn

I showed you all of this housing in Brooklyn to give you an idea of how 2.6 million people in 71 square miles can actually fit.  The housing is beautiful and Brooklyn has so much charm, good food, culture, and very interesting people, too!  Brooklyn has long been a magnet for immigrants, and many ethnic groups dominate particular neighborhoods.  It's truly similar to what is shown on television.  One side of the street is one neighborhood and clearly the other side of the street is a different neighborhood.  Brooklyn contains dozens of distinct neighborhoods, representing many of the major ethnic groups.  For me, personally, I would not wonder around in many neighborhoods without being invited and knowing exactly where I was.  I would also not be travelling alone-I would be with company that was welcome in that particular neighborhood.   But that's just me... 

Just before heading out of Brooklyn on the way to Staten Island...

I decided it was time for a nice long break!    There were 5 pit stop areas for people offering rest areas, plenty of snacks, drinks and restrooms along the route.  Everything was complementary; bananas, snapple, water, granola, raisins, etc.  I ate 3 bananas that day!  lol  :)  On the way into the park I didn't really know what park I was entering, I just knew it was the last official pitstop available and definitely time for me to take a break.  I had stayed ahead of the pack for the prior 5 hours and knew at this point I was still way ahead of finding myself in bottleneck traffic to make it to my final destination.  Anyway, after my nice rest I headed out of the park through the opposite end of the park of where I had entered.  Well on the way out, I realized that I had been in that park before!  It was the park that I waited hours in while my son went into Fort Hamilton a few times.  As he was getting weighed in and doing paperwork and physicals to prep for USCG, I would 'hang' in the lovely park next door.  I then realized that was how come my 30 minute break was so enjoyable~because I had special memories with my son there....  Or, maybe it's because it was the first time I had taken a break in riding for over 5 hours...  Either way,

I was on the homestretch to the Verrazano Bridge to take me home to Staten Island.

Sign is current & that's the Verrazano Bridge in the background
photo credit

Brooklyn  (top)                                   Verrazano Bridge                               Staten Island

On the other side of the Verrazano Bridge from Brooklyn was Staten Island.  It was so cool to ride on this bridge because the rest of the year this bridge does not allow cyclists.  I pulled into a full-blown festival with entertainment, vendors, food and drink.  The first thing I did was stop and have a bottle of Chocolate Milk of all things!  After I left that booth I turned around and reached down because I had found a really great pair of riding glasses on the ground!  Very well made, good-looking, and not a scratch on em'!  As I held the glasses in the air and yelled "did anyone lose a pair of sunglasses" I was hoping for the response I got; which was a few sarcastic remarks from peeps that wish they were the one who found these bad ass riding glasses.  But since there were no takers--they were mine!  Next, I took my happy self to the port-a-potty which didn't seem as disgusting as usual-maybe my new found treasure had my spirits up just high enough-and just outside, as I made my exit, I ran into my next surprise of finding a $20 dollar bill on the ground right in front of me!  hehehe  It was a great ride with two little goodies at the end.  The next day I rested my body all day and the day after that made a two hour run.  All good stuff.

I hope you enjoyed my post on the 5 Boro Bike Tour that I did on Sunday, May 1st, 2011.  It was a great time and an amazing experience and I'm glad that I got to share a piece of it with you....

1 comment:

ajlounyinjurylaw said...

Great pictures and even greater event.