View Full Version : Did anybody do the Five Boro Bike Tour?

05-04-2009, 05:52 PM
I was simply staggered by the size of the group. What's it like to ride with so many people?


05-05-2009, 08:14 AM
Did you see No No's post? It sounded horrible!

05-06-2009, 05:19 AM
It sounds fun, thinking of 30,000 riders, the streets of NYC closed down, see the sights! But they did a poor job with the route. It was ugly and we weren't in the best of neighborhoods at times. But when planning a route, why put us through areas where you know people will bottleneck? Something should have been done about that, it was SO frustrating to ride a few blocks and then have to stop and walk. And all those stops caused a lot of crashes because you'd come up on them suddenly. The Astoria Park rest stop, while scenic, was rediculous to get out of. Funnel all of us down two narrow (think two people side-by-side) paths? Really? It took forever to get out of there!:mad:

But the worst were the riders themselves. I've never seen such poor riding. People that looked like they hadn't been on a bike in years and were wobbling all over the place. Why did you sign up for a 42 mile bike ride? People stopping randomly and you literally have nowhere to go to get around them. NYC is as flat of a route as you could possibly ask for, but still, people were struggling on the few minor hills and again causing near-misses. Please move to the right if you know you're slow. At one point I saw a woman walking, her friend explaining to her that the gears on the left move the big gears and those make hills easier. Why do you show up to a huge ride if you don't know the basics of riding? I also love the "Where's the person I was riding next to?" slow to a crawl in the middle of the path move:rolleyes: And just as bad were the too-confident riders, cutting and weaving through the crowds. Racing through everyone, squeezing through spaces they had no right trying to get through. They caused nearly as many issues as the inexperienced riders.

Even just starting took forever. We showed up at 7:30, the start was at 8. It was 9 when we started moving. But at one point, starting at my block, they held us and we couldn't go. So even though by 8:30 the block in front of us was moving, they made everyone from my block back wait another 30min (in the rain) to start moving. Just dumb.

Looking back, when I told people I was doing the ride, most gave me a "good luck with that" response. They'd done it, usually only once, and never returned. Others that hadn't been there had heard the horror stories and weren't surprised when I came back with bent spokes and bruised legs. So now I'll join the group of "been there and never going back" riders, and will laugh when someone excitedly tells me they're doing the ride for the first time. Good luck with that.;)

05-06-2009, 05:53 AM
Our view while we waited. Literally people as far as the eye could see!

Me, looking optimistic at the start:

And getting my spokes straightened after some tool crushed me:

05-06-2009, 07:21 AM
I did it. It was my first time to New York, so I was a bit amazed by the whole experience. It was mind numbing the number of people on the road. We arrived at 6:30 am for the 8:00 am start time and the roads were already filling up with riders. The congestion at the start of the tour was terrible. A lot of walking. Central Park had us walking sections b/c of the congestion. It didn't start to open up until we were in about 15 miles. After Astoria Park, it got much better except for the cold rain coming down. I found that you had to be so alert watching for other riders that it was hard to do much site seeing. All in all though, since it was my first big tour and my first trip to NY, I still chalk it up as an amazing experience.

05-06-2009, 07:28 AM
wow, those photos are amazing. Sounds like they need to limit the number of people on this ride or maybe stagger the start times.
It is wonderful that so many people WANT to do this ride, it would be fun to watch from, say, a helicopter!

05-06-2009, 07:50 AM
I did not do the 5 Boro tour but I did recently ride in NYC.
I rented a bike from a company called Bike and Roll (http://www.bikeandroll.com/newyork/index.html#). If you want to see NYC by bike this is the way to go.
It cost me $50 to rent the bike all day and I had an unforgettable ride.

05-06-2009, 08:05 AM
wow, those photos are amazing. Sounds like they need to limit the number of people on this ride or maybe stagger the start times.
It is wonderful that so many people WANT to do this ride, it would be fun to watch from, say, a helicopter!

My thoughts exactly! Maybe raise the entry fee (it's only $40 now, which is nothing compared to most rides) and limit it to say, 10,000. That's still a lot of people!

05-06-2009, 06:47 PM
Great pictures, Sprockgal. I'm looking forward to going to Astoria -- by myself.


05-09-2009, 08:40 AM
I had wanted to do this but think I am glad I didn't send in my money quick enough.

Thanks for sharing the pictures and your stories.

05-19-2009, 06:09 PM
My first, and last, 5-boro. It was horrible. Yes, the bottlenecks, stop and walk, pedals banging against my shins. You wouldn't believe how bruised my legs are. Yes to all the wobbly beginners who were a danger in front of us, but I could at least TRY to hang back and stay away from them. My biggest issue was the jackasses who were weaving in and out of the pack at way-too-reckless a pace. The marshalls kept yelling "It's not a race," yet so many people acted as if it was. I saw a couple of wipeouts. They created a danger for everyone near them. My friend and I went only 11 miles to the FDR rest stop and said FORGET THIS. I will never do it again.