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jrenaut
01-12-2012, 09:25 AM
Anyone know anything about this ride up in NYC (http://www.bikenewyork.org/ride/five-boro-bike-tour/)? I just found out about it from a coworker of my wife, and now I find that my team lead did it years ago. It sounds pretty cool, and a nice way to see a lot of the city.

Greenbelt
01-12-2012, 09:33 AM
Did I read that there's a lottery for entrance this year? Apparently it's that popular.

I do recall that we had a discussion a while back about how best to get a bike to NYC, and decided that the Bolt Bus was bike friendly (luggage space permitting), but Amtrak not so much.

jrenaut
01-12-2012, 09:36 AM
There is a lottery. You can also get a spot with one of the many partner charities - I was poking around and it looks like some (all?) have spots that you can apply for if you pledge to raise $X.

Mariner
01-12-2012, 10:26 AM
Yep, lottery. $6 to enter the lotto. No guarantee of entry, of course. The registration fee ($75) has not changed.

Groups of up to 4 can register, and they will be treated as one for the purposes of lottery.

As jrenaut said, you can glom on to a charity if you're so inclined. Or you can pony up $200+ for VIP, which skips lottery and positions you at the starting line.

One important kicker: You have to pick up your rider packet in person in the several days before the ride. No mailouts.

Last year's experience was such a disaster that I can only imagine this move was designed to hone the field down to under 30K.

jrenaut
01-12-2012, 10:30 AM
One important kicker: You have to pick up your rider packet in person in the several days before the ride. No mailouts.
Hadn't noticed that - thanks for pointing it out. We have good friends who live in Brooklyn, so would probably combine the ride with a visit, and packet pickup shouldn't be a problem. But it certainly does make it more complicated.

americancyclo
01-12-2012, 12:23 PM
Anyone know anything about this ride up in NYC (http://www.bikenewyork.org/ride/five-boro-bike-tour/)? I just found out about it from a coworker of my wife, and now I find that my team lead did it years ago. It sounds pretty cool, and a nice way to see a lot of the city.

I haven't been personally, but I've heard it's like a parking lot full of bikes, moving at an excruciatingly slow pace.

Marcella
01-12-2012, 12:31 PM
I did it once, back in 2003. It was crowded, and in some spots where the route narrowed quite a bit we had to stop and wait while everyone funneled through. But most of the time we moved at a good pace.

Another organized ride through the city is the NYC Century, which happens in early September. Again, I haven't ridden it since 2003, but I liked it a lot. The only real problem I recall is that it took me so long to finish it that there was a fair amount of afternoon traffic to deal with in upper Manhattan towards the end of the ride. But that was partly my fault, since I spent too much time at the rest stops.

The route choices for the NYC Century are 15, 35, 55, 75 and 100 miles.

http://nyccentury.org/register

I would do the NYC Century again before I did the 5 Boro tour.

consularrider
01-12-2012, 02:14 PM
I rode the 5 Boros in 2008. We were registered, but skipped the start at Battery Park and just waited at Central Park for the VIP riders to clear the entrance and merged in. This kept us out of the real crowd scene at the start. We ened up having to wait around Prospect Park until they opened the second half of the ride. For me I think once was enough, but evening knowing the downsides I recommend it as long as you're not out to try and set a personal best ;). It's a great way to ride around NYC, but it's getting too popular.


Here's the email info I got from the Bike New York folks on January 11.


"2012 TD Five Boro Bike Tour Lottery Opens January 17!

Held annually the first Sunday in May, the TD Five Boro Bike Tour is America’s largest cycling event. The event provides participants the unique and fun experience to bike through all five boroughs – a 40 mile, traffic-free ride for 32,000 cyclists. The Tour is produced by Bike New York in association with the City of New York and the New York City Department of Transportation. Proceeds from the event fund Bike New York’s education programs.

The 2012 Tour is months away, but we would like to share some updates to this year’s registration process and improvements to the Tour experience. Here at Bike New York, we are always dedicated to maximizing customer satisfaction. Based on your feedback, we are implementing a number of new initiatives and enhancements to the 2012 TD Five Boro Bike Tour to provide a better rider experience.
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Lottery Registration (January 17 – February 7)

Last year general tour registration sold out within 24-hours, leaving many eager cyclists without the opportunity to ride. This year we are switching to a lottery registration system to ensure that bicyclists who want to participate will have a more fair and equitable chance. You can enter the lottery at any point between January 17 at 10:00 AM and February 7 at 5:00 PM. There is a nonrefundable $6 lottery registration fee for each person entering the lottery. Once the lottery registration period closes we will send out e-mail notifications to inform you of your status. If you do not gain entry to the tour via the lottery system, you can still ride with one of our charity partners or as a VIP. Click HERE for more registration details.
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Tour Enhancements

Based on observations and rider feedback from last year we will be taking steps to increase communication with riders and provide a smoother tour route. As such, we will be implementing staggered start times at the beginning of the tour. This will reduce wait times at the beginning of the day and alleviate potential bottle necks later in the ride. We are also working closely with City officials to limit construction and traffic interference during the Tour. To increase and streamline communication with riders, we will be incorporating social media to provide immediate updates on any route issues. As always, we are continually exploring additional tools to provide easy and quick updates throughout the ride day.
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Bike Expo New York

This year before the tour you’ll have the opportunity to engage with the New York City bicycle community like never before at the first annual Bike Expo New York Presented by Eastern Mountain Sports. Housed at Pier 36 on the Lower East Side, the expo will be the largest of its kind on the East Coast. With bicycle vendors and retailers as well as live performances and free classes, this three day event promises not to disappoint. In addition to entertainment, education and exhibiting, Bike Expo New York will host packet pickup for the TD Five Boro Bike Tour. In order to reduce our environmental impact, packets will not be mailed this year. Bike Expo New York is free and open to the public. Click HERE for more information on Bike Expo New York.
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We are excited for these changes and will continue moving forward with new ways to maximize our customer experience. Proceeds from the Tour fund our education programs and provide free bicycle education throughout New York City. Answers to many outstanding questions can be found on our website. We appreciate your continued ridership and look forward to seeing you at Bike Expo New York.

jrenaut
01-17-2012, 10:27 AM
For anyone trying to get into the lottery, it seems like their webserver melted.

jrenaut
01-17-2012, 11:50 AM
It's all better now. I just registered for the lottery. I'm definitely going to look into hooking up with one of their charity partners - I have no idea what my chances are for getting in on the lottery.

baiskeli
01-18-2012, 09:43 AM
I haven't been personally, but I've heard it's like a parking lot full of bikes, moving at an excruciatingly slow pace.

I did it a while back - before 9/11 is all I remember, since we stayed in the Marriott that was destroyed that day. It was a parking lot at the start, for many blocks, but then it thins out and it's fine.

Marcella
01-18-2012, 11:00 AM
I did it a while back - before 9/11 is all I remember, since we stayed in the Marriott that was destroyed that day. It was a parking lot at the start, for many blocks, but then it thins out and it's fine.

Hmm. I could swear I stayed at the Marriott in 2003. My room overlooked the huge pit.

baiskeli
01-20-2012, 01:44 PM
Hmm. I could swear I stayed at the Marriott in 2003. My room overlooked the huge pit.

Couldn't be the same one. This is the one we stayed in:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marriott_World_Trade_Center

jrenaut
03-20-2012, 08:57 PM
On the heels of Pete's fantastic fundraising efforts, I have a little on of my own. I got into the Five Boro Bike Tour with a friend, and I'm using it to raise money for a charity I really like. They're not bike-related, but it's kid-related and reading-related, and they do really good work. I'm raising money for Reach Incorporated (http://www.reachincorporated.org/). They have a really cool model. They pair up two struggling readers, an older student and a younger one. They tutor the older one, both in reading and in teaching reading. Then the older student teaches the younger one.

Here is the link to my fundraising page (http://charityby.me/go/OCFH4). It's my own website - I started off a while ago building a site to crowdfund novels, and haven't really had any success. But I hosted the Tales from the Sharrows Button Drive, and figured there might be more people (like, it turns out, me) who would like to use this sort of model to raise money for charity.

Note that these are NOT tax deductible for two reasons - one, if you get something in return, it's not deductible, and two, I'm not 501(3)c. There is a direct link to Reach's donate page, and donations there ARE deductible. If you choose that route, let me know. I think I'm going to update the site so I can add that type of donation to my total.

Also, if anyone has ideas on things I can do in exchange for a donation, please let me know (https://www.manfredmacx.com/social/172/convo/). I'm planning a guided bike beer tour - taking someone to DC Brau and Chocolate City for growler hours, and then maybe to Meridian Pint (if we have time), but haven't put it up because I haven't worked out all the details yet.