View Full Version : 2014 Five Boro Bike Tour in NYC

10-23-2013, 02:05 PM
Got the email from Bike New York:

Mark your calendar: registration for the 37th Annual TD Five Boro Bike Tour Presented by REI (http://www.bikenewyork.org/ride/five-boro-bike-tour/)
opens at noon EST on January 14, 2014.

10-23-2013, 02:35 PM
Anyone here ever ridden the Five Boros? I know I won't have time or money to do it in 2014, but I am wondering if I should put it on my cycling bucket list. It seems like it would be a fun event to ride.

10-23-2013, 02:50 PM
There are discussions here and there about it, but my feeling is that it's a cool ride to do, but I have no interest in doing it again. There are large chunks of the ride that are very slow due to the rest of the bike traffic, and many riders have absolutely no experience riding with other people. Groups riding eight wide and blocking the entire street are not uncommon.

That said, it's a really cool way to see NYC in a way you really can't do otherwise.

10-27-2013, 01:02 PM
I've always wanted to do it, and I've never heard anything bad about it, at least until I read the comments on "Security" page (http://www.bikenewyork.org/security/) on the web site today. Apparently last year, in the wake of the Boston Marathon bombings, they instituted some restrictions on bags that affected a lot of riders, and many were none to happy about it.

Personally I think the restrictions are arbitrary (any bag up to 420 cu. in., but cannot be a backpack, including hydration packs, or a pannier, but trunk racks without panniers are allowed) and too strict, but the ride is only 40 miles, in a city, and there are plenty of rest stops. All I would need on that length ride is what goes in my small under-seat pack, two water bottles in their cages, and some snacks, my wallet, and phone in my jersey pockets. Most people wouldn't need anything near the 420 cu. in. limit, but in the comments there were at least two parents planning on riding with their small children who expressed concern about carrying all the necessities.

The BikeNY rep who was answering questions in the comments (who deserves kudos for her patience with all the questions and upset people) said that it's hoped they don't need to institute the restrictions again this year, but it remains to be seen. I know their needs to be some level of control over what is brought into the ride area for security reasons, but I do hope they relax the restrictions on backpack hydration packs, because I'd like to do this with my wife and although she's a fine rider, she doesn't feel comfortable reaching down for a water bottle.

Either way, I'm going to try to do it. I love riding my bike around NYC, and riding without having to worry about getting killed by a cab would be even better.

It does make me wonder what people were planning on carrying. Is NYC that fashion conscious that people can't be seen in the same kit at the next rest stop?

10-27-2013, 05:33 PM
Rode it last year, with the implementation of the no backpacks rule.

There are plenty of stops. I only stopped at the mandatory stop in Queens, and the finish stop, bypassing 3 other stops on the way (or was it 4). At ~40 miles, it's not all that long, and that early in the year, it didn't get too hot, so it wasn't a lot of sweating. Two water bottles was more than enough.

From what I overheard was that because of the safety restrictions, there were a lot fewer riders in odd costumes.

It was quite fun riding down the FDR on a bike, but there were a few injuries (road seams catching people unaware) and a death (heart attack on the Queensboro bridge) on the ride last year.

And remember it's a family ride, so when you want to open it up and put the hammer down, expect to have to slow up because 12 people are riding side-by-side down the BQE. Unlike the Air Force Cycling Challenge, which is about as Racey as you'll get for a non-race, expect to go slow any time there's a climb.

And though it's Major roads in NYC, the road surfaces are really poor for most of the ride; they make DC's roads seem well kept in comparison. The stretch up from the start to Central Park was one of the worst surfaced roads I've ever ridden on, and the FDR & BQE weren't very well surfaced either.

Unless there was someone I knew that really really wanted me to go with them, it's one of those "Been There, Done That" rides for me.

I wrote about it in more detail on my blog: http://www.denitto.com/2013/05/14/td-five-boroughs-bike-tour/


10-28-2013, 08:49 AM
Thanks for the feedback. I'll definitely check out your blog post, Pete.


Brendan von Buckingham
11-05-2013, 12:16 PM
About 10 years ago I did it 3 or 4 times. It was always fun. I hear they've improved the start. Used to be a huge traffic jam at the start until you got to Central Park. BQE is kind of tedious, but you're rewarded with biking the Verrazano Narrows Bridge and then taking the ferry back to Manhattan from Staten Island. Bike Boat!

01-13-2014, 01:17 PM
Get your fingers on the button, registration opens in just under 22 hours (http://www.bikenewyork.org/ride/five-boro-bike-tour/) - expected to sell out in record time.

02-03-2014, 10:19 AM
The email I got from Bike New York today said the regular registration is now sold out. VIP and charity entries are still available.

02-10-2014, 08:03 PM
Did anyone end up registering for this this year? I'm going to do it.... Gotta at least check it off the list. :)