31 January 2010

Five Boro Bike Tour

I have decided to sign up for the Five Boro Bike Tour (FBBT) this year. The event will take place on Sunday, May 2 and registration will be accepted 10 A.M. February 1. Blasted, I thought it would be 12 midnight so that, as a nighthawk, I can easily stay up another hour and be the first few to sign up as the new day rolls in. According to Bike New York's web site, it is a popular event and the 30,000+ spots get filled up quickly. I will just have to take my chance...

The ride is 40+ miles, which I think I can handle. The trip to Brooklyn Bridge, over the Bridge, then back home, that I did last weekend totaled about 24 miles. I suppose another 16 miles or so won't hurt. I don't recall being very tired, especially in the legs, after the Bridge trek, so the FBBT should not be a big deal.

I look forward to taking part in a traffic jam and enjoying it. My past two encounters with the FBBT were not pleasant at all. The first one, even if I am not that sure if it was the FBBT, was when I got stuck on the BQE around Flushing Avenue. I was near an entrance ramp and saw people backing off it, slowly, to get out of the jam. Some MTA van did the same so I thought it would be safe to imitate. No such luck, at the ramp entrance, a few NYPD patrol cars were waiting to direct us all to pull over to help them fill their quota for the day. Some Hasidic Jews on the sidewalk were trying to tell us not to come down, but I think by the time we saw them it was too late. Sure it was wrong to go backward into an On ramp, but when a whole bunch of people were already doing it, and the highway is packed with cars, I think the proper thing for the NYPD to do would be to be there to direct traffic to safely get out of the jam. Instead, they decided to shoot the fish in the barrel. What they did was akin to going to a disaster site to ticket damaged cars at the site. While they were at it, perhaps they could go onto the highway and ticket all the idle cars for having idle engine for more than x minutes. It disgusts me when the government treat its citizens as cash cows.

My second encounter with the FBBT was not as bad, but again it involved a traffic jam. It was Mother's Day and I was with a group of cars trying to get into Fort Hamilton to celebrate the occasion with a picnic. Big mistake! I knew that the NYC Marathon begins in Staten Island so that in the afternoon the Brooklyn side of the Verrazano Bridge would be back to normal. What I didn't know was that the FBBT ends in Staten Island, with the thousands of riders using the Verrazano to get there. It took me about two hours to finally get to the picnic.

I worried that this year's FBBT would coincide with Mother's Day, but luckily it will be a week before the event. Have bike, have good health, still can afford the $60 registration fee, I have no reason not to participate in the event!

1 comment:

  1. Let me be the first to say Best Wishes to you for being an official registrant of FBBT. Wish I could be in NYC to cheer you on. How about Tour of Missouri after FBBT?
    Glad to know you are feeling better.
    It is no longer freezing here in St. Louis and was sunny today. We are ready for the Superbowl this Sunday. Life is good :)