Our entry today comes from Jason, Erik’s Director of Bicycle Purchasing. Jason recently returned from the TD Five Boro Bike Tour and gave this report:
Last weekend I was invited by Raleigh to attend the TD Five Boro Bike Tour in New York City. This ride is a Ciclovía type event. Roads normally off limits to bikes, or very bike unfriendly, are shut down for the exclusive use of riders. In this case some historic roads and bridges in the 5 boroughs of NYC. 32,000 fellow riders took to the streets to celebrate cycling with amazing freedom. While plenty of people saw it as a opportunity to push the pace, plenty of others were there to just enjoy the ride. (BTW Minneapolis has a version of open streets, check it out here: http://openstreetsmpls.com/ [Madison’s version is called Ride the Drive])
We started off in Manhattan, heading up through Midtown to Central Park. With the recent events in Boston, security was a huge concern. The NYPD had a huge presence, with officers at every single intersection of the 45 miles. They employed just about every type of vehicle as well, from helicopters to bikes.
We crossed over to the Bronx briefly before heading down to the Queensboro bridge.
Then down though Queens and Brooklyn to the Verrazano Bridge. Not a bridge you would want to ride on normally, but a great view of Manhattan and the surrounding area.
The ride ended on Staten Island and a ferry trip back to Manhattan.
When the ride was over, Raleigh National Sales Manager and consummate Italian, George Simone led the group to Little Italy for the requisite pranzo/lunch. If you are in the area I can highly recommend La Mela.
During the day we met some interesting folks. Reflecting the nature of the city itself the riders were of extremely varied backgrounds. The group that stood out the most was 3 gentleman who had flown in from Australia just for this event. Quite a bit of flying, but it is a very special event. Of course these guys happened to be riding the aluminum version of the Raleigh Revenio, and were quite happy with their choice.
The roads may have been shut down, but the potholes and rough pavement of the city remained. I was very happy to have the use of the Revenio Carbon 4 for the weekend. The Revenio is an endurance road bike with the geometry and frame engineering to provide a comfortable ride and high performance. The 4 also uses Shimano Ultegra Di2 so shifting is extremely sharp. It served me well not only during the tour but in navigating the crazy Tetris of taxi and pedestrian traffic while checking out Manhattan bikes shops. A couple of the more interesting shops in town, NYC Velo and Chari & Co are worth a look. And you’ll want to rent a bike while you are there.
Have you considered traveling with your biking in mind? Erik’s staff has been all over the country riding and we get as excited as you do for the next big adventure. We can even get your bike working right and boxed for shipping in our service department. Whether it’s a day trip to a new trail or road or something across the country; from recreation to race, and from Alaska to Wyoming and everywhere in between.
What ride or rides do you have on your bucket list?