On November 5, 2017 there is a little known ride that will take you through four of the five boroughs of New York. The good thing is the ride is both FREE and you DO NOT need to qualify to participate.
Last year two friends and myself jumped on a R Train at the crack of dawn to Bay Ridge, Brooklyn. What we found were fellow cyclists of all shape, sizes and styles ready to take advantage of quiet roads for the pending New York Marathon. If one starts early enough, we started at 7 AM, there is ample time to take a leisurely ride through Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan, Bronx and back into Manhattan for the finish.
There will be cross traffic through a large portion of the route, but extremely light for New York standards. Closer to the finish line, police directed us away from some of the roads. The benefit of being on a bike is that you can navigate some tight spaces and return to the route without much of a detour.
Here are some details for planning your morning.
Who: You. And your friends.
What: Ride 23 miles or so of the 2017 New York Marathon Route.
Where: 95th Street Station, Bay Ridge, Brooklyn. Closest place to the start of the actual marathon on the other side of the Verrazano Bridge.
When: 7 AM or earlier. Need enough time to get moving and finish prior to the first participants (they start at 8:30 AM). Last year’s slow ride took about two hours and change to finish.
Why: Why not?? Honestly, move your bum. The ride is pretty surreal.
How: Grab a bike and set a 4:44 AM alarm.
Training is not a must, but could help. The biggest climb is likely up the Queensboro Bridge. Bike ownership is not even necessary, we saw a few brave souls using Citi Bikes to complete the ride. Fees may apply.
Should you wish to have a celebratory well earned brunch, please note that there are not many restaurants open before 10 AM and the ones that are, are packed. A reservation would benefit you greatly.
If you have any questions, concerns or tips for the event, please share in the comments. A Facebook event is pending.