Sometimes a cycle life gets in the way of ..., well, you know, actual bike blogging. So, long overdue, but here it goes. Before I arrived in New York at the end of April I anticipated riding with my #bikeNYC friends & possibly joining well over 30.000 other individuals from around NYC & the US on the Five Boro Bike Tour. Best of all, combining the two. As you've read here, the first part never fails, including the part where online friends become the offline equivalent. Cycling just unites that way, easy. So here it is, part two of my #bikeNYC adventures in 2011. May 1st, the day after the New Amsterdam Bike Show (which will be part three). Sunshine galore. Ignoring my jetlag, I cycled from my hotel in Soho to 6th Avenue/W Houston St & observed the 5Boro crowd cycling from down- to uptown. Quite a sight and good fun, as the film will show. Half an hour later I met up with Ronald (Dutch expat, Research Associate at The Street Plans Collaborative) , Carina (Danish expat, freelance video reporter), Liz (Pilates instructor & advocate for Livable Streets), Noah (Mr NYC Cycle Chic), Steve (bicycle advocate/lawyer) & Noel (Asoc. Director of Engagement Technologies for the World Economic Forum) right across the street. This was me for the day (not unlike on any other day at home):
And my hosts for the day:
Liz & Noah
Steve playing around with his 5Boro vest & Carina was ready to roll. So we did. Setting out for our self-proclaimed 'Un-5Boro', circumventing a few things we couldn't be bothered with and perhaps just join the Five Boro Tour at some point. Yes, naughty us, crashing the party ;).
Grab yourself a beer/glass of wine/a cocktail, sit back, relax and ride with us for the next 52 minutes, if you will. Roll tape:
I know, right? Quite an awesome day, despite getting stuck on the BQE for 2,5 hours. Oh, the irony :). Here are just a few of my favorite pictures I took along the way:
Can you say 'I Am Legend' & BikePeaceNYC, you look fab? ;)
You can always count on the NYPD...
Me, hard at work going up Queensboro Bridge...
Arriving at the waterfront in Queens.
Stuck on the BQE for 2,5 hours, but smiling.
You'll always find a few Dutch around.
In a massive bicycle gridlock it's easy to get acquainted with the nearby residents.
Stand out much? Nah..
The United Nations On Wheels #bikeNYC rat pack!
Last pit stop before Verrazano.
Noel didn't want to freeze his toes off on Verrazano Bridge..and I figured you'd not often catch him in this position. As I mentioned in the film, the NYPD, in this case a very bad-tempered cop, yelled us off our bikes. Steve tried arguing with him, but to no avail (and no surprise), he wouldn't budge. Through some banter, Noel found out the cop was not on the payroll of the City of New York, which was odd, but it could easily explain his mobster-like behaviour. Anyway, it was quite entertaining.
Steve lent me his bike helmet (historic moment, I tell ya) saying he'd done 5Boro before and wanted me to finish it (thanks again for the sacrifice, Steve!). Noah & Liz also said goodbye, as they were not 'packing gear'. Finally, Noel happened to have an extra 5Boro vest, so we were on our way, up and over the bridge, to the finish line on the other side on Staten Island. Noel and I rode right on, towards the ferry.
But not before stopping for some brew.
Where you, predictably, bump into like-minded/familiar people.
Police started wrapping up their long day...
We caught the Staten Island ferry back to Manhattan...
Which allows beers AND drinking on board. Perfect. After all, you don't have a utility bike with basket and panniers for nothing, aight? PS: Noel had the Heineken, I had the local flavor, in true UN-style :).
Riding along the East River...
Noel heading back to Brooklyn and me to Soho, thinking: "Wow. Just wow." Yes, epic.
We escaped reality, tasted 'what could be'. We Were All Legends. Thank you, #bikeNYC. With love, from #bikeAMS.