Sunday, May 9, 2010

A Father-Son Odyssey: The Five Boro Bike Tour 2010

Well, at least this year it didn't rain. With temps topping out at 95, our annual father-son tromp through NYC with 32,000 of our closest friends on the 5BBT was quite different from last year's washout. It was bright skies and a light breeze the whole way.

What a joy to pedal through the streets of New York traffic free for a whole day. Unfortunately, this ride involves quite a good deal of waiting. We waited at the start, we waited at several points along the way where bike traffic actually results ingridlock and we waited at the end for the Staten Island Ferry. Luckily, though, the ferry didn't crash into the dock as it did five days later.

We spent the night again this year at my in-laws apartment a few blocks from the ride start and so were able to roll out of bed, grab a little food and roll to the start without getting into the car. Eli was a trooper again this year and despite feeling a bit under the weather, he rode strong and finished the entire 42-mile route without hesitation. He even "climbed" the Varrazano Narrows Bridge at the end with steady determination. Eli had a "new" bike this time around and while it weighed more than twice my steel Bianchi, he was happy with the upgrade. When he finally gets a reasonably weighted road bike in a few years, he won't have any idea what hit him.

Of course, there's no such thing as a perfect day, and this time dad forgot to reapply sunscreen so Eli returned home with a nice little sunburn souvenir to complement his white 2010 5BBT t-shirt. We need to make mom feel needed don't we? Next up for father-son fun: the Bike the River Valley Tour on July 18 or the New York City Century Tour on September 12? Time will tell. Can't push it too hard . . .


  1. Cool! I rode the 5BBT the first few years I lived in NYC, but it got too crowded. And all the start-and-stop at stoplights and stop signs on the NY Century turned me off that ride. I'm waiting to do the Tour de Brooklyn with my kids, but that ride's crazy crowded, too.

  2. Hey Brian! I swore off the 5BBT myself until last year with Eli. It was so different with him; I somehow didn't mind the crowds nearly as much, but the sections where we had to walk were annoying. Hope all's well with you and yours!

  3. Being a dad of cycling boys, I like this even more than your rando writing. My little dudes are five and a half, and the longest ride they've done so far is about eight miles on the Hudson Valley Rail Trail, but I can't wait until we can do more distance together. This entry definitely made me smile!

  4. Thanks Keith. The two times we've ridden this event have been magical. Last year was even more epic. Hard not to push riding on the little guy. Better to hang back and watch him come to it on his own. In a few years you should really do it with your kids.

  5. I swore off this ride a couple of years ago too, but I plan to when they're big enough, no question.

    Actually, they started asking if they could go on brevets recently, so I'm going to do a "Petite Brevet" around Rockland Lake when the weather cools. September, probably.

    I figure Mommy at a card table will be a controle, plus an information controle or two, along the lines of "What color is the sky?" And some sort of ribbon or medal or something.

  6. Hi Dad,
    I really enjoyed doing this ride with you! I can’t wait to go on it again this year! The video was interesting and I liked the pictures of me. I think that this year I bring a better fitting bike.

  7. What a thrill to get a comment from you on this blog post. I'm excited to do this ride with you again this year, too. A bigger bike is probably a great idea. Love - Dad