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This past Sunday I rode in the NYC Century bike ride, which is a 100 mile (actually a 106 mile according to the route cue sheet) ride that takes place across Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx. I’ve been curious about this ride for a while, but the ride date has often conflicted with the Boston/New York AIDS ride. This year, however, it was two weeks away from Cycle for the Cause so it was the perfect cap to this year’s training.

How did I do? Pretty decent, even though I didn’t complete. As I mentioned, the route was slated to be 106 miles. When you add in the 8 miles to / from the starting line, I should’ve ended the day at 122. However, from about the 75 mile mark I was battling a slow leak in my rear tire. That got progressively worse and I dropped out at the last rest stop in the Bronx, roughly 10 miles away from the finish line in Central Park.

I’m okay with that. I was tired after approximately 10 1/2 hours on the bike and the idea of changing the rear tire was not appealing. It likely would’ve taken longer to change than to finish the ride. Even with the early exit though I still clocked 102 miles–so I did a Century.

If you’d like to see the ride route, you can click over to Mark’s Strava page. His Garmin worked a little better than mine (one gap in mine was because I neglected to re-start after a stop and another gap in mine is because I lost the satellites for a span of about 6 miles).

Random thought on the NYC Century:

  • There were 6000+ riders on the ride. Not all of them were doing the 100 miles route (you could also do 15-, 35-, 55-, 75-mile versions), but it seemed like a few hundred, at least, did the 100. I’ve never been in such a mass of riders and that was pretty cool. I was never riding solo either, which I liked a lot. Granted, Mark was very close the whole time… we rarely got out of sight to each other. But we were usually in a pack of riders too. Here’s a picture I took while we were hanging out at Nathan’s on Coney Island for a breakfast hot dog
  • This was my first time to visit Nathan’s on Coney Island…. it was sooooo yummy. I could’ve spent the day there just eating.
  • Brooklyn is a pretty cool neighborhood. We went from the shore along Coney Island up through some very diverse neighborhoods and it was all pretty nifty.
  • The weather was ridiculously awesome! After a stormy Saturday (including tornado reports in Brooklyn and Queens), the weather cleared up, cooled down and de-humidified.
  • Queens, at times, seemed like one big puddle. There were areas where it felt like we were riding more off road than on because of the amount of water and mud we went through.
  • There are some awesome bike trails inside parks in both Brooklyn and Queens.
  • The Bronx has too many hills to want to deal with at the end of the day. I think the ride should be reversed so you deal with those first and end up coming back through the flats in Brooklyn.
  • Transportation Alternatives needs to plan the Gatorade better. There were two rest stops in Queens that had none. Boo. That said, though, the food was yummy–PB&J on wheat bread, hummus on pita, apples, oranges, pretzels. Yummy stuff.

While I doubt I’ll do this ride again, I am glad I got it done once. It was very cool to see parts of NYC I’ve never seen before. It was fun hanging out with Mark for the day. It was also good to prove I could do this distance before leaving for Boston in less than two weeks.

CYCLE FOR THE CAUSE STARTS IN 10 DAYS! As I write this, I’m $700 away from my fund raising goal of $4,000. Please help me get there and donate today at