We came to New York City to ride the 40 Mile 5 Boros Ride, but first we had two days of sightseeing. We started off on Friday afternoon, arriving in the city around 4 pm. We decided to tackle mid-town, heading north. Times Square first, then over to St Patrick’s Cathedral, with a stop at Rockefeller Plaza along the way. I love the small botanic garden right there. Up 5th Avenue looking at the amazing stores there and their very stylish displays- all things I could never afford! (Or maybe I could, if I didn’t spend all my money on travel!). Past Trump Tower, with the NYPD police blocking off the entrance and the two cross streets next to it, and then we found ourselves in Central Park. It was nice to get out of the traffic and walk through the park to see the “Imagine” memorial to John Lennon, and then we crossed back over the park to arrive at the Met, open late on Friday nights. They stayed open till 9 so we were able to take in a few exhibits there. Wow, that’s a lot of art! After the Met, we meandered slowly back to Times Square to see it at night, full of people and bright advertisements (it costs between $1 million and $4 million to advertise there!). Tired, thirsty, and hungry, we visited Authority Beer for a late dinner and drink, and then took the bus from Port Authority to our hotel in Union City, NJ.
From the WFC, we headed south to Wall Street to check out the “Charging Bull” statue and the “Fearless Girl”- both very popular statues. From there we continued south to the bike expo, to pick up our packets containing the bibs, bike plates, and helmet covers for our ride. Passing through the Bowery, we stopped and grabbed a bagel with lox. Heading north, we encountered The Strand Bookstore, the Flatiron Building, and finally the New York Public Library. I visited the Rose Reading Room- absolutely beautiful- and also the children’s section, where they have an exhibit featuring A.A. Milne and the actual, real stuffed animals that inspired Winnie the Pooh.
On Sunday we took the ferry from Paulus Hook over to Manhattan and at 8:15 we were starting our 40 mile ride! It was surreal to ride our bikes through the completely empty 6th Avenue, past all the sites we had seen yesterday. Up past Times Square, through Central Park, into Harlem. Then over to the Bronx, back into Manhattan down FDR Drive, and then into Queens, then Brooklyn. Riding up the steady incline of the BQE to approach the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge was the absolute worst part and I kept thinking I would have to dismount any minute and walk it up. But I actually made it to the top, where we stopped to take in the view and shake out our arms and legs. Then we coasted down the last mile onto Staten Island and arrived at the finish. All in all about four hours for us. Afterwards we took the ferry from Staten Island, passing the Statue of Liberty, and then ferried from Manhattan back to Paulus Hook, and drove home, where we warmed up (the cold front came in just as we finished the ride) and ordered a large pizza.
Next up: a guest update from Chris as he hikes the Camino Santiago in Spain from mid-May to mid-June!