They do a lottery well in advance of the tour. This year’s lottery was
in February. So you have to really watch out for it early so you can
get your name in. 32,000 people are chosen.
It’s not a race. It’s just a bike ride. Even young kids were riding!
(Though many were riding along on tandem bikes or in little cubbies on
Plan on about 8 hours. There are a few stops & delays along the
way which makes it a little longer than it would be otherwise.
5. SAY THANK YOU…When your husband tells you you look hot in your bike helmet & leggings, at 7:00 am in the morning.
- Helmet (required. But trust me, you’d want it anyway.)
(perhaps the most important thing, next to the helmet. If you don’t,
you will be fried. What would I do? Go to Kiehl’s
for a sample size and take it with you for a re-application. In fact,
go to Kiehl’s regardless for sample size, super size, try everything for
- Visor or shade for your face
(I still got too much color on my face, even with sunscreen. I wished I
had been wearing a visor in addition to my bike helmet. Such a great look, I
know. But trust me, leave all concerns about looking ridiculous behind
and protect your skin. 🙂
- Water Bottle (one will do. They have easy water rest stops often where you can fill up.)
(a must. I didn’t take mine. I wished I had. You’ll squint way too
much and think about all the wrinkle damage you just did.)
- Toilet Paper
(take a little in your pocket as a back up. They have
portable-avoid-at-all-cost-potties. But chances are you’re going to
have to use one…and there is a very likely chance that it will not have toilet
- Layers. I had a zip up fleece
jacket and I was so thankful I did. It actually felt kind of cold at
times during the race. So check the weather. May usually is still cool
in the early mornings and evenings.[You can ignore wimpy girl’s
advice here. But even Danny got chilly!]
- Bike Bell.
If you have one, take it. It’s super fun to ring it with thousands of
people when you start the ride or when you ride under underpasses on the FDR, for example. Trust me, you’ll
want to tell that FDR what’s up.
- Camera or Phone.
You will die over the vistas and views & bridges of the city.
Truly breathtaking. You’ll be sad if you don’t pull over a few times
and take pics. But don’t try to do it while riding. New York has pot holes, people. I tried taking a picture while riding once and Danny said it wasn’t a good idea. And then I tried it again and he said, “Let me know when you’ve dropped your phone and the glass shatters.” 🙂 Enough said.
- Cushy bike seat. Your big butt, bony butt, small butt, whatever butt will thank you for it.
- Picnic. You can
bring a few snacks, though don’t fret too much over it. They have LOADS
of stuff available at the multiple rest stops. I was quite excited
about the offerings: Lara Bars (these are GF), Bananas, Apples, Raisin
Boxes, Coconut Water. And then Danny enjoyed bagels, pretzels, and
yogurt fruit gummies. You might, however, want to bring a picnic for
the end of the race, in Staten Island. The food offered there was not
free and not appealing. So we didn’t eat until we returned to
Manhattan where we devoured protein like starving wild animals. (You could also eat in
Staten Island at a restaurant, but that will put you at the back of the
line for the ferries.)
- Lobster Helmets, Flag Ding-a-lings, Sombreros, Crafty Creations, Fly Swatters.
If you’re traveling with groupies, you might want to affix something to
your helmet or bike so that you can be spotted from a distance. Though
only wear those crazy things if you really are crazy. For me – I’d
stick to the cute pole with a flag attached to the back of my bike (not to my head).
Here we were at the start of the race in Battery Park. There was just a sea of peopleRiding up 6th Avenue. Radio City Music Hall ahead. Getting closer to Central Park (which was breathtaking.)Waiting to get on the FDR. Yes, the FDR! On a bike!On the Queensboro Bridge. One of my favorite spots of the ride. (Note sombrero hat in the background.)My hottie biking partner. He had a fancy fast bike but was so sweet to let me set the pace with my non-road-bike-slow-poke. And on every hill he’d say, “You’ve got this one. You go ahead, I’ll be right behind you. ” CUTE.
- Boom Box Strapped to Your Bike
(and playing full blast ;). Cause the thousands of people surrounding
you will probably be delighted with your choice of music. 🙂
Bikers owned the city that day. (I didn’t feel so bad for the cars jammed up all over the city, even though I’ve been in those jams plenty o’ times.)Bananas! Handed out 2 or 4 at a time.Fill up station in Queens. All ran by volunteers (they were all so nice!)
Rest stop in the best of the five boroughs: BROOKLYN! 🙂 🙂 🙂Stunning views, you just couldn’t believe it.On the subway ride home. Yes, we did take the subway ride home. 8 hours was enough bike riding for us. I slept so hard when I got home that it felt like I’d been out for 5 years by the time I woke up. And our butts hurt.
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- Bike Bell.