Tour De Bronx

What do you do when you find a interesting and potentially invigorating Tour that is free and easy?  You might sign up without hesitation.  That’s what I did last Sunday, with the TOUR DE BRONX.

Sponsored by Bronx Tourism Council and Transportation Alternatives (among others), this year’s tour, their 20th annual, attracted more than 6,000 enthusiastic riders.

on the way to the start line

on the way to the start line

Shaking off jet lag, I pumped air in the tires of my steel-framed Schwinn city utility bike which had been ignored for several months and registered for the 42 mile course.

The morning ride to the start point at Lou Gehrig Plaza, up through Manhattan and into the Bronx past Yankee Stadium, was as tranquil as any densely populated city ride could be.

I’ve ridden through the Bronx a few times, (the NYC Century and 5-Boro ride), but never a Tour specific to the Bronx.  What I hadn’t realized is how much greenery the Bronx contains.  It seemed like half the course was through long stretches of parks large enough where you ride for miles without exiting.  The New York City police escorted the front group and helped with most intersections.

sign in at Lou Gehrig Plaza

sign in at Lou Gehrig Plaza

The tour ended at the Bronx Botanical Gardens where riders were treated to pizza and live music.

Anticipating a relaxed ride,  the rolled-up 65 miles (to/from home), combined with the fast pace, high wind conditions, lots of hills, and heavy bike, had me counting the last few miles and half-wishing I would have selected the shorter course.

Still, I’d rank this Bronx tour in the ‘fab’ category, even though the gps app which directed me home had me peddling through areas where I would not have wanted to stop and fix a flat.  The flat tire, fortunately, waited until I was only two miles from home.  By then I was too bushed to do tire surgery so every 10 blocks I stopped to pump the tire with enough air to limp home.

Bottom tour-line, if you like cycling, even a little, NYC provides plenty opportunities throughout the year to discover its parts under your own power.  So if you happen to be in NYC in October, mark your calendar.  The Tour De Bronx is a worthwhile event, but only if you are free and easy.

just about start time

just about start time

1st rest stop with Whitestone Bridge in background

1st rest stop with Whitestone Bridge in background

beaches in the Bronx?  apparently so.

beaches in the Bronx? apparently so.

my city workhorse.  not as light as the road bikes, but to tackle these city streets, its not meant to be

my city workhorse. not as light as the road bikes, but to tackle these city streets, its not meant to be