17th Annual Tour De Bronx
I haven’t anticipated a ride since the Philly trip 3 weeks ago. My seafoam green Leader 725 aka Flow 2.0 (named after my progressive love) was all tuned up and ready to roll while my Nikon battery was left charging overnight. Here it is 8am Sunday morning and I can’t seem t drag myself out of bed. I received a call from Mario at around 8:15am which somehow got me motivated to spring up and get myself ready for today’s ride. I met up with Johnathan and Mario on Boston rd and we made our way to the meetup point. 161st street & Grand Concourse would be the registration and starting location for the 17th annual “Tour De Bronx”. The 40 mile mark was my destination for the day and after registration I posted up on Mickey Mantle Plaza waiting for the rest of the rest of the group to arrive. I was expecting riders from San Francisco, Jersey & Brooklyn. I individually pulled people aside and began to shoot portraits to start the day off.
I quickly noticed that not only was my battery at the halfway point but my front tire was low. Seeing as the tour was about to begin I packed away my camera and went to the made way to the service station to fill up my tire. The tour began and I was quickly separated from the group. I had to make my way to the others through the crowd of bikers. In less than a mile I caught up to and passed the majority of the group. We rode through the south Bronx with the streets blocked off to cyclist. I noticed the first accident on prospect Ave as a car Made contact with a cyclist. Even in bike tours cyclist aren’t safe from impatient drivers.
The 1st rest stop would take place at the YMCA in Castle Hill about 9.76 miles from the starting location. Orange juice, water and bagels were available to the riders who wanted a snack. I got down on two bagels myself, cream cheese never taste so good.
From Castle Hill we made our way through St Raymond’s cemetery to the SUNY Maritime campus. Riding through cemetery gave me an eery feelings and with my respect for the dead I chose not to shoot any photos at that location. The ride continued waterside as we entered the SUNY Maritime campus. While on campus we would take a brief break to allow all to catch up. We would make our way through City Island and to the 25 mile rest stop which would be located at Orchard Beach. The Volunteers would greet cyclist with apples and water while we waited for the rest of the group to arrive. I decided to snap some shots while waiting. Upon the arrival of the rest of the group, I was informed that “Oski” took a nice spill along the way. Good thing his brake saved him.
After all were rested we continued to the next check point which would be located in Van Courtlandt Park , we made our way through Baychester towards Wakefield ave. I was tempted to get off the path to go say hello to my daughter seeing as I was in the area. We made our way to the Woodlawn cemetery when I noticed my front tire had gone down again. We stopped at the local BP across from the cemetery to fill up at the $1.00 air pump (robbery). We cut through yet another cemetery which was a full up hill ride. The path made way through the Van Courtlandt green way to the 35.61 mile checkpoint.
Water and granola bars would be available for the exhausted riders at this location. By walking around I could see fatigue starting to kick in on some riders, others were good to go. The final destination which would make the 42 mile mark would be the NY Botanical Gardens. Along the way I thought I would die while going down a steep gravel path on Palisade Ave. We made our way up Ft Independence rd where I passed BXclusive Ink (Shameless Plug for a tattoo shop I know). At this point I was basically riding on a flat tire with about 2 miles to go. Once I saw Bedford Pk, I knew the finish line would be right around the corner. We were greeted by various flavors of coconut water from Zico, Pizza from Dominos and water. Although the line was long, having a fancy DSLR in hand always gets you to the front of the line. What do you expect, I’M THE PRESS BABY. Overall the ride was intense, I have never rode to all these destinations in one day. It’s always great ride and meet new People. We ended the Day with a group shot before everyone scattered in their separate directions. I cant wait to next year.
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