Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Cyclin' on Cinco de Mayo!


This past Cinco de Mayo (May 5th 2013), I participated in Bike New York's annual Five Boro Bike Tour where I rode as cyclist #3787; and once again I sincerely want to thank The Achilles Club in New York City (and especially Ayesha Rosena Anna McGowan) for making it possible for me to participate in The Five Boro Bike Tour. 

This was the fifth year that I've taken part in this awesome event with Achilles and the image posted with this narrative shows yours truly with my captain at the start line of the Five Boro Tour. The image was taken by Keegan Stephan of Time's Up, a cycling related organization/charity.


There were reportedly 32,000 participants, and everyone's morale seemed to be  high even though the Boston Marathon Tragedy is not far behind us! In fact, many cyclists wore "stickers" on their bibs or helmets such as the one below,


Patricia Youngquist uses words and images to tell stories about her passions. Based in New York, she currently is authoring a series of nature books on birds of the city. Now in Apple’s iBooks store @ https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/words-in-our-beak/id1010889086?mt=11

to show support. 

However, in the aftermath of the bombings at Boston's Marathon, there was heightened security all during the "5BBT," and cyclists were not permitted to carry backpacks which meant that no camelbacks were allowed. 

FYI, camelbacks are backpacks which basically hold water; and a hose hangs over your shoulder so you can drink anywhere from 30 oz to 3L of water while riding. They take the place of water bottles. On bicycles, water bottles are "stored" in small cages which are near the pedals; and cyclists reach down (as they are cycling), pull out the bottle and take a swig, put the bottle back into the cage, and continue on their journey. It sounds simple enough, unless you are blind or legally blind, which makes it impossible to navigate taking water bottles in and out of cages, making the camelback the ideal option.

As most followers of TLLG's venues know, I am legally blind and am privileged to cycle because of the tandem bike (mostly on the one pictured below),


Patricia Youngquist uses words and images to tell stories about her passions. Based in New York, she currently is authoring a series of nature books on birds of the city. Now in Apple’s iBooks store @ https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/words-in-our-beak/id1010889086?mt=11

and willing captains (who usually is the woman to the right of me in the photograph atop today's blog entry and who also owns this bike); but I am responsible for keeping myself hydrated during cycling.

Therefore, the 2013 "5BBT" restrictions caused me to have to do some fancy-footwork and out-of-the-box thinking to come up with a system to stay hydrated. And I'm only mentioning this in the event that folks reading this can inform sight-challanged cyclists of alternatives for staying hydrated when en-route. With the help of Cassie (from the UWS Athleta Shoppe) I was able to find a runner's jacket with very deep pockets that could hold 2-3 mini bottles of water in each of its two side pockets, both of which zipped.

Pockets in cycling clothes are usually in the back and they don't zip, whilst pockets in "running clothes" are on the side of the garment and have zippers.

Be that as it may, prior to my procuring my "runner's jacket," my captain had suggested that I "stuff" water bottles into my cycling jacket's pockets; however, in the past, I have lost objects that I've put into this style of pockets, for I find "things" come out as a result of the garment riding up on my torso! In any event, there you have it, a solution to "transporting" hydration should you ever have the need. And NYC Water provided plenty of opportunity to "fill-her-up" with their "product" at every rest stop. I did not get a photo-op of the vats of NYC Water but I did manage to take a few pictures of water related to NYC and some of them may be seen below.


Patricia Youngquist uses words and images to tell stories about her passions. Based in New York, she currently is authoring a series of nature books on birds of the city. Now in Apple’s iBooks store @ https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/words-in-our-beak/id1010889086?mt=11
Hell Gate Bridge (Seen from Queens)
Patricia Youngquist uses words and images to tell stories about her passions. Based in New York, she currently is authoring a series of nature books on birds of the city. Now in Apple’s iBooks store @ https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/words-in-our-beak/id1010889086?mt=11
Verrazano-Narrows Bridge (Seen from Staten Island)
These images are only a mere fraction of "water scenes" found on the  route of the "5BBT," and they are also a fraction of the number of bridges we came in contact with along the way! Most often when I see bridges in New York, a passage from one of my fave's Joan Didion's, Goodbye to All That comes to my mind, which can be read below.

(Keep in mind that the context of Didion's quote is this: She has recently moved to New York City from Sacramento, California, and she is describing her experiences, one of which "causes" her to say the following narrative.)

"All I could do during those years was talk long-distance to the boy I already knew I would never marry in the spring. I would stay in New York, I told him, just six months, and I could see the Brooklyn Bridge from my window. As it turned out the bridge was the Triborough, and I stayed eight years.

"In retrospect it seems to me that those days before I knew the names of all the bridges were happier than the ones that came later . . . "

I can fully understand Didion's point about being "happier" when she didn't know as much, a quasi "familiarity breeds contempt" mentality, but that as "they" say is another blog post!

Returning to the topic at hand, the "5BBT," and specifically my "mere fraction" of pictures of bodies of water and bridges running over them, the main reason for this is that I'm not (and never have been) a walk-and-chew-gum-at-the-same-time kind of gal, hence, holding a camera and a bicycle handlebar at the same time is not one of my skill sets.

Therefore, I was "stuck" only being able to take photographs when I was off the bike: at a rest stop (as was the case in the first image of this series) and at the end-of-tour festival, which took place in Fort Wadsworh, after crossing the finish line, as was the case re taking the second photo-op in this series.

The second picture was taken after my captain and I (along with the entourage of cyclists) were greeted by a very tall young girl seen in the image below.


Patricia Youngquist uses words and images to tell stories about her passions. Based in New York, she currently is authoring a series of nature books on birds of the city. Now in Apple’s iBooks store @ https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/words-in-our-beak/id1010889086?mt=11

In bygone years I have spent very little time at the "festival;" therefore I had no idea that Ft. Wadsworth had so much to offer, as you might surmise from the image below featuring a view of Lower Manhattan's sky-line as seen from Ft. Wadsworth,


Patricia Youngquist uses words and images to tell stories about her passions. Based in New York, she currently is authoring a series of nature books on birds of the city. Now in Apple’s iBooks store @ https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/words-in-our-beak/id1010889086?mt=11

where my captain had to warn me to not get too close to the fence as the posted warning (below) is something I might've missed!


Patricia Youngquist uses words and images to tell stories about her passions. Based in New York, she currently is authoring a series of nature books on birds of the city. Now in Apple’s iBooks store @ https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/words-in-our-beak/id1010889086?mt=11

After the stop at Ft. Wadsworth, it was off to the Staten Island Ferry for the majority of cyclists, and that ferry took us back to Manhattan; and to the end of another "5BBT!"

But because it was held on Cinco de Mayo, worthy of a margarita, such as the one pictured below,



from Santa Fe (a restaurant in my hood). A margarita photographed by Alex,


Patricia Youngquist uses words and images to tell stories about her passions. Based in New York, she currently is authoring a series of nature books on birds of the city. Now in Apple’s iBooks store @ https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/words-in-our-beak/id1010889086?mt=11

who is someone that you might recognize from a previous post, and a margarita that was mixed by his "colleague" Laura,



and a margarita that was consumed by the very un-photo-genic yours truly!

Be that as it may, Cheers, and I hope you enjoyed reading a bit about the 2013 "5BBT!"

Meanwhile, dear reader, are you a cyclist? If so, have you ever participated in the "5BBT" or other group cycling events? I'd love to hear from you via the comments field which can be found below today's entry. BTW, if you are new to posting this type of content, please click here for directions.




2 comments:

  1. Thanks for sharing the story of your Tour, Patricia. It was a great ride, and it is always fun riding with you!

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  2. I appreciate you taking the time to read and comment on this blog post, Zoe! I feeling so blessed to be able to cycle due your sharing your tandem and captain skills with me!

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