For most of this year, we enjoyed waking up with the sun, or when our bodies told us we were well-rested. However, there have a been a few times when we have had to use an alarm clock: a 4:00am wake-up to tackle a few mountain passes in Colorado, or 5:00am alarm calls to beat the late morning heat in Central America. While we are now far from the Rockies or the heat of the tropics, we once again found ourselves bleary-eyed at 5:30am the morning of May 6th. With snacks, toys and camera gear loaded and the bikes prepared the night before, it took us a mere 15 minutes to go from bed to saddle and roll down the hill to catch the 6:15am train from Scarsdale, NY to Grand Central Station in Manhattan.
Coffee and tea in hand, we squeezed our unloaded bikes and trailer onto the train, stuffing them into seats and along the aisle near the doors. Reuben’s Surly Big Dummy longtail made this a little difficult with its extra 18” of length – not to mention we weren’t the only people with bikes on this train. With a pile of bicycles behind us, we sat down and ate our breakfast, arriving in downtown NYC an hour later. We quickly navigated the elevators and stairs of Grand Central Station and rode out onto the eerily empty Sunday-morning streets of Manhattan towards the Westside Greenway, a dedicated bike path that was already teaming with riders. Most of the cyclists we saw were wearing bright green vests that matched our own, emblazoned with the Bike NYC logo. We were about to join 32,000 other riders for a 40-mile bike tour of New York’s five boroughs – and it seemed like every cyclist in the city was on their way to the starting line.