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The Tour de Brooklyn 2008

IMG_9304, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

Yesterday, Tammi, her nephew Glenn and I rode in the Tour de Brooklyn, a 18 mile ride starting in DUMBO and running through Brooklyn Heights, Prospect Heights, Crown Heights, Bushwick, Williamsburg, down the waterfront through the Navy Yards (more on that in a bit) and back to DUMBO, ending in Walt Whitman Park near the entrance to the Brooklyn Bridge.

Between the ride to and from the event and the tour itself, we rode nearly 30 miles. Shockingly, I'm not too sore from the whole thing. The ride was great for the most part. I got to see neighborhoods I'd never really been to before and make geographical connections between areas, which is one of my favorite things about riding.

My main complaint is with the organization of the event and the dissemination of information. The only experience I have with such events is from Tammi's races, which are run by the New York Road Runners Club, so the bar is sort of high. At their races, the line up is straightforward and signs are posted everywhere, the PA system is set up so that everyone can hear what's going on and all the volunteers can answer your questions. There wasn't so much of any of that yesterday.

During our lineup, we weren't even sure which way we were supposed to be pointed. The map, which no one was allowed to see until that morning was posted at the entry way to the waiting area, so anyone who stopped to look at it was blocking traffic. We were half way down the block from the stage at the starting point, so we didn't hear anything about how soon we would be starting or any of the speechifying or announcements made before the events. All we heard was muffled talking and the occasional horn sounding that we hoped meant we'd be starting soon.

Others bitched about the periodic pauses for car traffic, rubbernecking and hills, but those weren't such a big deal to me. There were somewhere between two and three thousand riders out there, so that's all to be expected.

Regardless of the complaints, I had a great time out there and am glad to have learned some new routes that I hope to use this summer.

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