Tour De Queens

Three consecutive days with highs in the mid 30s (~ 100 F) is considered a ‘heat wave’ in NYC. Laughable if you come from India but not so humorous when you take into account how sudden the transition was. From a low of 14C (60F) one day to a high of 36C (97F) the next! Add to that a humidity index of over 70% and you’ve got the best of Indian summer scorching down at you!

So it was with some trepidation that I set off from home on the second Sunday of June to join 500 other bicyclists on the first annual Tour De Queens. The venue: Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, right by the Queens Museum of Art and in the shadow of Arthur Ashe Stadium, where tour marshals braced themselves to lead riders on a 20 mile route through the largest borough of NYC.

The route would take riders through the western perimeter of Queens along waterfront greenways, parks and a gamut of neighbourhoods ranging from residential to historic to the industrial, finally ending back where we began. Ten neighbourhoods in all – most of which I had never seen before!

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Tour De Brooklyn

On the 22nd of May 2008, the city of New York, amidst much fanfare, fireworks and a Navy fly past, celebrated the 125th Birthday of Brooklyn Bridge. To coincide with the event, the 4th annual Tour De Brooklyn was moved ahead by a few weeks. And befitting such an occasion was the location chosen for the flag off – on Water St right under the glorious bridge itself!

The event recorded the largest turnout to date – topping out at a little over 2000 riders. While not nearly as large as the 5 Borough event or even the Tour De Bronx for that matter, the enthusiasm amongst the riders more than made up for the numbers. And at a cool 24C (80F), they couldn’t have asked for better weather to ride in.

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