Last Sunday more than 50,000 runners set out to run their way through the five boroughs of New York City for what was the world’s largest marathon this year. The race began at 8:00 a.m., with the wheelchair division. But before any of the official marathon hoopla, hundreds of cyclists took to the streets first.
Cyclists started taking advantage of the 26.2 miles of closed roads sometime in the 1990s. According to the New York Times , Peter O’Reilly, 53, was among the first to ride the course before the race, and recalls he and a few friends having the streets all to themselves in 1999.
Of course New Yorkers aren’t the only ones to ride a major marathon course on bikes. Cyclists in Boston have also made a tradition out of pedaling the famous route before runners each April, usually the night before the race.
It makes sense that these rides have grown in popularity. Anyone who has biked in New York City knows that riding 26 miles can feel incredibly intimidating and dangerous. But with closed roads and no traffic, it’s like a dream. A break from fighting motorists.
Groups usually gather at the Bay Ridge Dunkin’ Donuts to ride as much of the Verrazzano-Narrows bridge as possible. They then trace the entire race course as the sun rises in an attempt to be in Central Park before the first athletes begin the official race.
According to the To Be Determined Journal , the morning sounds idyllic. “There were riders and […]