From Keith Stoner.
[Editor: Sorry about the late posting – this ride happened in May]
The GFNY is a 160km [or 80km] event that starts on the George Washington bridge deck, heads north towards New Jersey then finishes in Fort Lee. It’s a 160km out and back route. Penny and I spent a few days in Manhattan before the GFNY. There is a GFNY cycling expo in Manhattan where you pick up your race package, timing chip and number.
Dave Parsons [ex Velovet] rode in the GFNY with me and we decided to meet at the 42nd Street Times Square station at 5am and ride the subway to the start line. It was a bit surreal riding in Times Square that early in the morning, lots of activity. People coming home from the night out and others going to work.
As we got closer to the start line subway stop the train became stuffed with riders and bikes. Everyone piled out on the platform and queued up for the elevator ride to the surface. From the subway stop we rode a few kilometers to the start line. Lot’s of police on the bridge ramp and we cleared the security check. We have to wait 45 minutes before Fondo starts.
All riders in the GFNY have to wear the same official jersey. The bridge deck is filled with 5000 riders wearing the same green jersey. Once the ride began it was impossible locate Dave in the ocean of green jerseys. Starting corrals were displayed, but most riders just lined up as close as possible to the start line.
This ride has a lot climbing, the hills are not big, they just keep coming. Total elevation gain is 2400 meters with most of it being in the last 80km. The GFNY event is well organized, road closures all the way with plenty of food & aid stations. It appeared to me that a lot of riders were getting flat tires. I rode with tubeless tires and they did the job. My tire sealent plugged a gusher. The ride started in the fog but as we climbed up towards Bear “Mountain” the sun came out and the weather was perfect. With all the hills it was a challenge to organize any small groups and get some peloton drafting action happening. The pro-riders finished the ride in about 4 ½ hours, I finished in 6:15.
GFNY finishes in a public park near Fort Lee. The park had various tents with food and beverages, music and jumbo screen. I ate some food, rested a bit then rode through Manhatten all the way back to Times Square. The western shore of Manhattan has an excellent bike path.
Link to GFNY website: https://gfny.com