A group of us here at Bug Labs banded together for the second year in a row and helped marshal the NYC Century Tour this past Sunday. Getting up early (5:45AM) certainly isn’t one of my strengths, but once I was actually on the road and headed towards the starting point I remembered what a rewarding experience it was last year and the excitement started to set in.
Sadly we didn’t get to wear the fashionable orange vests this time due to an orange vest shortage, but we did have ‘I’m Here To Help’ stickers as well as the opportunity to assist people when they were lost and offer general support. After a few wrong turns coming out of Brooklyn Bridge Park, we did manage to get our small group back on course and on the way towards the 15 mile finish. Ken’s first aid kit made an appearance for an injury, while John and I witnessed a cyclist that fell off her bike in front of a highly aggravated and honking taxi driver. Aside from these incidents our watch was an uneventful one and there were no serious injuries.
This years trek was no less enjoyable than last year – the Bug group marshaled the 15 mile route, then took a vote and in a surprise burst of energy continued on to complete the 35 mile ride. Not what one would call the most grueling day of biking, but it was sufficient to wear me out for the afternoon. Our route ended in Astoria Queens where we headed over to the nearby Bohemian Hall and Beer Garden to regain our lost strength.
Best part of all, having that many cyclists on the road at one time raised awareness of the need to provide safe alternate modes of transport to everyone living in this great city. According to Transportation Alternatives 110,000 New Yorkers commute by bicycle daily. There is clearly a need for safe road conditions for both pedestrians and cyclists, and being able to assist this cause even in a small way felt pretty good. Do you regularly use transport other than a car? And do you have any cool ideas for ways BUG could change your commute?