Apparently there were even more frustrating delays than usual at the annual Five Boro Bike Tour yesterday; Twitter is littered with complaining cyclists who were stuck standing around in massive bike traffic jams repeatedly throughout the day. (Enjoy the schadenfreude, bike lane-hating drivers.) This comment from @jivecracker seems pretty representative: "Terrible planning, execution and communication by the organizers of the #5boro bike tour." Some participants, who each paid $75, say they had to wait upwards of two hours to get through an insane cyclist bottleneck on the BQE, and one Gothamist reader describes the scene:
I was among the stranded. The kick in the pants was that the "construction" causing the dealy was four contractors in a pick-up truck. They had lined up cones which narrowed the race into a huge logjam, but there was no obvious need or reason for the cones. There was no machinery, there was no freshly poured concrete or asphalt, there was no team of workers, there was... nothing. It was a huge joke, all being monitored uselessly by Sunday overtime pension padders.
Watching the Osama bin Laden news last night, and lathering lotion on my sunburned bod, I leaned over to my girlfriend and said that the OBL news was probably the best thing that could have happened to the TD Bike Tour planners.
In an apology posted on Facebook, the organizers write, "We appreciate all the feedback you have left us regarding yesterday's ride. For those who had a terrific time, we couldn't be more thrilled. But we'd also like to apologize to those whose Tour experience was disappointing. While we did warn riders to expect delays on the BQE because of the ongoing construction and had controls in place to keep riders from being stopped on the highway for long periods of time, we did not expect the extent of the delays that actually occurred later in the day... Please accept our apologies, and our promise that we will do our absolute best to improve next year's Tour and make it an enjoyable event for everyone."
In case you're feeling like you missed out, here's a video compilation documenting all the standing around and waiting. Maybe bring a good book next year?