This year 9/11 seemed to creep up faster than most. In years past we would have done at least a couple 50 milers, maybe even a 75 leading up to to our annual century but here we were 100 miles or bust. The weather wanted to test us too. After evading showers on our way through Brooklyn the sky fully opened up as soon as we hit the Rockaway boardwalk. Monsoon style. The type of rain that usually stops a bike tour in its tracks. But we kept on. The odds seemed to test us this year too. Sure we always have flats but we were poppin at least one if not two tires per stop. Without Hugh Grand’s mobile fix it shop most wouldn’t have made it. And most didn’t. There were also mechanical mishaps, gnarly crashes, and sheer exhaustion. Saes joked that this year was like “I Know What You Did Last Summer: The Roll Edition” because rollers were dropping like flies. Yet still we rolled on. At one point after popping up into Pelham Manor after an amazing stretch of wooded trails in the Bronx, we felt like we were in a Harry Potter movie, because even with the challenges, the ride was magical. By the time we were headed back down the west side of Manhattan to the Tribute in Lights we weren’t even sure they were on because the haze was so thick. But we still trooped and when we finally arrived were greeted with the most surreal version of the installation yet. The lights had a glow reminiscent of an interstellar portal and the feeling we had upon stepping into them after such an arduous day was like we’d been beamed right there, everything else just fell away and we remembered, more clearly than ever, why we roll: We love NYC.
Roll with us in photos by Craig Wetherby and words by Tim Brodhagen below.
9/11 x 9:11am
Look up. No matter what.
New York’s Bravest.
The view from the promenade was eerily similar to that day in 2001.
Time to reflect.
Defontes never fails.
Off to a strong start.
BReady to ROLL!
Coach Saes ROOOLLIN!
Never gets old.
Same as it ever was.
The Eiffel Tower of Brooklyn.
Saes before coffee.
Coney Island connects.
On to the Rock.
Status Jeff knew what time it was.
We’re on a boat!
Tire roulette, which will survive?
Bike (drying) rack.
Smoke on the water.
Time to re charge.
Coney from the sea.
Barging back into Manhattan like…
Sometimes we roll over, sometimes we roll under.
Sebas on a path of destruction!
On to the Bronx.
Have flat? Better call Hugh!
Different spokes for different folks.
But we all ROLL TOGETHER!
We started on 9/11 but finished on 9/12!
And finally on to The Ear. In NYC tradition is everything and we vow to continue…100Miles and ROOOLLIN!! Til next year!