Sunday, July 11, 2010

Biking Adventures: Tour de Queens

Today was a brand new biking adventure for me: The Tour de Queens! It was the most bike riding I have ever done in the NYC borough of Queens. Good thing I had my trusty NYC Bike Map to get me there!

I got up at 6 and left the house shortly after 7. Here is today's biking attire (Bikini top from Target, 14.99; Leggings from Target, 6.00, 4" Peep toe Slingbacks from Payless, 20.00)

Tour de Queens Bike Outfit

Tour de Queens Bike Outfit

The starting point was 9.5 miles away but I arrived with plenty of time to check in and buy my souvenir t-shirt.

The tour started around 9:15 and I hadn't run into anyone I knew yet but so many people talked to me while I was waiting in line and even when the tour began. They were mostly people who had seen me before - either in the Tour de Brooklyn, the 5 Boro Bike Tour and several others recognized me from the Transportation Alternatives magazine or website. It was constant recognition! (combined with the usual questions about my bike and footwear from people that had never seen me before...)

It wasn't until we were stopped that I ran into a friend, Mitch.

Mitch & Me

And shortly after at the midway rest stop, I bumped into that beautiful woman Natasha that I met on the Tour de Brooklyn! Remember her?

Natasha & Me

Moments later, I found my friend from my WW meeting, Malaika - it was her first tour ever and I'm so proud of her! (Not to mention she looked great!)

Malaika & Me

Here are some more of my favorite shots from the day and tour, in no particular order:

Mural I spotted on the way to the park-

Go Yankees!

I sort of love chalk-


My first time ever seeing the Unisphere with my own eyes-

The Unisphere

Wiley from Transportation Alternatives, doing his thing-

Wiley from TA doing his thing

Me, waiting in line for the tour to start-

Waiting for the tour to start

I don't know where we were, but right after I took this photo...

Seconds after taking this, I climbed the most challenging hill I've ever encountered

...we climbed the steepest hill I have ever encountered! I made it, but I had my doubts - it was *that* challenging!

While cycling, I met a charming English gentleman, Avi. He told me that not only had he seen me at the Tour de Brooklyn, but he had photographed me (unbeknownst to me, of course). And sure enough, he showed me the photo on his camera. I am pretty sure he can get away with anything with that accent of his-

Avi & Me

This is a fantastic old sign -

I love this liquor store sign!

On Roosevelt Ave, on our way back to the start/end point, we passed the new Citifield (home of the Mets)

Cycling along Roosevelt Ave

Cycling along Roosevelt Ave

At the end of the tour, we returned to Flushing Meadows Park. Here I am with the Unisphere!

Me & the Unisphere

And back in the park, I am not sure what this thing is, but I love the hell out of it!!!!

I love that thing!


Love love love love love!

After that, I rode back to Greenpoint and I stopped for my post-tour ritual: Wheat Beer & Fries @ the Habitat on Greenpoint Ave:

Post Tour Ritual: Beer & Fries @ the Habitat Bar in Greenpoint

I actually had 2 beers (and about 6 glasses of water), then I came home. And in keeping with tradition, posed for my post tour souvenir t-shirt photo!

Post-tour tee shirt photo

According to my heart rate monitor, these are my stats for the day:
  • Total Time Cycling: 4 hours, 32 minutes (272 minutes)
  • Minutes in the Cardio Zone: 255
  • % of time in Cardio Zone: 93.75%
  • Average Heart Rate: 141
  • High Heart Rate: 185
  • Total Calories Burned: 2, 150
  • Total Miles Biked: 40.5  (this number comes from my bike cyclometer)
(Note: Since I am often asked, those stats are from my heart rate monitor. It's a Polar FT7. My absolute favorite feature about this HRM - as opposed to the other Polar HRM I use at work - is that it has a "pause" and "continue" feature. That means I can start the HRM when I leave my apartment, ride to the start of the tour and pause it when I get there. Then I can resume it when the tour starts, pause at the rest stop, resume when I leave the rest stop etc. and it keeps the running total.)

It was a great day for a bike ride and a nice change of pace to be in Queens and get to see things I had never seen before. Now I have to see if they ever open up the registration for the Tour de Bronx so I can register for that one too!

(The entire set of today's photos can be seen here)


  1. Looks like a fabulous day!!!

    Now that you mention Flushing Meadows I wonder??? Where the heck do you go to the bathroom when you are out riding all day?

    I can barely make it through 5K without needing to go.

  2. (1) What's that green object behind your seat (bike seat)?

    (2) I still can't get over how different you look..amazing..even prettier...

  3. I remember your pictures of Wiley' from Transportation Alternatives ' from the Tour de Brooklyn. I've gotta crush. what a cutie! Thanks for the Wiley update. Again, I applaud you doing this on a cruiser! woo hoo!

  4. Kimberley- You are clearly a woman after my own heart. I *always* wonder that too! There are port-o-potties at the start/rest stop and end. Of course we also pass plenty of fast food places, so one could go there if they aren't comfortable with the port-o-johns, but they're actually fairly nice (I carry my own sanitizing wipes of course)

    Dave- it's a new bike bag and thank you :)

    PJ Geek- He's even dreamier in person. Seriously, the man is gorgeous. And thank you!

  5. YEA! I'm so glad you and Malaika found each other! I was thinking of you guys today while out on my own little tour de queens - thought I might see y'all - but it sounds like you were riding further east.

    That is SUCH an adorable pic of you two! Congrats, Ladies! :-)

  6. Melanie - she did GREAT! There was one brutal hill - BRUTAL! And she did it! I told her to expect applause and Bravos on Tuesday night :)

  7. <-- I'm not so sure about this, but it's another option.

    It's funny, I showed my friend your blog just the other day -- she also did the TDQ... with a broken toe!!! Oh my.

  8. Hey! I talked to a woman during the tour today (when I was with my friend Malaika) who had a BROKEN TOE! She was commending me for biking in heels and Malaika commended her for biking with a broken toe (her right big toe - sounded like she dropped something on it at work). She was wearing flip flops. It had to be her!

  9. I recently found your blog and I love it. I am currently at a weight that I can live with but am not happy/thrilled/in love with (after 1 kid and finally quitting smoking after 10 yrs!) I just want to feel great in my skin and that is what all of your pictures convey. Anyway, thanks for giving my that little extra push.

  10. Great seeing you again today! So glad to see you looking happy and gorgeous and that I made another appearance on your blog!
    That hill was a killer! I remember you writing about the people who walked up the hill while you kept pedaling your heavy bike. I knew I had to keep pedaling too.
    Hope you enjoyed my boro! Until the next tour....

  11. Natasha - did you make it up that hill? That's around when I lost you (and Malaika). I found her after that but I never saw you again. It was a killer! Congrats on the tour and your 10K! Great seeing you again :)

  12. Where are your waffle fries?!! And Natasha ran the NYRR mini 10k I think (from her shirt)! :) Awesome per usual *BCakes* !

  13. Get this - they don't serve waffle fries during brunch hours. I don't get it! But the regular french fries were very good so I'm not complaining (too much).

  14. Hi! I found your blog because of your pictures of your cruiser bike. My cruiser bike is my favorite bike to ride! Anyway, that sounded like a great day. We have similar "tour" rides here in DC. It's great to get out an see things that you might not normally get to from a bike.

    I wanted to ask where you find your pannier bags? I've seen the pink one in other photos, and now you have that gorgeous green one. The only ones I can find for my bikes are boring black ones :(

    (You've also reminded me that I really should update my own blog!!)

    Keep riding!

  15. Looked like it was a totally amazing day!!

  16. K.C. - the brand is "Basil" - google them. I just happened to get them in a local bike shop in Brooklyn but I am sure you will find many more to choose from online.

  17. That structure is a pavillion that was built for the "Worlds Fair's.

  18. OK, I looked through your FAQ's before being a dork and asking this question...didn't see it, so here goes... Do you ride your bike in heels, or change into them for pics? It wonder every time I visit your blog! LOL That last pic is HAWT -- which made me super happy since we're about the same height/weight. LOL Peace~

  19. Hey Girl, I love that we can see your ribs. You look sensational!!!

  20. So funny that actually posted what HRM you use because I was going to ask. I've been thinking about getting one myself. I've been a fitness freak for 20 years and never owned one. LOL

    Pics are beautiful as usual and you look great!

  21. Sounds like you had a great time and wow... you're rockin that bikini top.

  22. Hey!
    My friend follows your blog (fatgirlvsworld) and she was like "Oh look who else did the TdQ yesterday"
    I'm the girl with the broken toe :)
    Small world. I'm also a WW lifetime member (93lbs), think you look AMAZING, and hope to see you around!

  23. I love the pictures! What a cool bike ride.

    And you're so thin. When you posted about wearing pants you insinuated you had heavy thighs. I sure don't see that in your last picture. There's space between your thighs...I'm jealous!

    Plus, you look adorable in your outfit. And it just cracks me up that you bike ride in 4-inch heels. I think that takes a special talent. :)

  24. Oh my the bikini top! So cute!'re wearing pants! That's awesome. :)

    Eternally jealous of the NY bike rides. I'm in the process of trying to get my new bike. The Schwinn Jenny. She's so beautiful. I'd love to move to NY and bring her with me so I can ride everywhere.

  25. I love your personality and this post; what a great race!

  26. Your Target seems WAAAAAAY better than mine. I would love to buy a top like that, but have yet to see one at any of the Targets I frequent :-( Damn you, Los Angeles ::shakes fist::

  27. You look adorable in your blue polka dot bikini top!!! And I have those same sling backs from payless! I'm wearing them as we speak lol :)

  28. Hello! I have been a follower for some time!! I am doing some guest blog spots on weight loff success stories in Aug/Sept and would LOVE it is you would participate!

    Pretty please?

    - Jenn

  29. As usual I enjoy your exploits in NYC!!! Looking fab as ever!

  30. Great job! You were in my borough! Sweet!
    That structure near the unisphere is the remains of the 1964 Worlds Fair, it was so grand I saw a special on PBS last year. Wish I could have been there! Here's a link in case you are interested!'s_Fair

    At the based that structure was a map of the US. It was so cool, in the 90s my very first boyfriend took me there on one of our dates. I love that place. I hope they never take it down. Its just such a big part of Queens & the park.

  31. Very Cool!!! I am a first time reader and will be back!

    I used to live at 78th and York and actually, I am a Braves fan, but used to go out to see the Mets all the time.... so these pictures are bringing back the memories. VERY nice photos.

    Looks like you had a good time on the ride.


  32. Darlin' I don't know how to explain how much of a boost finding your blog was... Back in the day (90s) I was a happy, vintage wearing, red lipped, tattooed college student. Through biology and adoption, I found myself with five kids and 60 extra pounds. All I wore were jeans and a black tee shirt. sad. sigh. I joined WW, have lost almost 50 lbs, but still haven't really known what to do with myself. You are inspiring in that you remind me of how fun fashion used to be for me. I've been hitting the thrift stores with a vengeance and every time I pull something that feels cute and more "Me" (at least the Me I remember) I say "Thank you, Bitch Cakes!" and laugh. My kids think I'm crazy, but then again, they did already.

  33. Wow you look amazing I love your polka dot top so cute! x x