Ulysses Folk House – 5 Boro Bike Tour, National Hamburger Month

Ulysses Folk House

95 Pearl St
New York, NY 10004

Day 1

Hi. You might recognize me from a few different stories on this blog. I’m also the star of the Twitter hash tag series known as “#RevRides2011.” I’m The Rev’s bicycle. I’m 17 years old, which is pretty up there for a bicycle but Rev absolutely loves me and just keeps on taking me out for rides. I’m not one of those silly single speeds that’s all the rage with hipsters, nor am I a 3 billion speed, graphite model with a GPS, air shocks, clip ins and all that fancy other jazz. In fact, other than 21 speeds, I’m kind of a basic, old-school, thick-tired, off-roader that is so heavy, I could take a freight train on head-first and win.

Each year, around April, I get woken up out of my winter hibernation for a few 7 – 15 mile rides and my annual tune-up. The Rev doesn’t like to ride below 50 degrees so I get a nice 4-5 month break between the riding seasons. We zip up and down the green ways, around Central Park, into Brooklyn and for some reason, around Harlem in the early mornings. Don’t ask but I will tell you, it’s pretty quiet up there then and not a lot of traffic.

Then it happens. The first Sunday in May, every year. I get outfitted with some jerry-rigged “Burger Conquest” flag and get taken out on a 44+ mile ride around NYC. It’s called Bike New York’s TD Five Boro Bike Tour and takes rides on a 42 mile plotted course in the streets of New York City. While it’s a pretty amazing way to see New York’s Five Boro’s as I get to ride IN the streets with no vehicular traffic, it’s also a BRUTAL awakening to the riding season. For at least a good 3 days afterward, my seat will ache and all my gears will be sore. But hey, who’s complaining? It’s the only way I get to ride over the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge.

The “#5Boro,” as it’s known by the Twitter crowd, starts at 8 am in the financial district and continues into The Bronx, Queens, Brooklyn and then into Staten Island. 35,000 riders pay to participate and start lining up for the ride around 6 am. It’s a brutal yet fun start to the bike season, which Rev uses to offset the caloric intake of his Burger Conquest. The 2011 ride was riddled with stop-starts and a lot of walking time. It’s pretty hard to coordinate that many people riding alongside of each other and keeping a pace. With construction taking place at several different parts of the route this year, we did a lot more bike-walking and standing than in the past few years. None the less, the ride is a fantastic way to see the city and of course for the purpose of this blog, the kick off to National Hamburger Month. Don’t ask me why, but for some reason, The Rev always has to make it about Burgers.

The Start of the ride in Fidi

Waiting to cross into The Bronx from Harlem

Crossing the Queensboro Bridge into Queens

White Castle in Astoria
Last year, we made a pit stop here for sliders.
I heard The Rev ask his friends this year to stop by they declined. He said “fine. I will just load up on Cheesy Crackers at the Astoria Park Rest Stop.”

Astoria Park Rest Stop
At all the official rest stops on the Five Boro, riders are provided with snacks, drinks and toilets. There is also usually a DJ playing 70s and 80s dance music, but we never hang around to listen. Normally at the Astoria Park stop, one of the larger rest stop areas, they have Cheesy Crackers which The Rev loves. However, at this year’s stop, for some reason., they ONLY offered bananas. The Rev and his friends were pissed (see picture below). Thankfully his friend Janet had some tasty trail mix to share with everyone.

Commodore Barry Park Rest Stop.
Of course, after Rev throws a hissy fit about his beloved Cheesy Crackers, he pulls off at a gas station along the route and drops the $00.65 on a pack. Only to find exactly what he was looking for at the next rest stop; CHEESY CRACKER MOUNTAIN.

Waiting to get onto the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway AKA BQE

Waiting on the BQE thanks to construction

A brief stop at the John Paul Jones / Cannonball Park Rest Stop before tackling the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge

Riding over the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge
Rev Rides Bike New York’s TD Five Boro Bike Tour Verrazano-Narrows Bridge

The Finish Line on Staten Island

Waiting in line, for more than an hour, for the Staten Island Ferry

Finally, a chance to rest on the Staten Island Ferry back to Manhattan

An exhausting 47.26 miles later we arrived back into Manhattan at Battery Park. It was time for The Rev and his biking buddies to finally get the burger they had been talking about ALL. DAY.LONG.

As part of their yearly biking tradition, The Rev, Bram, Janet and whomever else decides to join them, meet up with Janet’s family for a post ride eat and drink at Ulysses Folk House. Ulysses’s, along with several other bars and restaurants, share a back patio of Stone Street which is the oldest paved road in NYC. The cobblestone street is filled with tables from each of the vendors and is only 3 blocks from Battery Park. Riders from the Five Boro can easily park their bikes against the wall in the alley while taking a seat at a table.

The Rev and crew did exactly that but after realizing it was a little too cold to for outside seating and that their server was pretty much ignoring them, moved into the dining room of this Greek meets Irish pub with a large drink menu. From there on out, details of the meal are sketchy. As I was locked up outside amongst many other bikes, I couldn’t over hear the conversation inside. Also, I’m a bike and therefore I don’t require human food for my existence. I will tell you however, that when The Rev and his friends emerged from the restaurant I overheard the following quotes and phrases;

“The service was absolutely terrible.”
“I can’t believe they forgot entirely to bring Sarah’s Burger.”
“How long does it take to pour a draft beer?”
“Of all the Burgers, I have ever eaten, that was one of them and that’s all I will say.”
“That Burger was coarsely ground, tightly packed and while it was pretty big on size, it was pretty small on flavor.”

“Next year we should find a different place to go.”

Based on these, I am going to rate this a 5 out of 10 ounces
-The Rev’s Bicycle

367 Burgers

May 1, 2011 – 5:16 pm

The Rev Meter for Social Community
The Rev recently created a meter for assessing how optimized a bar and restaurant is with social networking. He calls it “The Rev Meter.” By taking what he considers to be the 10 most important social networks and creating a point system, The Rev can accurately asses how well the business is using social networking as a tool. His goal here is to educate and assist great business to better effectively use these tools.

Ulysses Folk House scores a 2 on The Rev Meter for Social Community

4 points or less    You’ve missed the 5 basics and are less than optimized
5 points                 You’ve covered the basics, which is better than most but far from optimized.
6 to 9 points        You’re doing better than most and on your way to becoming a well respected social community whiz.
10 points              Congrats on a perfect score! Are you hiring?

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2 Responses to Ulysses Folk House – 5 Boro Bike Tour, National Hamburger Month

  1. Pingback: Sandwich Planet – National Hamburger Month | Burger Conquest

  2. Pingback: Growler Bites & Brews – 5 Boro Bark Tour | Burger Conquest

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