New York Cycle Club   Photos

NYC Marathon escort service, 2004
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On Sunday, November 7, 2004, NYCC members turned out to escort the elite wheelchair and handcycle marathoners as they raced through the streets of New York just in advance of the main start of the NYC Marathon. The cyclists task? To accompany the approximately 25 men and 10 women and to keep drivers and pedestrians from incurring into the path of these marathoners.

Scott Demel described the action: “After a few clusters of wheelchairs came flying off the bridge, my turn in the escort line was next. Another cyclist and I went with an athlete from Mexico who eventually caught on to a group of 3 in the Sunset Park region. At this point there were 4 or 5 cyclists escorting this group of 4 athletes, so I went ahead 1–2 blocks to be sure the roadway was clear. It was smooth moving into downtown Brooklyn and Ft Greene, but chaos in Williamsburg—there was still traffic on and crossing the streets! Plus, a school bus was parked diagonally across the road and loading passengers! In haste, a few of us stopped the vehicles and managed one clear lane for the athletes to go through.

“After this close call, I stayed a bit farther ahead of our group of 3-4 athletes to watch for any other unusual circumstances—and there were. Old ladies crossing the street! A double-parked delivery truck! We earned our keep escorting these athletes through Williamsburg.”

George Friedman Jimenez commented: “This was a great experience for me and the other NYCC riders I talked to after the race. The sight of a 22 mph paceline of 5 push-rim racing wheelchairs 3 inches apart on NYC streets was particularly impressive. I believe we were much appreciated by the racers, and we definitely helped keep it safe in a few specific close-calls.”


Everyone gathered on the Brooklyn side of the Verrazzano Bridge, at Dahlgren Place and 92nd Street. Some rode to this spot, others arrived by bus from Manhattan.


Vests and credentials were handed out. Richard Rosenthal (right) had the organization well in hand.

The athletes fly up 4th Avenue in Brooklyn


The lead women work their way up the Queensboro Bridge followed closely by a hand cycle.

The lead woman charging across the Willis Avenue Bridge into the Bronx.


Here a woman starts the turn at Fifth Ave and 90th Street into Central Park. The cyclists bid their charges goodbye at that point since the bicycle escort ended there.