For a lot of people I know, one of the hardest parts of a vacation is just deciding where to go. After all, the world is a pretty big place. But a new fast growing trend is making the decision more difficult than ever – not only do you have to figure out where to go, but what to do when you get there. And once you have all that lined up, you even have to break a sweat. It sounds complicated, but millions of people are doing it. In fact, not so long ago, it was a challenge to get notoriously sedentary Americans off the couch and burning calories. All of a sudden, we can’t get them to stay home.
I’m talking about active, sports related travel, and for some reason people cannot get enough. In May I signed up to ride the annual Commerce Bank 5-Boro Bike Tour in New York City, a one-of-a-kind event that closes major Big Apple roadways like the FDR Drive and Brooklyn-Queens Expressway to traffic and allows bikers to enjoy these highways for one Sunday each year. I did the ride out of a sentimental urge to see my native New York from a perspective usually reserved for bumper-to-bumper drivers stuck in gridlock. Apparently I was not the only one who had the same idea: last year, the event, already the nation’s largest group bike ride, attracted about 30,000 people. This year, 42,000 showed up, a new record by a huge margin. They came from all over the country and as far away as Europe and Australia to ride a 45-mile route through the city that never sleeps.