Riding for Tiny Tacos

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With my lips getting chapped and my hands drying out from the cold winds, I finally participated in my first group ride in Brooklyn.

For tacos.

Biking for food, or even apple cider, is the best excuse to ride with other hungry folks in cold winds.

After weeks of flaking out of the weekly rides organized by Ed on Social Cycling NYC’s Facebook page, I decided that the prospect of a bunch of tasty tiny tacos was too much to pass up. And I was right. Five tacos might seem like a lot when eaten in one setting, but when you’re biking between each scarf-down, it’s the best happy-tummy feeling one can have. Even if your bare hands are getting wind-chapped and drying out.

Part of our route for the Tour de Taco ride was supposed to take us into Queens but after the third stop, most people bailed out so we stayed in Brooklyn. After schlepping around the Park Slope area, we rode past Greenwood Cemetery, the Grand Army Plaza arch, and into Bushwick (which is where I split off after stuffing my face with two tacos).

So where’d we go, you ask?

First Unofficial Stop
There’s nothing like good food than good food out of a food truck. How many times can I say food in a sentence about food?

There were a bunch of food trucks parked near the Arch, and one of them was selling kimchi tacos, so some of us decided to make this our first unofficial taco stop. I got the short rib taco. It was okay.

First Official Stop
Tulcingo Deli IV on 5th Avenue between 55th and 56th streets. I got myself a chorizo taco, and in addition to possibly being the best chorizo taco I’ve eaten, this was probably the best taco stop. Weird, yes, since this was the first place we went.

Stop Two
This was supposed to be our first stop, but we over shot the turn so we went to Tulcingo Deli first instead. 5th Avenue is not a very fun road to bike on.

Tacos Ricos wins for being the cheeriest place to get tacos. I didn’t get any tacos here since I was still digesting my first two, but the folks that got their tacos here seemed very satisfied. This joint is on 51st Street, just off 5th Avenue.

Our third stop took us back down 5th Avenue, past the cemetery, past the Arch, over to a place called Gueros on Prospect Place. It was by far the fanciest taco establishment we visited. Much too fancy for the tacos we’ve already been scarfing down, if you ask me. Though, they did have a fried avocado with shrimp taco something or other, and apparently it was very delicious.

I just had the standard carnitas tacos. Sad to say, not the best carnitas tacos I’ve eaten.

This is where the bike party shrunk. Most folks lived in the area so decided to split off from here. We were supposed to go Queens after this stop, but our reduced numbers just kept us in Brooklyn, and off to Bushwick the rest of rode.

Not sure of the name of this little taco stand, but our fourth and last taco stop for the day was at the junction of Myrtle and Irving avenues. This is where I decided to go big and get two tacos, since I lived nearby and was ready to head home. Bought another chorizo and regular ol’ steak taco. The steak was okay. The chorizo was pretty good, but not as good as the one from Tulcingo Deli.

This is also when the winds became noticeably stronger and chillier.

All in all it was a great ride, though, it was a bit strange doing the Idaho stop at every red light. Not something I’ve experienced on my own rides and on WABA rides. The group was small so it was easier to manage (according to Anita, the organizer, they had over 100 people show up to the last taco tour).

The other interesting thing I noticed about this ride compared to some of the rides with WABA was the lack of lycra and full on “bike gear.” In a way, it was kind of refreshing, but I confess I had a moment of anxiety when getting dressed for the ride—regular ol’ clothes or opt for the spandex?

I wore a pair of beater jeans, a flannel and a scarf for moderate warmth. It was comforting to know just about everyone else was wearing their regular ol’ clothes. Though, I’m guessing for something like the Five Borough Ride, the lycra and bike gear will come out in full force.

Thanks Anita and friends for organizing this day of wonderful taco eating shenanigans. It was a great way to see the different neighborhoods, meet new people, and taste a bunch of tacos.

Cheers!

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