Not exactly the best day for a bike ride.  Wet weather dampened the 40 mile course but the not the spirits of the 32,000 people who signed up for the most anticipated cycling event of the year; the 39th Annual TD Five Boro Bike Tour.

"I love it. It's a great day," said Matt Welby. "Even in the rain it's a great day."

"It's amazing," said Dr. Eugenia Griffin. "Amazing to be out here with so many different cyclists and meet new people."

Not to mention, see the city in a whole new way. The closed course allows cyclists a rare chance to rule the road.

"Coming down the FDR drive with no traffic, never see that again," said Caleb Oberst of East Harlem. 

Unfortunately even without cars, the ride wasn't without incident as slick surfaces led to some spills.

"A lot of folks have wiped out because of the conditions, some folks a little too close to each other and surprise your breaks don't work as well as they are supposed to," said New Jersey resident Rob Burbella.   

For locals and visitors alike, the Five Boro Bike Tour is a chance to tackle new terrain outside their wheelhouse.

"I've never been to the Bronx and so that will add the last one in for me so I'm pretty excited," said Carolyn Gaskins.

"It's like a bucket list thing that you want to do in life," said Angelo Gurino. 

It's also a fundraising thing. Hundreds pedaled for over 50 charities, raising roughly a million dollars for causes they believe in.

"It's a great way to pair being active, fundraising and getting to do something really fun in the city," said Bianca Roland, who works for Arthritis Foundation NY.

Actually the entire event raises money for the non profit Bike New York, which claims to be the worlds largest free urban cycling program.

"We provide free bike education and safety programs for over 17,000 people, New Yorkers, mostly underserved kids," said Bike New York CEO Ken Podziba.

In addition to promoting cycling, the tour is also focused on the environment. They're going for a gold level certification in sustainability with zero waste stations at rest areas that encourage composting and recycling. New York City water replaced plastic bottles and even old bike parts will be given a new life.

"We want to set an example, we want to put pressure on other event organizers to do what we are doing, this is our planet, this is our world, we want to make a difference," said Podziba.

And while the changes kicked costs into a higher gear, organizers say it was worth every penny.