This Year’s Five Boro Bike Tour Event Celebrated Its 40th Anniversary
This year marked the 40th anniversary of the TD Bank Five Boro Tour presented by REI. Founded in 1977 with 250 participants the 42 -mile tour has grown to 32,000 cyclists from every state and 43 countries. It is an opportunity for riders of all ages and skill levels to enjoy the sights and sounds of New York from a different and empowering vantage point.
The tour begins near Battery Park at the southern end of Manhattan. Taking advantage of car free roads the tour travels north through the heart of Manhattan, through Central Park and Harlem. After crossing over the Harlem River it briefly enters The Bronx before making a triumphant return into Manhattan via the FDR Drive. From there, it crosses the Queensboro Bridge where it travels through various neighborhoods in Queens and Brooklyn before entering the Brooklyn Queens Expressway. Before long on the elevated highway, one approaches the final breathtaking stretch over the Verrazano Bridge to the celebratory finish festival at Fort Wadsworth in Staten island.
Throughout the tour and rest stops riders were entertained with live music from the more than 25 music bands. Abundant rest stops were well stocked with energy snacks provided by Clif Bar, Nature Addicts, Nuun Hydration, and Purity Organic. They were doled out by some of the over 2,000 cheery volunteers without whom the Tour could not take place.
Bike New York puts on the tour and is a non-profit organization that promotes and encourages bicycling as an efficient, environmentally sustainable and healthy mode of transportation and recreation. As New York City continues to rapidly expand its bike infrastructure the city has seen a significant increase in bike commuting. Bike New York, as one of the leading proponents of cycling in the city is largely responsible for these improvements.
Aside from the tour being a fantastic way to see the city, it is also an important fundraising event. Teams of cyclists represent many local charities and in return they receive a pass to start in the front of the Tour as well as other benefits. Proceeds from the tour benefit Bike New York’s various education programs, which includes free learn to ride skills to adults and children with a focus on underserved communities. In addition, Bike New York produces two smaller rides outside the city called Discover Hudson Valley and Twin Lights and cyclists can sign up for those events at bike.nyc
Photos: Courtesy of Bike New York