Bike New York City 2016

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Bike New York  2016 [Photo Kate Friedman]
Bike New York 2016 [Photo Kate Friedman]

It’s not too late if you want to be one of 32,000 cyclists who will enjoy riding on 40 miles of car free roads in five boroughs of New York City on May 1st, starting in lower Manhattan and including such iconic names as FDR Drive, the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway, and the Queensboro and Verrazano-Narrows bridges.

This isn’t just a fun day but a fund raising day too: Using proceeds from the Tour, Bike New York has, over the years, taught bike skills to tens of thousands of kids and adults throughout the five boroughs. The not-for-profit’s free bike education program is the largest of its kind in the world—last year alone, more than 17,000 kids and adults learned bike skills. Recent graduates of Bike New York’s bike education program will represent the organization as riding ambassadors. For many cyclists, this year’s TD Five Boro Bike Tour will be their first; for some, it will be their first large-scale organized ride ever. Bike New York has invited 20 kids and adults who have recently benefited from its free bike education program (funded in large part by proceeds from the Tour) to participate.

The Tour is a story in and of itself, and it’s not hard to see why it has become a bucket-list event for so many people. Having grown from 250 riders in its first year (1977) to the massive, 32,000-rider event it is today, with fully stocked rest areas, full SAG (Support and Gear), entertainment, a Finish Festival, and, of course, the opportunity to experience 40 miles of NYC streets totally free of cars, it is an event unlike any other.

If it’s a bit too late and a bit too far to go (this year), then keep an eye on Paris, which is going to make a car-free day on a monthly basis. Walking and cycling along down the Champs Élysées – even sitting in the middle of the multi lane road to picnic – sounds like fun!

 

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