2009-05-01 / Community

Five Boro Bike Tour Takes Over City This Weekend

Bike New York, in association with the City of New York and the New York City Department of Transportation, announced today that the TD BANK FIVE BORO BIKE TOUR will return to the city streets on Sunday, May 3, 2009. The Tour, which is presented by Con Edison, travels 42 miles through New York City using car-free streets, highways, and bridges. More information is available at www.BikeNew- York.org.

Founded in 1977 with just 250 participants, this non-competitive ride has grown to involve some 30,000 cyclists and 1,500 volunteers, including fitness enthusiasts, families, and friends from around the globe. For the third consecutive year, the Tour filled up well in advance — a record seven weeks ahead of Tour day.

"The TD BANK FIVE BORO BIKE TOUR provides a one-of-a-kind opportunity for participants to experience all five boroughs of New York without motorized traffic," stated Bike New York Executive Director Pam Tice. "We hope that a ride through the city on May 3 will encourage cyclists to keep up this healthy, economical, environmentally friendly habit throughout the year."

The Tour begins in Battery Park in Lower Manhattan. Taking advantage of car-free roads, the tour then travels north through the heart of Manhattan to Central Park and continues on to historic Harlem and the Bronx, returning south along the East River on the FDR Drive. From there it crosses into Queens and then Brooklyn, where cyclists take over the highway before making the thrilling climb up — and down — the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge. The Tour ends with a celebratory Festival on Staten Island. After enjoying the live entertainment, exhibits, and food concessions, riders take a free ride on the Staten Island Ferry back to Manhattan, completing the ultimate of New York experiences. The route map and an interactive photo tour are available at BikeNew- York.org/rides/fbbt/route_map.html.

"The premiere car-free event is an exciting introduction to this healthier, cleaner and greener way to get around the City," said NYC Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan. "It's no surprise that commuter cycling has doubled since 2003, and we are working hard to improve the mobility and safety of all bicyclists by dramatically expanding the network of bike lanes on our streets."

The TD BANK FIVE BORO BIKE TOUR receives valuable support from its partnerships with sponsors. TD Bank, "America's Most Convenient Bank," returns for its third year as title sponsor. Long-time presenting sponsor Con Edison returns for its 14th year, and the Tour also welcomes back WPIX, Fresh 102.7 FM, Snapple, Lärabar, Bonita Bananas, Jamaica Hospital Medical Center, The New York Post and New York Sports Club.

Through a new partnership with nine local charities, including Hudson River Sloop Clearwater, Marriage Equality New York, and the Lymphoma Research Foundation, a select number of TD Bank Five Boro Bike Tour riders are using the event as a fundraiser. In return, they receive a pass to start in the front of the Tour as well as other benefits from the charity. The designated charities are expected to raise more than $250,000 as a result.

Bike New York's Bicycle Education Program is a primary beneficiary of Tour proceeds. Its offerings this year include a full schedule of Learn to Ride sessions for families and adults, Savvy Cyclist classes for adults, bike commuting seminars, and training for educators and community leaders. All programs are free and focus on cycling skills and safety. Bike New York also produces smaller rides outside New York City, and cyclists may register for those events now as well.

Bike New York (BikeNewYork.org) is a non-profit organization that promotes and encourages bicycling and bicycle safety through education, public events, and collaboration with community and government organizations. Best known as producer of the nation's largest recreational cycling event, the TD Bank Five Boro Bike Tour, Bike New York also organizes smaller rides and runs a Bicycle Education Program offering free classes and workshops for adults and children.

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