Upcoming NYC Bike Tours
Each summer, bicyclists flood the city to see New York from the vantage point of their bicycles, and many New Yorkers trade their subway commutes for bike rides. If you’re looking to take your enthusiasm for cycling to the next level, consider signing up for one (or more) of New York’s many bike tours. It’s a great way to explore the boroughs individually or bike them all at once – here’s a list of upcoming tours you can ride:
Tour de Staten Island
35 miles/55 miles
The Tour de Staten Island is a non-competitive ride through the neighborhoods of New York’s southernmost borough. The tour offers route lengths of 35 miles and 55 miles and is a ride-at-your-own-pace event on roads open to traffic. April 12 is approaching fast, but there’s still time to sign up – non-members can register for $45 and it’s okay to register on the day of the event.
TD Five Boro Bike Tour
The 38th Annual TD Five Boro Bike Tour will take place on Sunday, May 3, 2015. This 40-mile bike tour began in 1977 as the Five Boro Challenge and initially covered an 80-mile course. The next year, Mayor Ed Koch endorsed the idea, shortening the course and changing the word “Challenge” to “Tour” in order to attract a wider range of participants. The route begins in Lower Manhattan, travels through all five boroughs, and ends in Staten Island. Last year, over 30,000 cyclists of all skill levels traveled the roads and bridges of New York City totally free of cars. Standard and VIP registration are sold out, but you can still sign up to bike on behalf of the tour’s charity partners.
Bike the Branches
This DIY bike tour encourages riders to visit as many Brooklyn Public Library branches as they can. Choose one of the tours on the BPL’s website or map out your own route – but be sure to have your passport stamped, because prizes will be awarded to whoever visits the most branches. The event will conclude with a block party at Central Library in Grand Army Plaza, and Citi Bike is offering free 24-hour passes to participants who are interested in trying out the bike share program. Registration is open now, and all proceeds will support the Brooklyn Public Library in providing vital services, programs and resources to all of Brooklyn.
Tour de Brooklyn
The Tour de Brooklyn, presented by Jamis Bicycles, will start in Erie Basin Park, right near the Ikea in Red Hook. The tour will be approximately 20 miles, and will visit the neighborhoods of Red Hook, Gowanus, Park Slope, Prospect Park South, Flatbush, Midwood, Flatlands, East Flatbush, Canarsie, Lefferts Gardens and Prospect Heights. The NYPD escorts the ride as a rolling parade and there will be occasional stops while the police and marshals secure intersections and gather riders. Registration will open during the last week of April.
Tour de Queens
The 2015 Tour de Queens will start in Astoria Park, and will visit the neighborhoods of Astoria, Long Island City, Sunnyside, Woodside, Middle Village, Rego Park, Forest Hills, Corona, East Elmhurst and Steinway. The tour is approximately 20 miles and moves at a family-friendly pace of about 10 mph. While there will be no road closures, the New York City Police Department will provide an escort. Registration will open during the first week of June.
NYC Century Bike Tour
35, 55, 75, or 100 miles
The 26th annual NYC Century Bike Tour will offer 35, 55, 75 and 100-mile rides. The routes are designed to show riders the diversity of New York’s neighborhoods and to advocate for bicyclists’ right to the streets. The first NYC Century bike tour in 1990 attracted about 200 bicyclists, and today the ride draws over 6,000 people. Most riders are New Yorkers fighting for better bicycling conditions in the city, but many come from across the country and around the world. All proceeds from the ride go to Vision Zero, an initiative to eliminate all traffic deaths from NYC streets. Registration will open in May – check back then to sign up.
Cycle for the Cause: The Northeast AIDS Ride
Cycle for the Cause: The Northeast AIDS Ride is the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center’s three-day, 275-mile bike ride that begins in Boston and ends in New York City. There is a $2,750 fundraising requirement, all of which goes toward providing HIV and AIDS services. The Center will help you meet your fundraising goals, and your meals, sleeping accommodations, and medical services are all taken care of. Registration is open now – anyone over 18 can sign up to ride.
Tour de Bronx
October – Date TBA
25 miles/40 miles
The 20th Annual Tour de Bronx will conclude with a festival at the New York Botanical Garden and offers both a 25-mile route and a 40-mile route. Riders of the 25-mile route will be accompanied by marshals and NYPD escorts, whereas the 40-mile route is meant for experienced cyclists who are comfortable biking in traffic. Check the Tour de Bronx website for registration info and a finalized route closer to the event.
If you’re looking for a more informal way to explore the city on your bike, Bike New York organizes small-scale community rides throughout the summer. This year’s events include a sustainability-themed ride and a ride to Coney Island. Stay tuned to the Bike New York website as registration information will be posted soon.