Sunday, April 23rd, Tour De Staten Island, was one of the season’s first biking/cycling events in the NYC & surrounding area. It’s a great way to get in some exercise while enjoying some local sightseeing. There’s a real sense of community among bike/cycle enthusiast so anyone is welcomed to join whether they are a beginner or expert.
With sunny weather in the upper 50s, the day started with a relaxing Staten Island Ferry ride from the ferry terminal in downtown Manhattan to St. George ferry terminal in Staten Island. [Note to readers: The South Ferry stop on the #1 train is the closest to the terminal in Manhattan, but sometimes the trains on weekend doesn’t stop there so it’s best to have an alternative route to get to the ferry terminal such as exiting from the Wall Street station stop on the 2/3 train then bike a few blocks to the ferry terminal]
Start time for cyclist riding 50 miles was 8 a.m., 35 miles was 9 a.m. Luckily the event organizers were flexible, allowing late comers to still ride after the second wave have already departed. For people needing minor bike repairs or air in their tires, the start off point had people or apparatuses to tend to people’s bikes.
The terrain in S.I. was hilly so it presented a challenge to cyclist, but it was also extremely scenic with many waterfront vistas to enjoy and McMansions to drool over. The route passed by or near many of S.I. sites such as Snug Harbor Cultural Center, Staten Island Zoo, Fresh Kills Park, Historic Richmond Town, and Alice Austen House. Rest stops had volunteers who served peanut butter filled pretzels, apple, bananas, and water to physically restore and encourage cyclist towards the finish line. Riding along Midland Beach promenade was my favorite part of the route as it paralleled the ocean front and really gave a sense of being away from the concrete jungle.
Just when you think you can’t ride any further, the end of the tour comes to a close. Complimentary beer awaited cyclist at the finish line as well as an overall sense of accomplishment. We made it! To celebrate the event and cyclists’ achievements, there was a street festival in front of Flagship Brewery Co, where a DJ was spinning tracks, vendors were either selling food/beverage or goods/services, and masseuses were giving out much needed massages.
May is designated National Bike Month. And the Grand Puba of biking events, Five Boro Bike Tour, is next Sunday, May 7th. Welcome signs and street closure notices are displayed all over the city preparing locals and visitors for the event and generating buzz. Registration have long closed (usually it’s filled up by the end of January) for the Five Boro, but there are plenty more upcoming biking/cycling events in or near the NYC area as this season continues to gear up. If you know of any other events, feel free to drop me a line so I can update the list below. In the meantime, Happy Biking!
|Sunday, May 7, 2017||5 Boro Bike Tour||http://www.bike.nyc/events/td-five-boro-bike-tour/|
|Saturday, June 24, 2017||Epic Greenway||http://www.brooklyngreenway.org/event/the-epic-ride/|
|Sunday, June 25, 2017||Discover Hudson Valley Ride||http://www.bike.nyc/events/discover-hudson-valley-ride/|
|Sunday, July 30, 2017||Harlem Valley Ride||http://www.harlemvalleyrailride.com/|
|Saturday, August 2017||Summer Streets||http://www.nyc.gov/html/dot/summerstreets/html/home/home.shtml|
|Sunday, September 10, 2017||NYC Century||http://biketours.transalt.org/nyccentury|
|Saturday, September 16, 2017||Escape NY||https://nycc.org/eny|
|Sunday, September 24, 2017||Twin Lights Ride||http://www.bike.nyc/events/twin-lights-ride/|
|Sunday, October 22, 2017||Bike the Boro – Bronx||http://www.ilovethebronx.com/index.php/happenings/tour-de-bronx|
|Sunday, October 22, 2017||Bike MS NYC||http://main.nationalmssociety.org/site/TR/Bike/NYNBikeEvents?pg=entry&fr_id=29055|
For information on bike/cycling clubs or related organizations in NYC:
*Five Boro Bike Club: http://www.5bbc.org/
*New York Cycle Club: https://nycc.org/
*Transportation Alternatives: https://www.transalt.org/
*Bike NY; http://www.bike.nyc/
For more information on Staten Island Tourism: http://www.visitstatenisland.com/