The yearly bike tour throughout the city has returned after COVID-19 cancellations.
By Tara Michel
Cyclists explore NYC in Five Boro Bike Tour
More than 32,000 cyclists filled streets for the TD Five Boro Bike Tour across all boroughs in NYC in a 40-mile trip on Sunday, May 1st. Following its cancellation in 2020, and the limited capacity rule for social distancing in 2021, the tour was at full capacity for the first year since the pandemic began.
Bikers kicked off their 40-mile trek at 7:30 a.m. on Franklin Street in Downtown Manhattan, crossed over the Queensborough Bridge near the 15th mile and concluded in Staten Island. The Five Boro Bike Tour, in conjunction with TD Bank and the City, funds free bike education programs reaching thousands of New Yorkers.
“First of all, we have people from every state in the country, 32 countries around the world,” Ken Podziba, president and CEO of Bike New York, said in an interview with NY1. “What’s so great about it is not that it’s the largest bike event in the country. It’s the most diverse and inclusive ride in the world. Look around. This is what makes it great. It’s a microcosm of the world. This is New York City. “
Oral John, 52, came from Maryland to participate for the first time. After biking for more than 20 miles, he took a break and still felt energetic and calm. Due to the warm sunny weather and the maximum number of cyclists, he enjoyed himself, and racing was never on his mind.
“I signed up two years ago, COVID-19 canceled it the first year, and I deferred the second year, so I feel good, this is something to challenge yourself and to see the city,” John said.
While many participated, some watched from the sidelines and cheered for their loved ones.
Lauren Teng, 30, has lived in Brooklyn for eight years, but this was her first time watching the event. For her, it was wonderful to spend her morning coffee outside observing the bike tour. Teng had never considered participating before, but after seeing all the participants she is considering grabbing a helmet next year.
“I think it’s a beautiful thing that the streets are open to the people that live here and the people that visit,” Teng said. “We all spend so much time underground getting around and it seems like a wonderful opportunity to be out in the sunshine and just be with all our neighbors, we really haven’t been able to come together in so long.”