This Sunday, May 5, the TD Bank 5-Boro Bike Tour will make it’s way through the city. The 40-mile event has been held almost every year since 1977, and had grown from 250 participants to 30,000 cyclists.
Drivers, take note: the route starts at Battery Park and works its way through Manhattan, the Bronx, Queens, and Brooklyn before finishing in Staten Island. It runs on city streets for most of its circuit, but through most of Brooklyn, it runs on the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway and Gowanus Expressway, so the southbound sections of those highways will be closed from roughly 9:30am to 3:30pm. (Please note that the event no longer makes use of the Belt Parkway – that switch was made a couple of years ago.)
The upper level of the Verrazano Bridge will be open to traffic all day – vehicles may get there via the 92nd Street entrance ramp or Belt Parkway.
The NYPD had attempted to change the Tour’s status this year from charitable to non-charitable, which would have subjected them to a permit fee of nearly $1 million. However, a state judge ruled against the police department earlier this month, saying that it wasn’t in their bailiwick to determine what was, and was not, a charity. “Bike New York does charitable work,” Judge Margaret Chan said as reported by the NY Daily News. “The way they’re raising money isn’t to your liking.” 5 Boro Bike Tour fees support youth biking programs year-round, including a camp used by the Police Athletic League camp with 165 children.
P.S. I will be taking part this year. This will be my first time in the event. However, I am in much worse physical shape now than when I decided to do this, so please wish me luck – I’ll need all that I can get!