May is Bike Month in New York and Nationwide

This year’s Bike Month NYC is the eighteenth annual celebration of bicycling in metropolitan New York. People can choose from over 200 rides, classes, races, movies, culinary events and art exhibits. Bike Month draws popular support and press coverage in metropolitan New York City. Thousands of bicyclists from around the New York City metropolitan area flock to the numerous events that make up Bike Month NYC, including rides, repair classes, films, races, snacks discussions and much more.

The New York City Department of Transportation announced a dramatic 35% increase in bicycle commuters in 2008. 30,000 riders have signed up for the 42-mile TD Bank Five Boro Bike Tour to be held on Sunday, May 3rd. The route starts in Lower Manhattan. You’ll head north through the heart of Manhattan to Central Park and continue on to historic Harlem and the Bronx, returning south along the East River on the FDR Drive. From there you’ll cross into Queens and then Brooklyn, where cyclists take over the highway before making the thrilling climb up–and down–the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge to Staten Island. The route is 42 miles, mostly flat except for the bridges. Near the end is the Festival at Fort Wadsworth on Staten Island, where the activities will include bike demos, a mountain bike stunt show, giveaways, games, a wonderful food concession, product samples, stretching, massage, a photo booth, and official merchandise on sale.

One of the highlights is National Bike to Work Day in New York City, to be held on Friday, May 15th, 7-10:30 A.M. Meet at an East River bridge (Queensboro Bridge, Williamsburg Bridge, Manhattan Bridge, Brooklyn Bridge) or at Madison Square Park or City Hall Park for your annual thank-you-for-biking-to-work snack. Stop by for some hot coffee, quality reading material and your extreme commuter bag!

For the children, on May 2, 9, 16, 17, 23 and 30 (for adults too) a free Learn to Ride a Bike program is being offered at various locations within the City. This program teaches a safe, easy, and effective way to learn to ride. Participants will learn the basics of balancing, starting, stopping, and steering a bike. Its being offered to children ages 5 and up throughout the five boroughs. Participants should bring a helmet and a bike that fits to their standards. Pre-registration is required and can be done through Bike New Yorks website or at (212) 932-BIKE. A Commuter Race is scheduled for Thursday, May 21st.

Opportunities to meet the Borough Presidents will occur at Borough President Snacks to be held on Tuesday, May 5th, 7:30-8:30 A.M. Brooklyn; Wednesday, May 13th, 7-8:30 A.M. Staten Island; Friday, May 15th, 7-9:30 A.M. Bronx; Thursday, May 21st, 5:15-6:15 A.M. Manhattan. Car-Free Saturday(?) in Crotona Park, the Bronx is on Sunday, May 30, 12-5 P.M. Half a mile of open road to ride your bike, run and play games in Crotona Park. The street is being shut down and opened up to the public.

On Sundays May 3, 10, 17, & 31, the Bronx River Parkway will be open to all bicyclists, skaters, scooters, walkers and joggers. No motorized vehicles. From the Westchester County Center in White Plains to Scarsdale Road in Yonkers. 10 AM to 2 PM, cost FREE. Saturday, June 7, 8 A.M. at 2 P.M. is the 5th annual Tour de Brooklyn. Registration is open now and totally free. This family-friendly ride starts and ends in Coney Island. The tour includes 23 miles of Brooklyn’s finest biking and an exclusive bike-tour of historic Greenwood Cemetery.

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