Tuesday, September 02, 2014

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Cyclists Hit City Streets For Five Boro Bike Tour

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Bikes took over the city Sunday for the TD Five Boro Bike Tour, and with the sun shining bright, it was a great day for a ride on two wheels. NY1's Erin Clarke filed the following report.

They rolled through Manhattan, to the Bronx, over to Queens and Brooklyn, and
finally made it to Staten Island to complete the 36th annual Five Boro Bike Tour.

"New York is such a great city," said one rider. "I thought it'd be an awesome way to see
New York."

"It's fun," said another rider. "You get to be on parts of New York streets without any traffic. Especially when you get to see Brooklyn to the BQE, you get a great elevated view of the harbor."

A crisp, clear Sunday morning provided a perfect opportunity for riders to explore a city that has increasingly become more bike-friendly over the years.

"We have 700 miles of bike lanes, bike shares coming this month," said Ken Podziba, CEO of Bike New York.

When the event started in 1977, there were only 250 riders. It's grown considerably. Organizers expected up to 32,000 riders at this year's event, many of them riding for special causes, including one we've become quite familiar with since the tragedy in Boston.

"People contacted us pretty much immediately after the bombings in Boston. They wanted to do something special, so we developed this sticker to raise money for The One Fund Boston," Podziba said.

With that tragedy in mind, New York City stepped up security along the 40-mile course. The police department used mobile cameras and helicopters, and deployed a significant number of police officers.

Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said when it comes to security, each event in the city has to be judged individually.

"People may be a little concerned as a result of Boston," Kelly said. "We have to factor that in. We have to take a look at each event on its own."

Riders weren't allowed to carry backpacks or hydration packs, and the finish line festival was closed to the public. But no one seemed to let the precautions deter them.

"I think it shows that New York City is a great place to be, and there's lots of security, and people are still really positive about what's going on," said one attendee.

Bike New York is counting this year's Five Boro Bike Tour as another success
and is already looking forward to the 37th annual event.

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