Thursday, June 3, 2010

Tour de Brooklyn 2010

The Tour de Brooklyn is back for its sixth year and it’s bigger than ever. The 18-mile family-friendly bike tour, which takes a different route through the borough every year, is held by biking advocacy group Transportation Alternatives (TA). TA Spokesperson Wiley Norvell said they expect around 2,500 riders this time around, 500 more than last year.

The ride will take place this Sunday, June 6, and will start at 9:30 a.m. sharp. Online registration has already filled up, but “there will be several hundred spots available on the day of [the ride],” Norvell said. Prospective riders are suggested to get there at 8 a.m., but not before. Check-in is at McCarren Park, and concludes at 9 a.m.

While last year’s ride took bicyclists through southern Brooklyn and Coney Island, this year’s will start and end in Williamsburg, touring Greenpoint, East Williamsburg, Bed-Stuy and Prospect Heights along the way, with a brief respite in Red Hook Park.

Since riders of all ages participate, this ride is not a race, instead it is treated as a rolling parade, about five to 10 minutes from front to back. “It’s a slow, leisurely pace,” said Norvell. The group is escorted by the NYPD.

This particular route was designed with sustainability in mind, he noted, with riders going from Newtown Creek to the Gowanus Canal. “We’re highlighting different pieces of the [Brooklyn] Waterfront Greenway,” Norvell explained. “Bringing New Yorkers closer to their waterfronts.”

If you missed online registration, there are plenty of places to watch the ride. Norvell said the ride will be going down McGuinness Boulevard in Greenpoint in the morning. A good vantage point would be at Nassau Avenue and McGuinness, which he called “a very dramatic place to watch the ride pass.”

Other optimal views will be in East River State Park, at Kent Avenue and N 8th Street. The ride will also travel on Fourth Avenue for about 20 blocks, Norvell noted, between Bergen and Ninth. Or you can watch the ride on Van Brunt in Red Hook in the afternoon.

“It will be lovely to watch the ride come down Bergen Street in Prospect Heights, or Carlton Avenue [in Fort Greene]. You can hang out and have brunch or go to Fort Greene Park afterwards,” Norvell said. “But the best vantage point is as a rider.” 

Photo by Emmanuel Fuentebella

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