Every year, tens of thousands of cyclists take to the streets—which, for the day, are blessedly car-free—for the TD Five Boro Bike Tour, a 40-mile jaunt that travels across every single New York City borough. (It’s like the marathon, but on two wheels—and without the competitive aspect.)
The tour, now in its 42nd year, is organized by Bike New York; the first event, all the way back in 1977, only had about 250 participants, but it’s swelled in size since then. (The course has also gotten shorter—the first ride was a 50-mile jaunt made up of high-school students and cycling fans.) It remains one of the best ways to take in the sights of the city, if you’re willing to commit to a daylong ride.
This year’s tour happens in just a few days—so what can you expect, both from a participant’s and an observer’s perspective? A ton of street closures, mostly—read on for more information.
When is the TD Five Boro Bike Tour?
The ride happens on May 5, kicking off at 7:30 a.m. with staggered waves of riders leaving from the start point. The last wave of riders will get moving at 9:20 a.m. It’s supposed to rain on Sunday, so take that into account.
What’s the route for the TD Five Boro Bike Tour?
The ride begins in Tribeca at Franklin Street and Church Street, and will continue north through Manhattan and Central Park, before looping through the Bronx over the Madison Avenue Bridge, and back into Manhattan over the Third Avenue Bridge. From there, it goes along Manhattan’s waterfront to the Queensboro Bridge, then loops up and around Astoria, before heading south over the Pulaski Bridge into Brooklyn. Riders will have the run of the BQE, and finish off the trip by riding over the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge to the finish line in Staten Island. Phew.
What streets will be closed on Sunday?
Buckle up, because this list of street closures is a doozy—every borough will be affected, as will major thoroughfares like the BQE and the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge.
You can see the full, three-page list, courtesy of the Mayor’s Street Activity Permit Office, here; but here’s the TL;DR:
Manhattan: Much of Tribeca will be closed off; all of Sixth Avenue between Franklin Street and West 59th Street; Center and East Drives in Central Park; about 25 blocks of Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Boulevard; the Bronx-bound side of the Madison Avenue Bridge; FDR Drive from 116th to 63rd streets; and the Manhattan-bound side of the Queensboro Bridge’s upper level.
Bronx: The streets around 138th Street and the Third Avenue Bridge, along with the Manhattan-bound side of the Third Avenue Bridge.
Queens: Many streets in Astoria and Long Island City, as well as those around the Queensboro Bridge; the Brooklyn-bound side of the Pulaski Bridge.
Brooklyn: Franklin Street, Kent Avenue, and Flushing Avenue will largely be closed, as will streets in Dumbo and Downtown Brooklyn leading to the BQE on-ramp at Columbia Street. The BQE will be closed between the Columbia Street entrance and the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge on-ramp.
Staten Island: The SI-bound side of the lower level of the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge; and much of Bay Street, Hylan Boulevard, Edgwater Street, and Hannah Street.