The Five Boro Tour has returned with thousands taking to New York City streets for a 40-mile trip through all the boroughs.
This is the first year since the start of the pandemic that the tour is back to its full capacity of 32,000 riders. In 2020, the race was cancelled and in 2021, it was held with limited capacity to allow for social distancing.
“I’m feeling blessed. Grateful for a beautiful day. So excited to be here with 30 thousand-plus people who want to ride their bikes on the streets of New York without vehicles. It’s amazing,” said Janet Wilson, who participated in the tour for the first time.
The tour is a fundraising event for nonprofit Bike New York to provide free bike education opportunities to New Yorkers. Organizers say the best part of the race is the participants.
“First of all, we have people from every state in the country, 32 countries around the world,” said Ken Podziba, President and CEO of Bike New York. “What’s so great about it is not that it’s largest bike event in the country. It’s the most diverse and inclusive ride in the world. Look around. This is what makes it great. It’s a microcosm of the world. This is New York City. “
Riders who have taken part multiple times say experiencing the city through the tour is something unmatched.
“I did the tour ten years ago. It was one of the best things I’ve ever done,” says Kelly Santella. “You can’t see New York City in any other way. When you’re in a cab or walking but with the streets closed, it feels really safe. It’s just phenomenal.”