20,000 Riders Take Over NYC Streets in Five Boro Bike Tour: Here's An Inside Look

This year's TD Five Boro Bike Tour welcomed more than 20,000 participants after a forced postponement due to Tropical Storm Henri.

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New York City's Five Boro Bike Tour peddled on Sunday after Tropical Storm Henri shut down the original ride date of Aug. 22.

The tour also returned Sunday after being canceled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Given safety protocols, last weekend's tour had a limited capacity hosting just over 20,000 participants. In years past, the ride welcomed 32,000 cyclists.

The Five Boro Bike Tour first launched in 1977 with the help of American Youth Hostels. Originally, it was a 50-mile ride for high school students and bike club members to practice riding technique.

Today, the tour consists of a 40-mile route starting in Lower Manhattan, weaving its way through the Bronx, Queens, Brooklyn and eventually ending in Staten Island with a finisher's festival.

Credit: Bike New York

Any bicycle can be used to ride, including recumbents, unicycles, tandems and tricycles. Also included this year as a new addition were pedal-assist e-bikes, which as of November of last year, are allowed in New York City.

The tour is suited for riders of all ages, and there are plenty of rest stops and gear stands should a bike need fixing. However, to note, one must still be cautious on the road due to several accidents and falls, particularly at traffic stops as clip-on cyclists slow down.

This year, authorities said participants were sent to the hospital after a three-bike collision occurred to a bottleneck along East 71st and the FDR Drive, according to recordings on Citizen App.

Standard ticket prices were $112, whereas VIP registration was $350. Morning start times were staggered day-of with pre-assigned waves. According to Bike New York, proceeds from the tour go towards funding free cycling programs for New York City residents.

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