Biking in Queens and NYC is on the rise. It's good for one's health and by not using an automobile, it's also good for the environment. There are saftey issues that one must be sure to address, but generally biking is an interesting and fun sport which is accessible to people of all ages.
Tour de Queens
The Tour de Queens did not return this year, nor did the Tour de Brooklyn.
This year Transportation Alternatives, organizers of the events, tried to promote a Brooklyn Queens Tour by merging the Tour de Brooklyn and the Tour de Queens. They set out a 20 mile escorted course with a goal of raising $100,000 for Transportation Alternatives street safety efforts. The Brooklyn / Queens bicycle event took place on Sunday, June 12th beginning at 8.30 / 9 am. The sign up fee was about $20 per rider and began and ended at CitiField.
I understand the merged ride didn't go that well. Generally both the Tour de Queens and the Tour de Brooklyn bike ride events each attract over a thousand riders apiece, while the merged event appears to have attracted only a couple of hundred bike riders according to their Facebook page.
It seems that given the event had historically been a family-friendly escorted bike ride that stayed within the borough / neighborhood, some of the family-friendliness appeal was lost by merging the bike tours. It's also worth noting that there are two other multi-borough events for bike riders - the 5 Boro Bike Ride the first weekend of May and the Century Bike Ride the second weekend of September.
The Century Bike Ride is also organized by Transportation Alternatives and has been growing every year to (tens) of thousands of bike riders who set out on a 31 / 62 or 100 mile course through all five boroughs. To register, go to www.transalt.org. The photo above was taken at the Tour de Queens ride in 2015 near Astoria Park.
Century Bike Ride Runs & Rests In Queens
September 14, 2015 / Astoria Neighborhood / Biking Queens / Queens Buzz. The Sunday forecast included a high probability of scattered thunderstorms, but fortunately for the Century bike riders the weather appeared to favor them.
The Century Bike Ride is organized by Transportation Alternatives, an environmentally-friendly group that promotes non-carbon and low carbon 'transportation alternatives' to NYC residents. This is the bike ride they sponsor and the receipts go toward their efforts to ensure the various levels of government do what they can to help promote a safe and regenerative urban transportation environment.
The Century Bike Ride offers four biking alternatives that individuals and / or groups can pursue on their own during the most-of-the-day event. The first start time was at 5.30 am in Central Park [Manhattan] and at 6 am for a Prospect Park [Brooklyn] start and the last rest stops at the two parks closed at 6 pm.
The four bike routes included a 35 mile, 55 mile, 75 mile and 100 mile [hence the name century] loop.The 35 mile loop is called the East River Ride, which runs along the East River primarily in Brooklyn and Queens. The ride started at 7.30 am and was expected to last between 3.5 and 7.5 hours. The 55 mile loop is called the Waterfront Ride which includes the East River loop, but also the Verrazzanno Bridge, Coney Island and part of the Brooklyn Greenway. This ride started at 7 am / 7.30 am and was expected to take about 3.5 to 8.5 hours. The 75 mile loop is called the Rockaways Ride and it excludes the north / south run along the East River in Brooklyn / Queens in exchange for a haul out to the Fort Tilden Beach in the Rockaways then north through a number of Queens Greenways [parks] before turning westward back toward Manhattan. The Century Bike Ride, the 100 miler, starts at 6 am / 6.30 am and is expected to take between six and twelve hours.
The Century Bike Ride started in 1989 and is celebrating its 26th year.
Tour de Queens
Transportation Alternatives Hosts 8th Annual Tour de Queens
The first Tour de Queens took place in 2008. The event was organized by Transportation Alternatives to encourage people to get on their bikes to see their neighborhoods. The idea is once people reaquaint themselves with the ease and joy of bicycle travel, they'll be more apt to get on their bicycle again.
The Tour de Queens route changes every year, and sometimes that includes the starting and end point. This year the event began in Astoria Park again and traveled south through Long Island City, east to Middle Village and north to Jackson Heights before returning to Astoria Park.
Sign up began at 8 am and the tour began promptly at 9.30 am. About 11,000 cyclists signed up for the Tour de Queens which cost $22.50 and $17.50 to register. The Tour de Queens is an escorted ride where the police temporarily set up barricades clearing the route as the bicyclists pass. This differs from both the 5 Boro Bike Ride and the Century Bike Ride where the route is cordoned off for a great deal of the day.
Air Beam: What Are You Breathing?
Adventurous Bike Ride With TA Queens ... On The Road To Find Out
November 10, 2014 / Queens Neighborhoods / Biking Queens / Queens Buzz. I just returned from a bike ride that began at the Central Park Boathouse and ended in Jackson Heights at 34th Street and the BQE Expressway. Celia Castellan, who is the organizer for Transportation Alternatives Queens [aka TA Queens] collaborated with me on this story which is about Queens & Manhattan air quality and also about biking. Celia is shown in the photo to your right, atop the Queensboro Bridge around 6 pm Monday night as we bike commuted from Manhattan to Queens.
It was a beautiful night with clear, dry air and temperatures around 60. Our mission was to test the Air Beam, a new device designed to enable people to measure the air quality, and then map the information to a public website, so that the public can begin to see what's going on with the air they breathe. The Air Beam is a blue, slightly-larger-than-a-cell-phone device, that you wear to measure the air [quality].
We began the ride in Central Park. We were on our way after receiving only a couple minutes of instruction. The device is brand-spanking new and must be sync'ed to an Android cell phone. The inventors work for a non-profit and are trying to raise a bit of money to mass produce it.
I'm going to take you on the rest of the ride, including a sampling of the air quality readings along the way, and provide some photos of the Queensboro Bridge bicycle commute a bit later this week. In the meantime, check out the Air Casting website and if you want to help, there are a few more days left on their Kickstarter campaign.
Century Bike Tour In Astoria Park & Queens
September 8, 2014 / Astoria Neighborhood / Biking Queens / Queens Buzz. The Century Bike Tour came rolling through Queens all day Sunday. It's a 100 mile bike ride, but designed to also accommodate those with less ambitious plans of 25 and 50 mile bike rides too.
The course includes four of the five boroughs [not Staten Island] and it is neither police escorted, nor are the roads blocked off to accommodate the ride. NYC has become far more bike-friendly over the past decade. So while riding along with the other bikers, you'll find drivers become aware that this is a big bike day. One biker also told me that the police are stationed at key artery intersections - like the Brooklyn Bridge - to handle the traffic management complexities.
It costs $65 and registration remains open up to the event day as the tour is designed to accommodate large numbers of bikers. About 6,000 bikers registered this year which is near an all time high. The event is sponsored by Transportation Alternatives which uses the funds to advocate for safer streets. We'll have more on this including a photo slide show at a later date.
Randall's Island Bike Ride
Weekend Day Ride Feels Miles Away
May 12, 2014 / Astoria / Queens Bike Paths / Queens Buzz. I decided to attend the Frieze Art Fair on Randall's Island this past weekend. There are three ways to travel to Randall's Island: the ferry service from LIC, driving a car along the Grand Central Parkway part way over the RFK / Triborough Bridge or walking / biking on the pedestrian / bike path over the RFK / Triborough Bridge. I decided to take the latter and bike to Randall's Island.
Randall's Island is located in the middle of the East River, just across from Astoria Park. It is home to Icahn Stadium, an important NY Fire Department complex, a police station and a psychiatric hospital. There are also a number athletic fields which on this particular weekend seemed to be put to good use by a number of soccer leagues.
I started my journey at 27th Street on the north end of Hoyt Avenue which runs alongside the Grand Central Parkway leading to the RFK / Triborough Bridge. The entrance is inconspicuous and you have to carry your bike up a healthy set of stairs. For a while you'll be biking in a partitioned bike lane alongside the incessant flow of speeding traffic of the Grand Central Parkway, before you're taken above the din, up into the lofty heights of the Triborough Bridge. If you have a great fear of heights, this is not the journey for you.
We'll post more about the bike path to Randall's Island, including a photo slide show, at a later date.
Cyclists Rights In NYC / Queens
Knowing Your Rights & Responsibilities As An NYC Cyclist
Updated Spring 2015 / Long Island City Neighborhood / NYC Cylists Rights In Queens / Queens Buzz. By Philip Papas. The introduction to the Cyclists' Rights Forum was given by Christina Vassallo, Executive Director, Flux Factory. She told us that the event came about after she and a friend were stopped for cycling violations, which they thought were not illegal, or had erroneously been applied as violation points to their motor vehicle driver’s license. As a result she saw the need for a forum to clarify laws, rights and proper procedures for cyclists to follow.
Click here to read our full report about NYC Bike Laws / Cyclists' Rights Forum in Queens at the Flux Factory in LIC.
32,000 Bikers Pass Thru Queens: 5 Boro Bike Tour
May 5, 2013 / Long Island City & Astoria / Biking Queens / Queens Buzz. This Sunday some 32,000 bicyclists rode through Astoria and LIC on their way to completing a 40 mile bike ride through all five boroughs of NYC. Photographer Abdel Berrera caught up with them at the Astoria Park rest station where many took a moment to catch their breath.
Many of the cyclists come from other countries and other states. The bikers see this as a nice way to see all of New York City, not just Manhattan.
There are two 5 Boro Bike Tour rest stops: the first in Astoria Park and the second at the Con Ed rest station along the East River. Many took some time out to make adjustments to their bikes, gear and selves; and consumed a bit of food before resuming the relaxing trip and heading on to Brooklyn and Staten Island.
Click here to read a brief report and to see a photo slide show of the 5 Boro Bike Ride in Queens shot by Astoria photographer Abdel Berraha.
5 Boro Bike Ride In Queens - 5 Boro Bike Tour In Queens
Viewing Times & Locations for 5 Boro Bike Ride in Astoria LIC Queens
May 2, 2013 / Long Island City & Astoria / Bikes & biking in Queens / Queens Buzz. On Sunday, May 5th at 7.45 am the 5 Boro Bike Tour will begin at the southern tip on Manhattan just north of Battery Park.
5 Boro Bike Tour Course & Map
The bike tour is the biggest of its kind in the USA, hosting approximately 32,000 cyclists each year who travel of 40 mile route between the hours of 8 am and 6 pm on a Sunday when NYC auto traffic is diverted to accommodate the tour.
Click here for a map of the 5 Boro Bike Tour in Queens.
Tour De Queens Changes Starting Location
April 22, 2013 / Biking in Queens / Queens Buzz. The Tour De Queens will be starting and ending in western Queens this year. This year the Tour De Queens will start and end in Astoria Park in northwestern Queens. The Tour De Queens is scheduled for Sunday, July 7th and registration begins on June 4th. The Tour De Queens bike ride is sponsored by Transportation Alternatives and the police escorted bike ride will travel through the following Queens neighborhoods: Astoria, Long Island City, Ridgewood, Maspeth, Rego park, Middle Village, Forest Hills, Corona, East Elmhurst and the rest stop will be held in Juniper Park. The cost of registration is $15 / $20 and you can click here to read the registation details on the Tour De Queens website.
The Tour De Queens [see related stories below] is a roughly 20 mile, family-friendly bike ride [casual & slow] through several neighborhoods around the borough of Queens. The neighborhoods change each year, giving the cycliing participants an opportunity to really 'tour Queens'. This is the 6th annual Tour De Queens, and you can view reports and photos of prior Tours De Queens by scrolling down.
No New Bike Lanes For Queens in 2013
April 30, 2013 / Biking in Queens / Queens Buzz. Last fall I attended one of the Community Board Meetings on Bike Lanes in Queens. At the time the Department of Transportation had come to solicit input from the Community with the idea of building additional bike lanes in the borough. At the time they were talking about adding 50 miles of new bike lanes in NYC in 2013, of which about 10 miles were planned for Queens.
In a recent visit to the DOT website, I found quite a changed picture. Currently they are planning about 31 miles of bike lanes and no new bike lanes for Queens. I wonder what happened?
|14th and 15th Street Traffic Calming and Bicycle Lanes||Brooklyn||1.9|
|Columbus Avenue Bicycle Path Extension (update)||Manhattan||1.6|
|Brownsville and East New York Bicycle Network||Brooklyn||7.2|
|Crotona Avenue-Southern Boulevard Bicycle Route||Bronx||4.2|
|Bronx River Greenway Southern Connections||Bronx||1.9|
|West 15th and 16th Street Bike Routes||Manhattan||2.1|
|West Midtown Crosstown Route Extensions||Manhattan||2.9|
|Ocean Avenue Shared Lanes||Brooklyn||3.4|
|Union and Sackett Street Connections||Brooklyn||1.6|
|Queensboro Bridge Connections||Manhattan||0.6|
|Co-op City corridor safety improvements||Bronx||3.6|
|Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges Bicycle Access Improvements||Brooklyn||0.6|
|NEW QUEENS BIKE TRAILS||QUEENS||0000|
|2013 Total Lane Miles Planned||NYC||31.6|
Why did they indicate we were going to get ten new miles of bike trails last fall? Are we still going to get them, but at a later date? Or is something else going on? Stay tuned.
Bike Lanes In Queens
Queens County comprises about 100 square miles of relatively flat land, that runs from the Long Island Sound to the Atlantic Ocean and from the East River to Nassau County on Long Island. There are hundreds of miles of bicycle trails in NYC, but bike lanes are relatively new to Queens, in spite of the fact that Queens has some of the most relaxing and enjoyable bike treks in the city.
Bike Paths & Bike Lanes In Queens - Forum
Bicyclists & Others Meet To Discuss Bike Paths & Bike Lanes In Queens
Spring / Sunnyside / Biking in Queens / Queens Buzz. I attended a bike forum at the Sunnyside Community Services Center on a warm, wet Saturday in March. I noticed quite a few bikes locked to signs and poles outside the center as I entered. Inside there were between 50 – 75 people in attendance, most of who were bicycle enthusiasts, although I was informed that a few of the attendees were not.
The forum had been organized as a collaboration of Community Board Two [hereafter referred to as CB2], City Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer and the Queens Department of Transportation [hereafter referred to as QDOT]. Evan O’Neil and Emelia Crotty of CB2 moderated the session, outlining the history of bike lanes in western Queens, and the current state of bike lanes and bike parking. This helped put things in context, so that in the bike forum breakout sessions, participants could spend their time planning for the future.
Click here to read our report about the bike forum about adding bike lanes & bike paths in Queens. We've included a bit of NYC bike lane history and some info on what's going on in other parts of the world. There's also a slide show of the bike forum presentation and participants. Click here to view maps of bike lanes in Queens as of the end of 2011.
Bike Maps of Bike Paths in Queens
Bikes, Bicycling & Bike Shops in Queens in 2012
Queens Neighborhoods / Queens Buzz. The following is a report that includes snapshots of the bike paths in Queens. The primary bike paths in Queens are clustered around western Queens in LIC and Astoria. A few bike paths venture east through Sunnyside, Woodside, Jackson Heights, Corona and into Flushing. In and around Flushing there is a cluster of bike paths. These extend south toward Jamaica where there is another cluster of bike paths. A couple bike paths lead east toward Long Island. And lastly there is a bike path extending along the Rockaway penninsula.
Click here to view our report about bike paths in Queens 2012.
Bike Groups In Queens
Transportation Alteratives and its membership is one of the leading cyclist groups in western Queens. They sponsor a number of biking events and rides.
Coming soon. The following are maps of advertising bike shops in Astoria Queens.
Bike Stores In Astoria - Bike Stop
This map shows the location and home page link of Bike Stop bike store in Astoria. Bike Stop is a full service bike store offering a wide selection of family and street bikes.
Click here to view a map and home page link of Bike Stop - a bicycle stores in Astoria. This map page includes contact information, store hours, merchandise / service / store photos and information on this site.
Bikes & Bicycles In Astoria - Tony's Bicycle
This map shows the location and home page link of Tony's Bicycle in Astoria. Tony's Bicycle is a full service bike store offering a wide selection of high end as well as casual / family street bikes. The page contains a map of the location of Tony's Bicycle, and includes contact information and links to their home page and photo album on this site.
Click here to view the map and home page link to Tony's Bicycles in Astoria.
Bike Events In Queens
Queens hosts and participates in a number of fun biking events each year. Events include the Five Borough Bike ride in May, the famous Tour de Queens bike ride in July, and the Century Bike Ride in September. The events are nicely spaced out over the warmer weather and allow for bike racers as well as casual bikers.
May 2013 - 5 Boro Bike Ride In Queens
The Five Boro Bike ride is a Manhattan centric event that starts in Central Park and makes its way into Queens over the Queens Borough Bridge. It moves on up to Astoria Park, then turns around and heads south to Brooklyn across the Pulaski Bridge.
July 2013 - The Tour De Queens
The Tour De Queens is a Queens-centric event that promotes casual biking and family biking as a nice way to see the borough. Each year they cut a different trail through a series of neighborhoods.
September 2013 - NYC Century Bike Ride Queens
The NYC Century Bike Ride traverses Queens every year, traversing through Astoria Park and using at least one of the Queens Bridges [RFK / Queens Borough Bridge].
Century Bike Riders Come Through Queens
TA Queens Volunteers Work Astoria Park Rest Stop
September 10, 2012 / Astoria / Sporting Activities in Queens / Queens Buzz. On Sunday it was in the 70’s and low 80’s, sunny & dry. The day couldn’t have been much better for a one hundred mile bike ride through all five NYC boroughs. And so it was as I headed down to the Century Bike Ride Queens rest stop in Astoria Park.
The Century Bike Ride was started by Transportation Alternatives in 1990, long before there were any real bike lanes in NYC. The first ride attracted about 200 riders, while the ride in 2012 attracted over 6,000 riders. Since that first ride, literally hundreds of miles of bike lanes have been mapped out in NYC; and the city plans to expand NYC bike lanes by about 50 more miles in 2013 - ten of which will be laid out in Queens. This expanding network of bike lanes is due in part to the work of volunteers of the non-profit organization Transportation Alternatives.
Click here to learn more about Transportation Alternatives Queens and the Century Bike Ride in Queens of 2012.
Five Boro Bike Ride 2011 - Photos
Queens Boro Bridge & Astoria Park In Queens
May 1, 2011 / Long Island City LIC & Astoria Park / Sporting Activities / Queens Buzz. This event begins at 9 am in lower Manhattan, so we expect the first riders by about 9.30 with the bulk of them coming through between 10 am and the leisurely ones leaving about 12 noon. The 42 mile course runs through Queens by coming off the Queens Borough Bridge and heads north along 21st Street to Astoria Park. There's a rest stop at the park, while cyclists turn around and head south, mostly along Vernon Blvd before leaving the borough over the Pulaski Bridge. Over 30,000 cyclists are expected to participate and over 1,500 people volunteer in the program.
Click here to view our report of the Five / 5 Boro Bike Ride 2011 Astoria Park Queens with photos.
Photos - 5 Boro Bike Ride In Queens
None of them seemed to be having any difficulty, as they made their way up 21st Street to Astoria Park. I followed along and shot some photos and it's worth saying that 21st Street is in need of some repair. It's a rumbling road that one would expect to find in a third world nation, not along the East River waterfront of America's largest city.
Click here for a few particulars, a slide show and 5 boro bike ride photos 2010 in Astoria Park and Queens.
Bicycling Queens in 2011
Queens Neighborhoods / Queens Buzz. The good weather has arrived and bicycling is about to begin in earnest. Queens is blessed with one of the most interesting arrays of biking trails in the NYC metro area and provides the added pleasure of not being so crowded ... yet.
But there are pitfalls too. Queens Blvd is one of the most dangerous streets in all of the city as some motorists seem to drive it more like a highway than the city street that it is. So caution is always important to bear in mind, but that is true for any sport, be it swimming, football or skiing.
In our soon to be posted report we'll provide you with a view of the biking landscape in Queens. We'll highlight the key biking events, show you a rough outline of Queens biking trails and finish up with a few biking maintenance tips including links to neighborhood bike stores in Queens. Stay tuned, the full story will be posted later this week.
Tour De Queens - Photos Of Riders
Flushing Queens /Queens Buzz. The second annual Tour De Queens departed on time today at 9.30 am for an 18 mile ride through the borough [the original plan was for a 24 mile course]. We'll be posting a photo album later today with tons of photos taken of the riders as they departed from the Queens Museum Of Art in Flushing Meadows Corona Park. The winds were blowing at between five and ten miles per hour which cooled things down, as the temperatures rose into the low eighties on a moderately humid day. Originally the course was to be outlined within the New York Panorama inside the Queens Museum Of Art as had been done last year. But given the current exhibition, Red Lines Housing Crisis, was already using the panaorama as part of the exhibit, outlining the course for the Tour De Queens was dropped. The course was finalized late Friday July 10th, but we are in the process of creating a map of it, so stay tuned. Click here to view photos and read a brief report about the Tour De Queens bike ride - photos in Queens or click here to view photos of the Tour De Queens Bike Riders.
Tour de Queens Bike Ride This Sunday
500 Bicyclists Slots Available The Morning Of The Ride
The Tour de Queens Bike Ride is scheduled for this Sunday. About 1,000 riders comprised of singles, adults, families and kids will ride through parts of the borough with a police escort. The bike ride will cover a 24 mile trail beginning and ending at the Unisphere across from the Queens Museum Of Art in Flushing Meadows Corona Park.
The trail route will not be officially disclosed until the morning of the ride but we have unconfirmed reports it will have an eastern Queens slant through some of the neighborhoods of great jazz legends and some beautiful architecture. Click here for more on Biking In Queens / Tour de Queens Bike Ride 2009.
Century Bikers Greeted In Astoria
September 16, 2009. Sunday was certainly a beautiful day for a bike ride through the Queens borough. Century Bike Riders came rolling through Astoria Park last Sunday on their way through the 15 to 100 mile course they had signed up to ride. They were greeted warmly by the hospitable rest stop workers of Astoria Park as shown in the photo to your left.
Rest stop staffers were volunteers of the Queens Botanical Gardens, the Astoria Park Alliance, Green Shores NYC and Transportation Alternatives [the sponsor of the event]. Click here to enter page two of the Astoria Park photo album showing some of the riders as well as the volunteers.
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