Century Bike Riders Come Through Queens
TA Queens Volunteers Work Astoria Park Rest Stop
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 Bronx NYC passing through Queens in 2012.
Century Bike Riders Come Through Queens
Transportatation Alternatives Queens Volunteers Work Astoria Park Rest Stop
I arrived around 11 am. There was a steady stream of cyclists coming through the rest stop to re-energize, consume some food, relieve themselves or have modest adjustments made to their bicycles compliments of Tony's Bicycles of Astoria. In the photo to your right is Alex, the Century Bike Ride bicycle mechanic in Astoria Park.
Century Bike Ride Map & Route Through Queens
The cyclists start at times ranging from 6.30 am to 8 am and the ride runs through the entire day, ending at 5 pm. There are a number of different ride options, starting with the ride that made the Century Bike Ride famous, which is 100 miles. There are four other bicycle ride options, including 75 miles, 55 miles, 35 miles and 15 miles. The ride starts at both Central Park in Manhattan and Prospect Park in Brooklyn. Based on the bicyclist growth spurt we've seen in the past year in Queens, it wouldn't surprise us to one day see Astoria Park added to the starting roster [but at this point this is purely our conjecture]. See map to your left showing the Century Bike Ride with five different colored routes based on mileage.
Cyclists Times For The Century Bike Ride - Astoria Park
We understand that the average rider bikes through the Century Bike Ride in Queens at an average of about 10 - 12 miles per hour. The folks in a hurry can do north of 15 miles per hour, but the roads are not blocked off for nearly all sections of the ride, so the Century bike riders in Queens [and the rest of the borough] must share the road with vehicles. This is in contrast to other rides done earlier in the season like the NYC 5 Boro Bike Ride, wherein 30,000 people bike 42 miles of the city in a several hour mass movement, which includes complete cordoning of the roads on the route, or the Tour De Queens bike ride where 2,000 cyclists are provided with a police escort for a 17 mile ride through Queens neighborhoods.
TA Queens - Transportation Alternatives Queen Volunteer Group
The Astoria Park rest stop was operated by the volunteer committee of Transportation Alternative [TA] Queens. TA Queens Volunteer Committee had about a dozen people working the food tables, which consisted of fruits and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. There were also benches and port-a-potties nearby.
I met and spoke with several TA Queens members, including Chris Jardeleza, Ken Coughlin TA Queens Boardmember, Nancy Silverman (Gal About : ) who is the Co-Coordinator of the monthly Queens bike ride, and Michael Leete who is a new TA Queens member. They are shown in the photo to your left.
TA Queens Events & Rides
Nancy was kind enough to provide a bit of background on TA Queens, including urging me to put in a word about the TA Queens Party at the LIC Bar on September 20, 2012 running from 6.30 - 8.30 pm. They are celebrating Queens Kickshaw as the first 'official' bike-friendly business in Queens. The Brooklyn Brewery is sponsoring the suds and there will be snacks. Sounds like fun.
We spoke about how TA Queens is organized. Nancy said there are a number of different groups which are lead by coordinators and managers. For example Steve Scofield is the goals manager, Ian Hardouin is the new member outreach manager, April Tubbs is the social media coordinator, Julie Dubovsky is the events coordinator and Karen Lehman and Nancy are the co-coordinators of the Queens TA monthly ride - the next of which is on September 15th.
It's worth noting that TA Queens hosts monthly rides. Also check out the biking section of our sister site for more info about biking & bike shops in Queens.
Special thanks to the volunteers of TA Queens and Tony's Bicycles of Astoria.
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