Talk about riding high!
The Five Boro Bike Tour rolled through Brooklyn on May 3, taking 32,000 free-wheeling cyclists on a 15-mile jaunt down the borough’s least bike-friendly roadways — the elevated Brooklyn-Queens and the Gowanus expressways. Riders peddled through three boroughs before exiting the northern hinterlands of Queens and entering Brooklyn’s sweet embrace via the Pulaski Bridge — which is slated to get its own bike lane by year’s end.
And riders got a second reward a mile after surging into Brooklyn — the route led them straight onto a car-less Brooklyn-Queens Expressway. The typically congested highway funneled riders down the Brooklyn Heights and Columbia Street waterfronts and onto the Gowanus Expressway, narrowly avoiding Park Slope’s 78th Precinct, where cops lead the city in ticketing cyclists.
Further south, riders mounted the partially closed Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, which dials back the torrent of cars it spews into Brooklyn twice annually — once for the bike tour and again for the New York City Marathon.
The bridge is one of the few Brooklyn spans with no bike lane and no plans to create one. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority is in the midst of a three-year project to replace decking on the bridge and build a new ramp connecting it to the Gowanus Expressway, but there are no plans to add bike lanes to the 50-year-old span, despite avid pedalers’ perennial pressure on the authority to do so.
The tour reportedly ended in a bucolic borough on the other side of the Narrows, according to information from bike tour organizers.