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Five Boro Bike Tour

The TD Five Boro Bike Tour is an annual recreational cycling event in New York City. It is produced by Bike New York. Conducted on the first Sunday of May, the 40-mile (64 km) ride includes over 30,000 riders. The route takes riders through all five of New York's boroughs and across five major bridges. The entire route, including bridges and expressways which normally prohibit cyclists, is closed to automobile traffic for the ride.[1]

Five Boro Bike Tour
TD Five Boro Bike Tour logo.jpg
2014 TD Five Boro Bike Tour
DateFirst Sunday in May
LocationNew York City
Event typeBicycle road ride
Distance40-mile (64 km)
Primary sponsorTD Bank
Official site
Riders at the starting point


The event began on June 12, 1977 as the Five Boro Challenge with about 250 participants on an 80-mile course.[2] The goal of the first tour was to provide training in bicycle safety for high school students.[2]

Then New York City Mayor Ed Koch promoted the idea of a citywide bike tour and the distance was shortened.[3]

From 1979 to 1990, Citibank was the primary sponsor of the event. Citibank withdrew as sponsor in 1991. Unable to find a replacement sponsor in time, the event was not held that year. It returned in 1992 when TD Bank bought naming rights to the tour.[4] In 2013 the City proposed to charge the Tour nearly a million dollars for police services, claiming Bike New York does not qualify as a charity, but after Bike New York filed a lawsuit, Judge Margaret Chan ruled that NYPD does not have the right to make that determination.[5]

The Tour had been managed by the New York Council of American Youth Hostels (AYH), for many years by tour director Paul Sullivan,[6] who died in 1999. That same year, AYH spun off the event into a new nonprofit called Bike New York.[7]


The route begins in Lower Manhattan, heads north via Sixth Avenue through the interior of Central Park and continues into Harlem and the Bronx via the Madison Avenue Bridge. Re-entering Manhattan, it travels south along the East River on the FDR Drive. The route crosses the Queensboro Bridge into Queens before heading south across the Pulaski Bridge into Brooklyn, over the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway via the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge into Staten Island.[8]

Many people rent bikes in order to participate in the ride. There are several local bike shops that rent bikes in NYC. Unlimited Biking is the official bike rental partner for Bike New York, the event producer.


  1. ^ Schwartz, Sam (3 May 2012). "Five Boro Bike Tour will bring rolling street, bridge and highway closings beginning early Sunday morning". New York Daily News.
  2. ^ a b Correal, Annie; Newman, Andy (2014-05-02). "New York Today: 40-Year Bike Trip". City Room. Retrieved 2019-10-14.
  3. ^ Andy (May 2, 2014). "New York Today: 40-Year Bike Trip".
  4. ^ "History". Retrieved May 9, 2014.
  5. ^ J. David GOODMAN (April 4, 2013). "City fee for bike tour". NY Times.
  6. ^
  7. ^ "Our Story | Bike New York".
  8. ^ "Map". Retrieved May 9, 2014.

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