Cyclists: Ride With the MTA to the Five-Boro Bike Tour

May 1, 2012 Editorial Staff
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This Sunday, May 6, New York City will host the TD Bank Five Boro Bike Tour, attracting 30,000 cyclists from around the region and beyond. The tour begins at 7:45 a.m. at Battery Park, and continues through Manhattan, the Bronx, Queens, Brooklyn, and over the MTA’s Verrazano-Narrows Bridge before ending with a festival at Fort Wadsworth on Staten Island.

The subway, Long Island Rail Road and Metro-North Railroad all allow bicycles all year long. But special accommodations are made for this tour once a year. Tips and details are below.

New York City Subway

Bicycles are allowed on board the New York City Subway 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, and the subway is a great way to get to the start of the tour. Customers with bikes are asked to swipe their MetroCards while the station agent watches, rotate the turnstile, then enter through the station service gates once they are activated by the agent. For safety’s sake, please carry, do not roll, bikes down stairs.

At the start or finish of the tour, customers with bicycles who wish to use the subway should use the following subway stations: South Ferry 1, Brooklyn Bridge-City Hall 456, City Hall R (Q northbound), Chambers St J, Chambers St AC and Chambers St 123.

Cyclists wishing to use the subway at the end of the day are asked to please use the main entrance of the 1 train at the South Ferry station. Riders are asked not use the following stations as they are not well-equipped to handle large volumes of bicycles: Fulton St 23AC, Rector St R (Q northbound), Rector St 1, Cortlandt St R (Q northbound) and Whitehall St R (Q northbound).

Please be aware of subway service changes in the downtown area this weekend: Southbound 4 service will terminate at Brooklyn Bridge-City Hall. There is no 4 service between Brooklyn Bridge and New Lots Av. Southbound 5 service will terminate at Grand Central. There is no 5 service between Grand Central and Bowling Green. Northbound Q service will replace R service from Pacific Street to Canal Street and northbound Q service will skip Whitehall Street from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Metro-North Railroad & Long Island Rail Road

The LIRR and Metro-North will offer plenty of service to get you to the start of the tour in time, and many stations offer free and unrestricted parking on Sundays.

Tour participants should plan to arrive in time to ride or take the subway to Battery Park for the start of the tour. The distance from Grand Central, Penn Station or Atlantic Terminal, Brooklyn, to Battery Park is 3 to 3.5 miles.

Both railroads will allow bicyclists to board trains without a bicycle permit on this day only, and the restriction on the number of bicycles permitted on a train will be suspended. On the New Haven Line, Metro-North will put extra bar cars into service; attendants won’t be serving drinks, but the bar cars offer more space to transport bicycles. Both railroads recommend that cyclists use a bungee cord to secure their bike while riding on the train.

To find free and unrestricted parking at your station of origin, make sure to read signs carefully at the station.

Traveling from Grand Central to Battery Park

By bike: To reach the start of the tour, cyclists should ride south on Park Avenue to 17th Street where Park Avenue South merges with Broadway, then follow Broadway south to Battery Park.

By subway: Cyclists should catch the southbound 4 or 6 to Brooklyn Bridge-City Hall.

Traveling from Penn Station to Tour Start

By bike: The distance from Penn Station to Battery Park is about 3.5 miles. To reach the start of the tour, cyclists should start by riding south on Seventh Avenue. Make a right onto 29th Street, and ride five blocks to the Hudson River Greenway. Then Make a left onto the Greenway and ride it to the start of the tour at Battery Park.

By subway: Cyclists should catch the A or C to Chambers St, the 2 or 3 to Chambers St or the 1 to South Ferry

Traveling from Atlantic Terminal, Brooklyn, to Tour Start

By bike: The distance from Atlantic Terminal to the start of the tour is about 3 miles. Cyclists should start by heading northbound on Atlantic Avenue for one block. At Lafayette Avenue, make a left onto Schermerhorn Street. Proceed straight for five blocks, and make a right onto Boerum Place / Adams Street / Brooklyn Bridge Boulevard. Ride over the Brooklyn Bridge. When you arrive in Manhattan, follow directions to the start of the race.

By subway: Cyclists should catch the Manhattan-bound Q to City Hall or the 2 or 3 to Chambers St.

Verrazano-Narrows Bridge

The Lower level of the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge will be closed in both directions starting at 12:01 a.m. on Sunday. The upper level of the bridge will remain open in both directions throughout the event. Motorists should expect delays and seek alternate routes if possible.

For more details on traffic restrictions, please see the attached press release from MTA Bridges and Tunnels.

New York City Buses

Several bus routes throughout the city will be affected by street closures throughout the day. Please log on to and check the “Current Service Status” for updates or sign up for travel tools, widgets, apps and more.

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