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‘Bike the Branches’ invites Brooklynites to explore borough by bike

Routes Showcase Brooklyn Public Library Branches, Highlight Brooklyn Landmarks

April 21, 2015 Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Bike the Branches will take place on Saturday, May 9. Shown are participants at last year’s event. Photo courtesy of Gregg Richards/BPL
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Brooklynites are invited to strap on their helmets, pump up their tires and take to the streets on Saturday, May 9, for Brooklyn Public Library’s (BPL) third annual Bike the Branches, a one-day bike ride through BPL’s network of 60 neighborhood libraries. 

Bike the Branches has quickly become one of the borough’s largest biking events and is expected to draw nearly 1,000 riders this year. The event is a key component of the library’s Support the Branches spring fundraising campaign to raise critical dollars for library programs and services.

This year’s event will feature 11 customizable bike routes — six of them new — that participants can bike, run or walk at their own speed and from stop-and-start locations of their choice. The routes will include:

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 CitiBike Tour of Brooklyn: Participants can explore BPL branches that are near CitiBike docks. All participants over the age of 16 will receive free Citi Bike 24-hour access passes for use on the day of the event;

 Galleries, Museums and Maker Spaces Tour: Bikers, joggers, walkers and more will tour Brooklyn’s diverse art galleries and creative workshops, from the traditional to the avant-garde; 

 Literary Brooklyn Tour: Brooklyn bookworms are encouraged to explore the borough through the lens of significant novels, poems, plays and children’s books set in Brooklyn;

  Then and Now Tour: Amateur historians can choose a route that offers glimpses into Brooklyn’s past;

  Waterfront Tour: Participants will pedal along Brooklyn’s waterfront to take in the borough’s seaside sights, sounds and views of Manhattan, New Jersey, Staten Island and Queens;

  Details on a Smorgasburg Foodie Tour, Sixpoint Bottoms-Up Tour, Curious George Family-Friendly Prospect Park Tour and more will be announced soon.

Riders will be issued “Branch Passports” to be stamped at each library they visit between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. The adults and children who accrue the most stamps at the end of the day will receive prizes. Two-time Bike the Branches champion Pete Zalewski is attempting a “Three-Pete,” in which he’ll try to break his own record of 34 branches visited.

Festivities will also include book display contests, programs and activities throughout many of the borough’s 60 libraries. The day will conclude with the first-ever Bike the Branches Block Party on the plaza at BPL’s Central Library from 5 to 7 p.m. with live music, Smorgasburg food vendors, refreshments from the Sixpoint Brewery Beer Garden, prizes and activities for library supporters of all ages. 

Registration for Bike the Branches is currently open. Adult participation is $20; 17-and-under and seniors 65-and-up can register for $10; and families (which can include up to two adults and three children) pay $40. Teams of up to 10 people can join for $150. There is also a special option to register as a BKLYN Trailblazer for $100, which includes free participation in the event for a second guest rider, a limited edition Bike the Branches T-shirt, an exclusive BKLYN Trailblazer bib and formal recognition for your contribution on BPL’s website and at the Bike the Branches Block Party. Riders who participate in the Bike the Branches Fundraising Challenge will win a limited edition BPL tote bag for raising $250 or more.

Bike the Branches is made possible by sponsors and event partners Bloomberg Philanthropies, Con Edison, Bike New York, Citi Bike, NYC DOT, Transportation Alternatives, Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, BRIC, Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce, Explore Brooklyn, NYC & Company, Prospect Park Alliance, Sixpoint Brewery, Smorgasburg and Zipcar. Funds raised by Bike the Branches help BPL provide free programs and services to more than 2.5 million Brooklynites. 

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