Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Five Boro Bike Tour May 4th--If you want in, be a marshal

Many people, regretfully did not register in time for Bike New York. This year it is taking place on Sunday May 4. And guess what, it's sold out!

In response to many of the pleas and entreaties to get in at the last moment being voiced on ebikes, (the New York based email exchange list for cyclists,) Len Diamond, Member, Bike New York board of directors sent an email missive outlining the group's reasons for not making a bigger bike event this year.

"While we regret having to turn folks away, we decided to limit the size of the ride to make it run smoother for our participants. While we could without much effort probably get 50,000 people signed up for the ride, the route as presently designed could not accommodate the increased traffic without huge delays. We felt last year's delays were unacceptable and thus decided to make the financial sacrifice to cut back numbers to a level that would make the event flow better."

BRAVO! That was a very brave decision. Don't you remember Steve Klein of 26-bicycle-fame's review of the Five Boro Bike Tour a couple of years back? He got perfectly skewered for it by a couple of Five Boro volunteers. (Not just for his review, but also for sneaking onto the course.)

But Klein correctly nailed it when he said that the delays on the bridges, and the almost military environment to keep people in check detracted from the joy of riding en masse by bike through all of New York City.

But what about those people intent on getting in at the last moment?

A number of emails floated back and forth on ebikes positing that if you wanted in at this late date, you could maybe buy someone else's place.

Please don't said Diamond: " We are not thrilled about folks reselling their entry for several reasons, some logistical and others legal," he wrote, referring people to their website for the whole policy.

Diamond also encouraged people to volunteer for the ride and even the pre-ride, and plugged the growing advocacy related work of Bike New York, which extends well beyond the one day event each year.

Said Diamond: "We have a significant education/safety program that is rapidly growing and whose funding comes from the bike tour," and again invited people to take a look at the site to see what they were doing.

It seems New York is becoming a better and better place to ride, and this organization's contribution to our evolution is a terrific example of why.

1 comment:

Anna Maria said...

Bidding on eBay is crazy. This week, one registration packet went for $300.