A local bike commuter tells us why he rides the Tour every year.

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photograph by Dirk Anschütz

 

Jeff Quinn, an art director, home brewer, Brooklynite, friend of Bike New York, and year ’round bike commuter, signs up to ride the TD Five Boro Bike Tour Presented by REI almost every year. We wanted to know what inspires so many people who ride the streets of New York City on a regular basis to tack on 40 miles over a weekend in May to their total; as it turned out, that was a pretty silly question.

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You ride all the time in NYC to get around. Why bother doing the Tour?

‘Cuz all the streets are closed off, duh! You get to ride on the BQE. You get to ride in places where you would never normally ride, and see the city from perspectives that you never would see. And then it’s all about being with other bikers! They’re not all commuters; there are people from all over the world, every walk of life. You get a sense of community. And it’s fun! You can ride fast in certain areas, or go at your own pace, whatever. And everyone sort of respects you because the streets are all blocked off, all the cops are letting you go through. You feel like you’re a prince, riding down the street, and everyone’s out of your way. Like this is your day; that you get to own the roads.

 

Do you see the city differently after you’ve ridden it?

You end up in neighborhoods that you don’t ever really go to, so if you’re thinking about taking another ride at some other point in the year, maybe you’d consider them. Astoria, for instance. It’s right there. Once you’ve been there, it opens that door. “I can ride my bike over there, it’s no big deal.”

 

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photograph by Dirk Anschütz

 

How many times have you ridden the Tour?

Three times.

 

You’re a bit of a beer connoisseur—do you have any local craft beer recommendations for any of our out-of-town visitors (aside from the folks who will be serving up cold ones at the beer garden of this year’s Bike Expo New York, including St. James Brewery, Greenport Harbor, and Druthers Brewing)?

There are plenty, but here’s a short list: Other Half Brewing (Brooklyn), SingleCut (Queens), Threes Brewing (Brooklyn), Transmitter (Queens), Bronx Brewery (Bronx), and Finback (Queens).

 

Thanks, Jeff.

No problem!