Bike New York was busy on Roosevelt Island this year! Here’s what we’ve been up to:
The season began with our (first annual) Bike New York Spring Kickoff Party, where we had lots of bike-related activities for Roosevelt Islanders to enjoy. Highlights included a Learn to Ride – Kids class, a bike decorating contest, a free bike raffle, and a performance by the Roosevelt Island Youth Program Drum Corps. We also launched the pop-up bike shop; it was a big success at the party and continued to see the same success over the course of the summer. Our hard-working mechanics, Herschel and Dan, have tuned-up and repaired more than four hundred bikes since May!
In June we asked residents from the community to help us paint our white storage container under the Helix Ramp. We provided the paint and brushes and in return, Roosevelt Islanders provided us with creative, colorful images. The bright and beautiful container now holds all of our bicycles and equipment that we use for outdoor classes at Capobianco basketball court. This event was done in collaboration with the Roosevelt Island Visual Arts Association (RIVAA) and we hope to partner with them again soon because they were a fantastic group of people with great artistic vision.
This season we offered a variety of classes at Capobianco Field and Sportspark including Learn to Ride – Adults, Learn to Ride – Kids, Street Skills Class and Ride, and Bicycling Basics. This fall we added Bike Maintenance 101, Winter Riding 101, and Bike Commuting 101 to the program. We’ve also enjoyed teaching children from The Child School and Beacon Program. Both organizations have partnered with us for spring and fall after-school as well as summer camp. On Wednesdays, we do daytime classes with The Child School as part of their Wacky Wednesday program.
As we saw more and more people riding bikes around the island, we thought it would be fun to put together a Roosevelt Island Summer Ride Series, so we did! Thursday evening rides took participants around the scenic Roosevelt Island promenade. Occasionally, we would stop by the Four Freedoms Park and we always finished with dinner or a treat on the island. On our Saturday rides, we went off island and explored different neighborhoods in New York City. By the end of the summer, we had a regular group of people coming out to these rides, and we hope to have an even bigger crew next season!
This summer we were invited to several big island events including Roosevelt Island Day and National Senior Health and Fitness Day, where we had the opportunity to talk with residents about Bike New York and the work that we do on Roosevelt Island. We also implemented a program that we run across New York City called Pedal Stops, where we offer passersby free coffee and literature about Bike New York. For our Roosevelt Island Pedal Stops, we handed out food from Main Street Sweets (cold brew and croissants to be exact) to morning commuters. We did this once a month through October and we will start back up again in the spring!
More recently, on Sunday, November 16 we hosted our last ride of the year; it was led by Janet Falk, an island resident and member of the Roosevelt Island Historical Society. Janet took participants around to six different landmarks on the island, sharing the island’s history and interesting facts.
As the days get colder and colder, we will continue to offer classes at the Sportspark Gym on Roosevelt Island, currently Bike New York’s only indoor location. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to join us.
Bike New York has been honored and excited to work with the great folks on Roosevelt Island, from community groups to seasoned cyclists to, of course, those who attended one of our classes and got to experience the joys of riding a bike for the very first time. See you on the streets!