Posts Tagged ‘biking’

Bike Expo New York (May 4-5) Relocated to Pier 12, Brooklyn; Venue to Pick up Packets for TD 5 Boro Bike Tour

April 16, 2018

Some 32,000 riders line up for the start of the TD Five Boro Bike Tour Presented by REI, the largest noncompetitive bike tour in North America, a 40-mile route that gives an incomparable view of New York City’s neighborhoods. This year’s Bike Expo New York, where participants pick up their packets, takes place on May 4 and 5 at Pier 12 in Brooklyn; the bike tour takes place on Sunday, May 6. © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

After six years at Basketball City, Bike Expo New York, the largest bike show on the East Coast, is moving to Pier 12 in Brooklyn New York, on May 4 and 5.

Less than a month before the event, Bike New York announced it had to move the Bike Expo New York due to unexpected maintenance at Pier 36 which prevented the nonprofit from obtaining a permit to hold the event at Basketball City, where the event has taken place for six years.

“It’s no small undertaking to move an event that draws more than 60,000 people from all over the world, especially in this short a timeframe,” said Ken Podziba, President & CEO of Bike New York. “However, we are encouraged by all that Pier 12 has to offer and we will make every effort to ensure that the quality and experience of Bike Expo New York will be what our attendees and exhibitors have come to expect over the past six years.”

The venue is accessible by public transportation, including subway, bus, and ferry; the ferry docks on site. Bike valet and car parking will be available, and there are several Citi Bike docking stations nearby.

The Expo, which is free and open to the public, also serves as the rider packet pick-up location for the TD Five Boro Bike Tour Presented by REI, which takes place on Sunday, May 6; like the Tour, the event benefits Bike New York, New York City’s leading bike education nonprofit.

Among the 100-plus exhibitors are top bike, gear, and apparel brands, tourism companies, bike event organizers, advocacy groups, and many others dedicated to active lifestyles.

In addition to exhibitor booths, Bike Expo New York is packed with programming for casual and serious cyclists alike, including a fashion show, how-to demonstrations, and competitions. The Expo will also feature a beer garden, beer samples from New Belgium Brewing, food trucks, and amazing views of Manhattan, Governors Island, and the Statue of Liberty.

The TD Five Boro Bike Tour – which caps participation at 32,000 – is the largest noncompetitive bike tour in North America. It is remarkable to consider that the first ride in 1977 had just 250 participants.

The annual event raises money for bike education – 17,000 people a year learn how to ride, the largest free biking education program in the country. Bike New York operates bike education centers, after school programs, summer camps, and last year launched a Women’s Initiative, as well as a membership program. Individual slots are taken, but there is still a way to participate in the 5 Boro Tour, by signing on to one of the many charities, such as Doctors Without Borders, which also use the event for fundraising, purchasing registrations which participants then raise money against.

The ride is designed to be a family friendly tour, not a competition, appealing to cyclists of all abilities and ages – indeed, you see all manners of cycles. A pace car keeps the speed down, and keep it safe, and there are support vehicles to assist.

“Diversity is what makes the ride,” says Sam Polcer, who handles communications for Bike New York.

The 40-mile route embraces all five boroughs – and each shows off its pride and character with street entertainment. There are also well-positioned rest stops along the way which have a festive atmosphere.

About Bike New York Bike New York is 501(c)(3) nonprofit whose mission is to transform lives and communities through bicycling. In 2017, they taught bike skills to more than 25,000 kids and adults. Funding for these programs comes from numerous annual events, including the TD Five Boro Bike Tour Presented by REI, Bike Expo New York, and regional events. http://www.bike.nyc

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Tuscany Wine and Bike 2014 Wine & Culinary Tours Lets You Savor Wine, Land & History at the Pace of a Bicycle

April 23, 2014
Tuscany Wine and Bike itineraries offer a triple helping of understanding the wine, land and history of Tuscany while experiencing the beauty of an outdoor excursion © 2014 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Tuscany Wine and Bike itineraries offer a triple helping of understanding the wine, land and history of Tuscany while experiencing the beauty of an outdoor excursion © 2014 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Tuscany Wine and Bike (TWB) announced their new 2014 Wine Tasting & Culinary Biking Tour Itineraries effective April 26, 2014 through September 27, 2014. Led by local freelance oenologist and Winemaker Carlo Travagli and cycling enthusiast Luca Casini, TWB tours trek on mountain bikes across the provinces of Siena, Firenze, Pisa and Pistoia through the scenic, historic Chianti Wine Region of Tuscany.

“Each itinerary is actually a ‘triple itinerary’ that provides our guests with an understanding of the wine & cuisine, area & geography, and the culture & history of the places we will explore,” says Travagli. “I created these tours to give people an intimate look at my home — this extraordinarily beautiful, dynamic agricultural and world renown wine growing region.”

On the TWB TOUR, participants will awaken their senses through the vibrant colors, intoxicating scents, and breathtaking sights as Tuscany’s most robust seasons dramatically unfold before them. Cycling through fragrant olive groves, rolling vineyards, vibrant sunflowers fields, majestic woods, and other fascinating scenic spots, participants will uncover the most authentic aspects of Tuscany, often missed and overlooked by visitors using conventional means of transportation.

Additionally they will:  

Discover the Pearls of Tuscany, the historical points of interests, churches and buildings rich with art, centuries-old villages and towns as they follow paths and ancient roads like the “via Francigena.”

Experience Tuscan life, people, culture and places traveling through towns and farmlands, with opportunities to stay overnight.

Learn about one of the world’s most famous winemaking regions, the microclimates, viticultural areas and revered varietals, and the role of its landscape and history.

Savor the distinct flavors of the countryside including the local harvests, cherished honey, succulent olives & oils, sumptuous salumi, handcrafted cheeses, and enjoy the regional artisan products and cuisine of TWB select regional partners.

Taste regional wines among the vineyards and cellars while visiting local estates, receiving both lessons and guided tastings by Travagli, an award-winning winemaker of Chianti, Chianti Classico (Gallo Nero Black Rooster), Sangiovese, and IGT Super Tuscan wines.

No rigorous physical conditioning is required for the majority of the TWB itineraries.

“Most of our itineraries are designed for tourists without extensive athletic training.” Travagli stresses. “It’s for pure enjoyment and we try very hard to match each itinerary with the interests, comfort level, and ability of our guests.”

However, for both intermediate and advanced cyclists, Travalgi and Casini have designed several challenging itineraries including the 7-day Bio Week Tour.  The Bio Week Tours have additional activities such as cooking lessons, donkey treks, and urban bike tours. Customized Tours are also available.  For more information, visit the Tuscany Wine and Bike website, Email TWB or call (+39)333 9206700.

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‘Get Up and Ride’ Brooklyn Bike Tour Company Launches New Urban Art and Culture Tour

August 14, 2013

If you’re looking for your typical touristy bike tour around Brooklyn, then Get Up and Ride is NOT the tour company for you. Looking to add an edge to the bike tourism scene, the company owned by local residents, aims to create out-of-the-box tour experiences for guests. Their latest endeavor? The Brooklyn Pulse: Urban Art and Culture Tour, which gives guests a full experience of visiting some of North Brooklyn’s funky and colorful industrial canvases, as well as a collective art gallery along the way.

“We named the tour “The Brooklyn Pulse” because we wanted guests to literally feel the pulse of North Brooklyn’s emerging underground culture in Williamsburg and Bushwick,”  said Felipe Lavelle, owner of Get Up and Ride. “”These are the two centers of Brooklyn’s new creative arts scene. In fact, we had one of our tour guides James Q, who is also a local musician design the tour. He has a personal relationship with the up-and-coming arts and culture scene in the area, and knows what to look for. Guests can rest assured knowing that their experience is fresh and authentic.”

So what can bikers expect along the way? For starters, the tour is between 2.5-3 hours and features many industrial roads that can be rugged at times. Starting in Bushwick and then a visit to Williamsburg, cyclists will ride past and receive commentary on over 50 original works by 40 international and local street artists. Mediums for the art ranges from spray paint to wheat pastes.

Mixed-in with the arts scene is also a comprehensive overview of the area’s music scene including discovery of North Brooklyn’s coolest music venues, unique performance spaces and underground independent cinemas.

Add in a dash of culture with a comprehensive look into the history and artistic culture in the area, guests are sure to work up an appetite. Never fear, Get Up and Ride has you covered. Enjoy stops for beverages in a local Bushwick raw chocolate factory, and tacos at a traditional tortelleria.

The Brooklyn Pulse Tour begins running on Monday August 19 and runs at 3 pm on select afternoons. Tickets are $49 and include bike rental. Visit Get Up and Ride for more tour information.

ABOUT GET UP AND RIDE: For those who want to experience New York City through the vantage point of its most historic and eclectic neighborhoods, Get Up AND Ride offers bike tours through Brooklyn. Guests ride on easy-to-handle, comfortable bikes made specifically for city riding. The beautiful seven-speed, diamond frame PUBLIC bikes were shipped from San Francisco and come standard with rear racks and baskets, so you can do a little riding and pick up some treasures from your Brooklyn experience all at the same time. All the riding on the tour is at a relaxed pace. “We’re not racing, we’re sightseeing!” Guests are equipped with walkie-talkies and headsets so they stay tuned in to the tour during the entire ride! See more at: http://www.getupandride.com/bike-tours.

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Top Winter Bicycle Tour Destinations feature Southern Europe, South Africa, New Zealand

October 14, 2011

Biking the Danube Bike Trail, one of BikeToursDirect's most popular offerings. No need to wait to next summer for a bike trip: BikeToursDirect offers 25 with December-February departures in southern Europe, South Africa, New Zealand, Egypt, Vietnam, Thailand and the Islands of Seychelles © 2011 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Although a winter chill will cover much of Europe by December, there are still several options for travelers interested in overseas bicycle touring during the winter months. BikeToursDirect offers 25 tours with December-February departures in southern Europe, South Africa, New Zealand, Egypt, Vietnam, Thailand and the Islands of Seychelles.

“In southern Europe, many bicycle tours operate year-round, with Spain being one of the most popular winter destinations,” says BikeToursDirect president Jim Johnson. “As we have expanded our tour offerings to four continents, we’ve added many new tours with year-round departures and some that are primarily available during the winter months.”

Offering fourteen bicycle tours in southern Europe with winter departures, BikeToursDirect provides cycle tourists with a variety of destinations to choose from in France, Italy and Spain. Eleven tours are available in Spain, which spotlight the pristine Andalusia mountains, the medieval villages and Mediterranean coast of Catalonia, the dramatic volcanic landscape of the Canary Islands, the castles and vineyards of Catalan and the island of Majorca.

“Catalonia has a cool but mostly dry winter that is perfect for cycling,” says Daniel Herzberg, Director of Cycling and Walking Holidays, Creative Catalonia, a BikeToursDirect tour partner. “The days are often sunny with daytime temperatures in the 60s that are ideal for cycling. Our Medieval Villages cycling tour is very popular as it encompasses such a fantastic variety of sights along the route that range from exploring the beautiful medieval city of Girona, the stunning coastal bays of the Costa Brava, as well as cycling through the timeless medieval villages of the region.”

For advanced cyclists, Hertzberg adds that Girona’s Best Road Riding Tours (both point to point as well as based in one hotel with daily loop tours) are popular for cyclists who don’t want to lose form on the bike over the cold winter back home.

While North Americans and many Europeans are enduring the winter, south-of-the-equator destinations are in full-blown summer. BikeToursDirect offers several bicycle tours in South Africa with year-round departures, including the “South African Cycle Safari” and “Cape Town and Winelands” tours, which are operated by locally-based Bike & Saddle, one of BikeToursDirect’s new tour partners.

“South Africa offers amazing opportunities for cycling year-round,” says Ben Sanders, Director of Business Development for Bike & Saddle. “We offer exclusive Cycle Safaris on private game reserves with a ranger guide showcasing the sights and sounds of the bush. We run authentic township tours through South Africa’s informal settlements and tailor-made wine tours through the various Cape Winelands. We run a Culinary Cycle Tour, themed on gourmet food and wine, and we are involved in various conservation initiatives, including a cheetah rehabilitation program.”

Heading a little deeper into the Southern Hemisphere, BikeToursDirect offers four bicycle tours in New Zealand, which feature rainforests, glaciers, mountains, national parks, geothermal spas, islands, caves and volcanoes.

“New Zealand is the perfect winter vacation location because November through March is our summer and the scenery is outstanding, ranging from superb beaches to permanently snow capped mountains, forests to open sheep country—all in an area the same size as Colorado,” says Richard Oddy, Chief Spoke of Pedaltours, a BikeToursDirect tour partner that has operated tours in New Zealand since 1985. “Our most popular tour is our Southern Alps 10-day tour from Christchurch, New Zealand’s second largest city, with a population of 360,000, to Queenstown, the adventure capital of the world.”

Other winter tour options include the Islands of Seychelles in the Indian Ocean; the Nile River Valley in Egypt; the ancient Chiang Mai region of Thailand; and the bustling cities and rural districts of Vietnam. BikeToursDirect will unveil additional winter destination tours for 2012 when it launches a new website this fall.

BikeToursDirect, now in its eighth season, serves as a central resource for bicycle tours in Europe, representing more than 50 tour companies that offer more than 200 tours in 35 European countries and is currently expanding to Asia, Africa and Australia. BikeToursDirect offers a variety of resources to help travelers choose tours and handles the entire booking and payment process. Learn more at www.biketoursdirect.com. Telephone: 1-877-462-2423 or 1-423-756-8907. Email: info@biketoursdirect.com.

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Getaway With Surprises to Red Bank on the New Jersey Shore

November 5, 2009

We just discovered a fabulous getaway destination a mere 1½ hours south of Manhattan: Red Bank on the New Jersey shore. We found one of the most fabulous 7-mile biking trails on Sandy Hook, part of Gateway National Park, that is so scenic and so interesting, and even more so because of a long history as a fort (you can see battlements that were revolutionary in their day, from 1890s and buildings that housed soldiers) that spanned the eras from the mid-1800s, through World War II, the Cold War and the Missile Age. It also has Sandy Hook Lighthouse, the oldest operating lighthouse, dating from 1764, not to mention gorgeous sandy beaches, water on both sides, and a popular destination for fishermen and birdwatchers.

Sandy Hook Lighthouse

Sandy Hook Lighthouse dates from 1764 - just one of many surprises on the Sandy Hook bike trail (c) 2009 Karen Rubin/News&PhotoFeatures

After biking, we went into historic Highlands, enjoyed a delightful lunch on the water at the Inlet Café, before exploring Twin Lights, a phenomenal lighthouse which turns out to be the first place where Fresnel’s lens was used (and after that, Congress made it the standard illumination for all lighthouses). It’s also where Marconi demonstrated his wireless invention. The structure is fascinating, and you can climb to the top for an amazing view – in fact, it is the highest point (we are told), on the Eastern shore – and for that reason, has been an observation post for military and commercial reasons since Colonial times.

Twin Lights

We thoroughly enjoyed our stay at the riverfront Oyster Point Hotel – recently renovated and thoroughly contemporary and charming. We especially loved the patio with plush sofas and pillows, where we could enjoy morning coffee and croissant. It also has a fitness center, beautiful lounge. The views of the river (especially from our room, 510, on the highest floor), are just glorious (www.mollypitcher-oysterpoint.com).

 

Its sister property, the Molly Pitcher Inn, just around the corner, is completely different in style – it dates from 1928 and is very traditional, but shares the same quality of excellent service and elegant guest amenities. It also has an outdoor swimming pool (in season).

 

The village of Red Bank is charming with red brick sidewalks, planters, and whole blocks of Victorian buildings dating from the second half of the 1800s, and lovely cafes with outdoor dining. We were surprised to see two music shops – Jack’s Music Shoppe, and a guitar store and all sorts of boutiques, not to mention various and sundry investment banks and brokerages that are very telling about who lives in the neighborhood (hint: Bruce Springsteen and Jon Bon Jovi).

 

What is more, you can reach Red Bank and the Atlantic Highlands without a car – take a ferry from Manhattan (www.seastreak.com), or by North Jersey Coastline train from Penn Station (www.njtransit.com).

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