From May 6th until May 10th the Dutch Cycling Embassy is present in the U.S., in New York City. Together with RVO a Trade Mission is organized on Smart, Healthy and Green Mobility, of which cycling is part of. We’re representing, together with partners VelopA and LumiGuide, the field of ‘Green Transportation’.
At the same time, the Smart Cities New York conference is held in New York, where a large Holland Pavilion is set-up in cooperation with the Consulate General of the Netherlands.
We’re lucky to be able to join the Five Boro Bike Tour at the first day of arrival; 32,000 cyclists of all skill levels come from around the world to roll through every borough of New York City on streets totally free of cars. As stated on the website: “For one day, the roads are yours, the bridges are yours, the City is yours—there’s no better way to experience the Big Apple. Produced in conjunction with the City of New York, the TD Five Boro Bike Tour is the world’s biggest charitable bike ride, with proceeds funding our free bike education programs. In 2014 alone, we taught bike skills to more than 16,000 kids and adults. When you ride with Bike New York, you’re helping us in our mission to empower more New Yorkers to grab life by the handlebars.” via bike.nyc
The event began on June 10, 1977 as the Five Boro Challenge with about 250 participants. The original tour was 50 miles long and started and ended in Queens. What started as a one-time event became a tradition the next year when the New York City Mayor Ed Koch embraced the idea of a city-wide bike tour. The distance was shortened and the word “challenge” was changed to “tour” to make the event more appealing to the general public. That year, the number of participants increased tenfold to around 3000.
The vision of Bike New York for the future is a vibrant, healthy, green world with more people riding bikes. This includes the 32,000 people who rode together on May 5th—as well as the 100,000+ people they’ve taught since their bike education program’s inception. Their classes and programs have never been more popular, and now it’s time to upgrade the fleet of bicycles at our 12 Education Centers to transform the lives of New Yorkers and communities through bicycling.