If you’ve ever said to yourself you could move faster on the Gowanus Expressway if you were riding a bike, here’s your chance to prove it.
The TD Five Boro Bike Tour comes to Brooklyn this Sunday, and with it the chance to bike the Gowanus.
Brooklyn drivers, be prepared. Cars won’t be able to drive south on the expressway Sunday until the 40-mile ride ends and the roads reopen around 2 pm, said Elizabeth Kiker, an event spokeswoman.
And it’s not a race — it’s a tour. That means riders of all ages will be heading on the highway at a leisurely pace. The tour has three staggered start times, the first at 7:45 am. The first riders will stream down the Gowanus Expressway about 9:30 am, said Kiker.
In the wake of the Boston Marathon attack, bicyclists — unlike last year — won’t be allowed to bring backpacks, panniers or hydration packs, according to the event’s website. If brought to the ride, these items will be confiscated and not returned. Small bags and water bottles, however, will be allowed.
The event is raising funds for Boston attack victims through the One Fund Boston. Riders will be encouraged to donate $5 toward this organization and given an “I Ride for Boston” sticker.
“We have been truly humbled by the outpouring of support and we are grateful to our brothers and sisters in New York who will Ride for Boston this weekend,” Boston Mayor Thomas Menino said in a statement. “As we continue to move forward from the tragic events at the Marathon, efforts like this are very moving and very much appreciated.”
The bike tour is held every year on the first Sunday in May. The route starts in lower Manhattan and heads up through Central Park. It enters the Bronx via the Madison Avenue Bridge, then quickly comes back to Manhattan for a trip down the FDR Drive. From midtown, the route goes over the Queensboro Bridge into Queens, to the TriBorough Bridge, then down the western shoreline of Queens and over the Pulaski Bridge into northern Brooklyn.
From Greenpoint, riders will make their way along the northern coast of Brooklyn to Brooklyn Bridge Park, then onto the Gowanus Expressway to the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, which riders will take for the final leg of the journey into Staten Island.Reach reporter Jaime Lutz at email@example.com or by calling (718) 260-8310. Follow her on Twitter @jaime_lutz.