Bike Path Cruise Rides in Partnership with Bike New York

In partnership with Bike New York (BNY), Bob Castro who liaisons between the 5BBC and them (among other things), we are trying to drive new membership and new riders in NYC, by supporting the "Bike Path Cruise Rides". The idea here is to lead really easy rides ( a la Happy Face only perhaps even easier) to help people who are nervous about riding the streets of New York overcome their fears and develop the confidence. I have quite a few friends who, when they hear the riding I do around the city with the club - seem to be in shock and awe! I am sure many of you know such people too. Let's get behind these rides and help more people get comfortable and confident riding!

Here are some out-takes from an e-mail Bob sent recently to our leadership promoting the rides. I am copying it here so all members can think of people they know who may be interested and encourage them to try one of these rides. Watch for them on our and BNY's web site! Interested in more information? Write to us at

From: Bob Castro
Subject: Cruise Ride Leader Notes

Here are some notes on what you can expect when joining a Bike Path Cruise Ride:


Riders are generally adult novices. That means you should be able to start, ride a fairly straight line, make turns and stop as needed, but that’s not always the case. If the abilities of the novices covers too wide a range we will split the group in two and have the less skilled riders stay behind to practice remedial drills, such as starting, balancing and braking.

Besides the novice riders, experienced Bike New York (BNY) volunteers may also show up to help. We use them as outriders or as remedial instructors as needed.



Some novices will bring their own bike and helmet but those without can use gear that’s provided by BNY. The gear is kept in a storage unit at the ride’s start location. Arrive at least ½ hour before the start time to take out the required gear and check it out.


Rides will start from the following locations. Click on the URL for a map and directions:

East River Park / On Bikeway near East 6th Street

Flushing Meadow Park / South corner of Corona Park Aquatic Center

Randall’s Island / South end of Icahn Stadium

Van Cortlandt Park / Near Van Cortlandt Park South, between Broadway & Major Deegan Expressway


The purpose of the ride is to prepare the novices for riding in traffic by having them practice safe riding techniques: hand signals, scanning over one’s shoulder and so forth. Before the ride starts, we will review the basics with them and give them copies of a “Ride Etiquette” handout to take home.

All riders are taken through the 5BBC’s Two-Minute-Bike-Check, with a little extra emphasis on brakes and derailleurs. Some novices are familiar only with single-speed bikes with coaster brakes.

Cue sheets and route maps are not used on these rides. Given the wide range of novice abilities, you may want to use the Point-Drop-Sweep system.

The ride series is formally advertised as “Bike Path Cruise Rides” so riders can rest assured that we stay on the bike paths, especially in East River Park and Van Cortlandt Park.

Flushing Meadow Park and Randall’s Island offer possible exceptions to the bike path rule. Some roadways in those parks usually have light traffic unless an event is going on. If traffic is light, and we feel that all novices are ready and, most important, if they all feel comfortable doing so, then and only then do we take them out on the road in these two parks.



Riders can sign up until the day before the ride so that BNY can send our leaders an email with the ride roster attached. All riders sign must sign a Bike New York Waiver Form.



If it’s getting near class time and you’re wondering if it’s cancelled, call Bike New York’s Education Weather Hotline at 212-870-2080, ext. 2 for the most up-to-the-minute information