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The 17th Annual Tour de Bronx

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by Cristina Dimen (subscribe)
Cristina crafts pieces on travel, parenting and lifestyle. Connect with her at or and @CristinaDimen on Twitter. WN mentor link:
Perhaps you've been unwittingly training for a bicycle tour like the 17th Annual Tour de Bronx every time you rode along the Hudson River Esplanade, passing by sailboats bobbing in the water.

Scenic ride along the Hudson River Esplanade

Your training sessions may have included participating in the yearly City Streets, or riding alongside city traffic on the miles of bike paths and greenways, or coasting around Central Park's seven-plus miles of paved pathway.

Bicycling towards 23rd Street in car-free City Streets

Manhattan has miles of bike paths

On Sunday, October 23, 2011, take your bike out of storage again, don on your helmet and join other riders at the starting point—the Bronx County Building near Yankee Stadium. Sponsored by Transportation Alternatives, Tour de Bronx is a free cycling tour that attracts a huge crowd. Registration is now open.

Time to take your bike and gear out

Enjoy a family-friendly ride on the Sheridan Expressway, which will be free of motor vehicles during the event. Novice-level participants can opt for the 25-mile ride through designated bicycle pathways, along the shore and more. Ride marshals and the NYPD will escort bicylists of all ages on this route. Your starting point is on 158th Street and the Grand Concourse.

More experienced riders can choose the 40-mile route, which goes through City Island and the SUNY Maritime College over the same timeframe. An adult must accompany children under 16 years old as there is no escort on this route. Your starting point is on 161st Street and the Grand Concourse.

Both routes end at the New York Botanical Garden where a celebratory festival awaits all those who finish the tour.

But before you head out, visit a shop like Bicycle Habitat to have your bicycle serviced, and to purchase a helmet, wick-free attire or other accessories you may need.

Bicycle Habitat at 244 and 250 Lafayette Street in SoHo

Then, peruse through these safety tips, and you'll be all set to ride in the state's largest complimentary event of its kind.

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Why? It's not every day you can ride on the Sheridan Parkway sans cars, and with police escorts
When: Sunday, October 23, 2011; check-in at 9:30 a.m.; 25-mile route departs at 10:40 a.m.; 40-mile route departs at 10:30 a.m.
Where: 25-mile route starts at 158th Street and the Grand Concourse; 40-mile route starts at 161st Street and the Grand Concourse
Cost: Free for everyone
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