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Bikers take on Brooklyn

While it’s not le Tour de France an annual Brooklynbike-riding event sets out to be challenging and scenic whilehighlighting the waterfront encompassing the borough.

The Brooklyn Greenway Initiative (BGI) will host the third annualBrooklyn Waterfront Epic Ride — a 40-mile group bike-a-thonextending from Greenpoint through southwest Brooklyn, continuingaround Marine Park and finishing in the Jamaica Bay area ofQueens.

The bike journey will begin on Saturday, July 30, at 9 a.m. fromManhattan Avenue at Newtown Creek, and end at the Rockaway BeachClub on the beach boardwalk.

According to BGI, the ride will focus on highlighting the path ofthe Brooklyn Waterfront Greenway, which is a planned 14-mile routefor recreation that connects four public parks along the watersidefrom Greenpoint to Sunset Park.

The goal is for Riders to be able to experience what the vision ofthe fully realized borough encircling the greenway is like, saidBrian McCormick a co-founder of BGI.

McCormick also said that they organized the ride For people toreally enjoy Brooklyn’s waterfront. It’s a very diverse waterfront.Industrial, residential, (and) small business, it’s the wholekitchen sink. We know people will be pleasantly surprised.

The completed Greenway will serve as a connection to Manhattanthrough the Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges, and the Jamaica BayGreenway path that leads to Queens.

BGI is a non-profit organization that started and coordinated theidea to devise the Greenway in the late 1990s with the dream tocreate a safe, off-street route along Brooklyn’s waterfront, inorder to improve healthful recreation, transportation andwaterfront access for all New Yorkers.

Since then New York State has contributed over $20 million infunding for construction and the Department of Transportation isworking on the master plan.

McCormick said the project has been going on for over a decadebecause of the size of the project and property owners and existingstructures in the area. However he said four and half miles ofinterim route and sections have been implemented by New YorkDOT.

Also, many areas have been marked off and improved to reflect wherethe final greenway will be, and McCormick hopes the ride will showeveryone what the future would be like.

For more information about the ride or tickets ($20 per person, or$10 for BGI members, Transportation Alternatives members and 5BBCmembers), visit brooklyngreenway.org.

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