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Third annual taco bike event in Brooklyn is one to ride for

City Cyclist explored Brooklyn streets on October 9, in searchof the best tacos, reflecting a love of Mexican cuisine, but alsothe rise in popularity of bike riding throughout the borough.

Over 75 riders participating in the third annual Tour de Tacohailed the tacos from Tortilleria Mexicana Los Hermanos inBushwick, their favorite over four other restaurants aroundBrooklyn and Queens in the lengthy ride, which spanned nearly 30miles.

I’m expecting good food, a little exercise and some fun, saidFort Greene resident Robert Stinson, who participated in theride.

The event was organized by Anita Singh, who created the blogBrooklynbybike and organizes community biking events like thisduring the year. Three years ago, Singh tagged along on the firstride, which was created to celebrate a friend’s birthday. They allliked riding bicycles and eating tacos, so they decided to combinethe two and came up with the Tour de Taco.

Singh said that she has noticed increase in biking through moreevents, but also with people in everyday life.

When I’m commuting to work by bike in the morning, sometimes Isee 15 cycles stopped at the stop light, she said. She believesthat the reason is the addition of more bike lanes.

The streets are safer and there are more and more bike lanesgoing in, so cars are becoming more and more aware of us, Singhnoted.

The Department of Transportation’s goal is to double bicyclecommuting citywide between 2007 and 2015, and over the last fiveyears, DOT designated approximately 103 miles of new lanes inBrooklyn the most out of all the boroughs, according to theDOT.

I lived in Brooklyn Heights almost 10 years ago and almost noneof this was here, Stinson said. There were no bike lanes. It’sreally become a force in the city; people are craving a way to getaround besides taking a car or taking a bus.

From 2000 to 2010, cyclist volume across the Brooklyn andWilliamsburg Bridges-huge cycling commuting areas-has increasedsubstantially, doubling from about 1,000 riders per weekday to2,000 for the Brooklyn Bridge, and from about 600 to over 4,000 forthe Williamsburg Bridge, according to the latest cycling commutingchart from the DOT.

So Singh wasn’t surprised when the large group of ridersgathered under the arch in Grand Army Plaza to kick off the tacotour. Nature lent a helping hand for the occasion as the day wassunny and cloudless- with a high of 85 degrees-although it was thebeginning of October.

With five riding marshals, the riders split up into three groupsto visit the taco sites — Los Hermanos in Bushwick, El Globo andRoosevelt Avenue Taco Trucks in Queens, Acapulco in Greenpoint, andTulchingo Deli IV in Sunset Park-although Singh said they weren’table to see the final two spots because of limited time.

Overall, participants said, the ride was a fun event.

I love bicycling in general, and I always look for somethingdifferent to do on a bicycle. Anything that promotes bike riding isgood, said Crown Heights’ resident Jayne Greppin about the event.She added, I love tacos too. I mean, who doesn’t love tacos.

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