In response to the bombings at the Boston Marathon more than a week ago, the TD Five Boro Bike Tour will be adopting new security measures at its big ride on May 5.
In an announcement today, the tour’s CEO Ken Podziba said they had been working with city, state and federal agencies to find ways to reduce any security risks at the ride which will host more than 32,000 people, traveling over 40 miles through many city streets and five boroughs.
“The number one priority of the TD Five Boro Bike Tour has always been and will always be the safety and security of our riders, volunteers and spectators,” said Podziba.
As part of the new plan cyclists will not be allowed to bring backpacks, or any other types of bags that attach to the bicycle or person riding that are larger than 12 x 7 x 5 inches, the equivalent more or less of a fanny pack.
Hydration packs will also not be allowed, nor will saddlebags, either those that attach to the front or the back.
The new restrictions on riders follow the devastating attack by two Chechynan brothers using backpacks loaded with explosives at the Boston Marathon. Their handiwork killed three people and wounded over 150.
Immediately after the Boston attacks, attention went to other athletic events that were due to take place within a short period of time of the Boston Marathon, which includes the TD Five Boro Bike Tour.
The two brothers responsible for the attack had also planned to come down to New York City and bomb Times Square, a plan that was foiled when the man they had kidnapped in an carjacking, escaped and alerted the Boston Police of the brothers’ whereabouts.
Reaction to the new security measures being put in place for the TD 5BBT were mixed, with some cyclists posting long messages about how Bike New York, the organization running the ride, was bowing to pressure from terrorists.
Wrote one rider who said he had a commuter bike that was not equipped for water bottles:
“Regarding the security measures now taken after the Boston bombing for the NY 5 Boro Bike tour:
Sadly you are drawing the wrong conclusions. You have now given in to the fear that terrorists try to spread in this country, in that you cannot go on and live your life as you want it. And this still doesn’t prevent anyone along the route to do anything bad, so this only brings token security, although I do not doubt that you will provide adequate security at the start where of course many people will be together in a small space, by only allowing riders and volunteers there…
At this point I have to seriously consider if I actually can do the tour with my bike under these conditions. As such, if I decide that I cannot ride the tour, I will be sure to come to the bike festival and demand a full refund of the money I paid, as you changed the conditions under which I can ride this tour after I signed up and paid the fee.”
Summary of the TD Five Boro Bike Tour New Security Measures:
As part of this security plan, you are not permitted to bring the following:
Saddlebags/panniers (front and rear)
You are permitted to bring the following:
Fanny packs (small waist packs)
Small bike frame bags (under seat and handlebar bags)
Organizers said that there will be checkpoints along the route to ensure compliance with the new regulations and “confiscated items will not be returned.”
Also as part of the new measures, the Finish Festival at Fort Wadsworth in Staten Island will be strictly limited to registered Tour riders and will not be open to family and friends of participants or the general public.