Heralded by a new video entitled “Why I Ride,” the organizers of the TD Five Boro Bike Tour have announced that the ride’s registration opens tJanuary 14.
Open registration starts at 12 noon Jan. 14 for the five borough, New York City-based ride that carries the corporate title of its primary sponsor, TD Bank, but is also being presented by co-sponsor athletic clothing company REI.
The ride will be held on May 4, 2014.
Broken up by many quick clips of cyclists making their way through the five boroughs of the city, the video highlights the many different reasons cyclists partake in this yearly ride of about 32,000 riders.
In 2012 many cyclists complained that the system of selecting participants was unfair when they failed to be chosen in a lottery to attend the event.
Organizers also angered many loyal followers in the cycling community
when at first they said that ride leaders and volunteers would not be assured a place in the annual event. That policy was eventually recalled.
To become a volunteer, cyclists can sign up on February 1 at the website, said Samuel Slaton, communications director for the organization.
Volunteers from the previous year can register before the official registration begins.
If previous years are any indication, registration for the ride will be full in 24 hours.
The group that manages the ride, Bike New York, also teaches free lessons to people who want to learn how to bicycle in New York City, saying on their site that they have taught over 15,000 individuals how to ride.
Whether Bike New York was using the funds they made from the big annual ride–which before expenses amounts to about $2.9 M became a point of contention when the city’s police department tried unsuccessfully to get the group to pay fees for police presence around the course of the ride as if they were a for-profit group.
The almost $1 M fee was challenged successfully in court in April 2013.
The ruling judge in the case, Judge Chan, said she had considered other non-profit fundraisers in coming to her decision, including the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer, and Bike MS NYC, all of which she noted did not use their events to sustain their organizations in the way that Bike New York does.
She also compared the popular biking event that attracts people from all over the country, to the NYC Marathon which she said is competitive and awards its winners from $130K to $200K, whereas Bike New York considers “every cyclist a winner.”
“The critical concerns for meeting the criteria of a Non-Charitable Athletic Parade are that the event is opened to the public, which the Bike Tour is, and it may charge a fee to cover its administrative expense, which it also does, and that the proceeds of the event go to a charitable organization, which Bike NY is,” wrote Chan.
Standard registration for the ride will set you back $90. This year also, the group will offer “VIP Registration,” for $325 which will include a Priority VIP Pass allowing riders to start at the front of the pack, a commemorative TD Five Boro Bike Tour jersey that’s only available to riders upon registration, breakfast at the start, a chip that’ll time your climb up the Verrazano Narrows Bridge, and a gourmet lunch at the finish festival.