Five Boro Bike Tour goes green | Crain's New York Business
The TD Five Boro Bike Tour splashes the color green from its sponsor's signature green and white logo on all of its promotional materials for the annual bike event taking place this year on May 4.
But the 40-mile ride—registration opens on Tuesday at noon—will be taking green to another level in 2014, becoming the first major, sustainable sporting event in New York.
Its organizer, Bike New York, is seeking certification from the Council for Responsible Sport, which has certified the Chicago Marathon, a PGA tour in Phoenix and several Olympic trial events for reducing their environmental impact.
For the 32,000 participants in the TD Five Boro Bike Tour this will mean some changes. The rider identification system now includes three elements: a reusable fabric helmet cover, a recyclable Tyvek bib (similar to what marathon runners wear) and an environmentally friendly bike plate made out of mineral powders derived from stone. Gone are the loose-fitting vests that riders presumably discarded afterwards and stickers that were affixed to riders' helmets and bicycles.
"This is just the right thing to do," said Kenneth Podziba, chief executive of Bike New York. "Bicycling is a sustainable means of transportation and we are constantly trying to reduce our carbon footprint."
In addition, Bike New York is adding a composting program at every rest stop during the ride and the t-shirts it hands out to its 3,000 volunteers will all be made from organic materials, costing approximately $3,000 more, according to Keith Peters, executive director of the Council for Responsible Sport.
Altogether, these efforts will cost Bike New York "tens of thousands of dollars more" said Mr. Podziba. The cost to participate in the event is also rising nearly 5% to $90. But Mr. Podziba said the increase is not related to the extra certification cost.
"Every year it goes up a little bit," he said.
Demand for Bike New York's free bike education programs has also increased over the past year since the Citi Bike share program launched. More than 15,000 people—or 3,000 more than previous years—signed up for bike education last year, according to Mr. Podziba.