Streetfilms: Tour de Brooklyn 2009

Thousands of riders turned out for Sunday’s 5th Annual Tour de Brooklyn, sponsored by Transportation Alternatives. Elizabeth Press caught the action for Streetfilms, filming cyclists along the 23-mile route, which started and ended in Coney Island.

According to TA, more than 2,000 participated in this year’s ride, with all online registration slots reserved in less than 24 hours.

  • joseph ricciardi

    the tour de brooklyn ride!!! The people, the sights, the volunteers, all made for a great ride!!! I commend all the trans alternatives people for doing a great job in organizing it. However, the pace of the ride was far to slow even for a family ride! The average speed was approximately 7 miles per hour, much to slow for the majority of people. This was the main complaint for practically the whole ride except for the last few miles which the pace for some reason made it up to 10 miles per hour..still slow for the majority of people. I had read in some promotional piece for the tour that the pace was going to be between 10-12 miles per hour. It just didn’t happen!!!! I would love to do the ride again next year because of the people your around and the sights, but honestly if the ride is going to be a duplicate of this years pace I think i’ll be looking for another ride to participate in… Sorry…..

  • James Sun

    The Tour de Brooklyn was a great ride to see the boro of Brooklyn, be green, and support a great organization like TA. I wouldn’t have seen parts of Brooklyn before if it weren’t for this tour. But i must agree with the poster above that the tour was at a way too slow pace. This slow pace was considerable dangerous since i was constantly trying to balance on my bicycle and wary of running into the person in front of me or worrying that the cyclist next to me will fall over onto me which made for the tour to be not as enjoyable and not seeing all the surroundings. On top of that it was a considerable wear on my bikes brakes since i was riding the brakes constantly. Maybe TA will pay for a replacement set of brakes for me because of this tour. I am joking of course but the tour needs to pick up the pace like the NYC Centurry that TA puts together. 10+ mph would be perfectly fine. Maybe having the police close down streets further so that the pace can be maintained instead of waiting for street closures and the whole back of the tour to catch up are some negatives that i see that can be improved. I’ve done the 2008 tour de brooklyn as well and it was at a similar pace as well. Now that it is 2 strikes hopefully next year it won’t be a 3rd and as the poster above says then i won’t be back for another. Thanks.

  • To the above posters,

    Tour de Brooklyn is alot of fun. There’s no problems here with offering suggestions and criticism, but at the end of the day complaining about the pace of the ride (which was slow at times for sure) isn’t gonna change too much. The ride isn’t meant to be fast…

    The ride was originally started to be family-friendly, first and foremost. And yesterday there seemed to be alot of them. That’s good. That’s what makes me happy.

    The reality is: always good to try to make a ride better, but the Tour de Brooklyn and Queens both sold out within days of registration announcement. So if you decide not to do it next year, there will be two people waiting to register in your place. After all it is FREE!!!!

  • BicyclesOnly

    Not a criticism, but . . . in case you were wondering whether that honking heard in the background was motorists cheering the bicyclists on, often they weren’t. They really love their cars down there in southern Brooklyn and there was some serious honking and downright scary attempts by motorists to nose into the ride. Even when it was the cops rather than the volunteer marshals corking, the motorists were unbelievably aggressive with the honking and insults. I felt like I was doing CM! Just another reason why rides like this are important.

  • Never Again

    @ Clarence Eckerson Jr. – Well if you can’t make it faster then how about making it safer? How many of those families present had to avoid being struck by cars trying to force themselves through intersections? Many of which had no police or volunteer presence. Quite a few of those families also witnessed members of the Hassidic community encouraging motorists to drive through intersections while cyclists were crossing.

  • Bill from Brooklyn

    First and foremost the ride was lots of fun and I wish there was a different ride in Brooklyn every week/month. That said, I also thought that the pace of the ride was too slow, especially from Coney Island to Prospect Park. By going so slow you had to spend too much time being sure of not crashing into your neighbors as opposed to watching the sights. I would also suggest that for the future that it would be better to close off an entire street and not let cars drive on the opposite side of the ride.

    Overall, I didn’t find the drivers all that bad, except on 15th Avenue in Borough Park. I live in southern Brooklyn and ride all over Brooklyn and usually go through Borough Park on my way to Prospect Park. The aggressiveness was not a surprise, but a common occurrence. You always have to be extra aware, as stop lines are almost universally ignored and most everyone is very inpatient, usually in their mini vans. With a few exceptions, I found the drivers in Bath Beach, Flatbush and for the ride down Bedford to be fine. The only total idiot was that driver on Neptune Avenue who tried to keep driving on the same side as the ride, as the ride was going by him. But then there were also a few bike riders who for no reason went up the sidewalk at times (16th Street in particular). No need for the bikers to be rude.

    Thanks to all the volunteers for making this a wonderful day.

  • I wonder if the Tour de Brooklyn organizers would consider starting and ending the ride at Prospect Park instead of Coney Island? Although I love that area, it is not that accessible a starting point on an early Sunday morning, even for folks from other parts of Brooklyn. Case in point: I wanted to come down from the UWS, my friend wanted to come from Bushwick, and we both decided not to do the ride because it would have been over an hour commute for both of us in order to show up by 8 a.m. for sign-up.

  • Urbanis, the ride starts at a different location every year.

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