Skip to main content
Hotel Beacon NYC


Join Beacon Insider & Save 30%
The Five Boro Bike Tour and How to Get Involved  blog image

The Five Boro Bike Tour and How to Get Involved

April 10 2023

The Five Boro Bike Tour is New York’s biggest bike race, and every year 32,000 cyclists from all over the world participate in this popular NYC event.

Now in its 45th year, the tour is a unique way to explore the city – with the added bonus of getting some exercise in the process.

As the name suggests, the bike race will take you through all five boroughs of New York City, covering a total distance of 40 miles.

But how do you get involved in the Five Boro Bike Tour?

Green street signs for uptown and downtown with bicycle on each sign.

Registering for the Event

If you want to join the Five Boro Bike Tour, the first thing you will need to do is register. This can be done in person if you’re already in New York or online if you aren’t – please note, as this is such a popular event, registration can fill up quickly, so book sooner rather than later. The earlier you register, the cheaper the registration costs and the more likely you are to secure a spot.

Are you Road Worthy?

Even if you use your bike daily, it’s best to make sure your bicycle is in top condition before a competition. Most good bike shops will offer a tune-up service, and it’s well worth it to ensure your bike is ready before you reach the starting line.

New tires, a new helmet, and a comfortable seat can make all the difference when it comes to long races – especially if you don’t ride regularly.

View the Route

The route of the tour is already set out by officials and race organizers. However, it’s still a great idea to familiarize yourself with it before you get started – even if you know the roads, knowing where the hills, corners, and busy spots will be, can help you to plan your race better.

Man tightens bike helmet strap under chin, with bike in front of him and new york skyline in the background

When to Arrive

The Five Boro Bike Tour starts early in the morning, and if you want a good starting position, arrive long before the actual start time. Arriving early gives you ample time to check in, collect your bib and route map, check your bike over, and relax or warm up before starting the race.

Enjoy the Ride

While the bike tour is a great place to show off your riding skills, you don’t need to treat it like a serious race. In fact, the ride is one of the best ways to see the city, and it should be enjoyed. Take in the sights, make friends with your fellow bikers, and keep hydrated along the route. There are plenty of places to stop and take a photo on the way, so don’t forget your camera!

Watching the Race

It’s not everyone’s idea of fun to enter a cycling race in New York City, but you don’t need to enter to enjoy the day. If you want to catch the race rather than join it, there are plenty of great spots to watch from, but perhaps the best viewing point is the finish line at Battery Park.

Whether you're participating in the Five Boro Bike Tour or watching from the sidelines, there's no better way to see the city than by bike – and the Hotel Beacon is located less than 30 minutes from the starting point.