QUEENS—Who needs the Alps?
Cyclists of all stripes will hit the streets of Queens Sunday for the Tour de Queens, a 19-mile trek through the borough that gives amateur bike riders a chance to channel their inner Lance Armstrong.
But the annual tour, which is billed as a family-friendly ride, won’t leave bikers panting like other physically taxing treks in the city, organizers said.
“The average speed of our bikers is 8 to 10 mph,” said organizer Ben McRoberts. “If you go any slower, you won’t be able to balance yourself on the bike.”
Scheduled for July 8, the tour will begin and end at Flushing Meadows Corona Park and will snake through several neighborhoods, including Flushing, Murray Hill, Auburndale and Bayside, where bikers can enjoy the sights of the borough, the organizers said.
“We have a rest stop in Little Bay Park underneath the Throgs Neck Bridge,” said McRoberts. “It’s very pretty, right on the water.”
The leisurely pace is part of what attracted Priya Kurani, 30, of West Orange, NJ, to the ride last year.
“No one was racing [at the Tour de Queens],” said Kurani, whose only other biking experience is spin class at the gym. “Everyone was out for a nice calm ride.”
Bikers, however, will still have to brave it out for 19 whole miles.
“The first couple of miles, I felt really good," said Kurani. “Then after ten miles…my butt starting killing me.”
But the excitement of the tour propelled her through and she finished, albeit, sore and ravenous.
“I ate so many hamburgers and hot dogs, I was starving,” she laughed.
Kurani said she plans to rope in a few other friends to join her and 1,800 other bikers at this year’s Tour De Queens.
“It’s a fun way to see the city,” she said. “You get to ride down an empty Queens Boulevard, eat snacks halfway, use the bathroom and then you get back on the ride.”
Registration for the event begins at 8 a.m. Sunday. The tour costs $5 for Transportation Alternatives members and $10 for non-members.
For kids who are not yet ready to hop on a bike for a 20-mile ride, there will be Bike Bonanza ride around Flushing Meadows Corona Park after the tour has departed.