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Best Event for Cyclists

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When the nonprofit group Transportation Alternatives inaugurated the NYC Century Bike Tour in 1990, New York City was short on the bike lanes and paths that make it so rider-friendly today. TA’s goal was to show cyclists how to navigate the city on two wheels. Today you don’t need a tour to explore the boroughs’ streets, and, thanks to greenways that lead out of the city, there are many ways to ride dozens — or hundreds — of miles nearby. But the Century remains an excellent way to see the different neighborhoods of this metropolis and how they’re connected, even if it means pausing at stoplights and contending with traffic. Held each September, the event caters to everyone from amateurs to seasoned cyclists, with four different routes that cover 35, 55, 75, or 100 miles. Sign up (the 2014 fee for early registration was $60), and prepare to pedal through Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, and, if you’re taking the full tour, the Bronx; you’ll cross a handful of bridges and see many parts of the waterfront; and, after pausing at well-supplied rest stops filled with convivial fellow riders, you’ll finish in Central Park, where you can get a little maintenance done on your bike or treat yourself to a free massage. And a free NYC Century T-shirt and water bottle to prove to your friends that you did the deed.

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