Logo for the official tour of the BronxEach summer, images flash across our television screens of international cyclists dashing across one of Europe’s most scenic countries, France. We watch as the lean riders pass by villages still bearing World War II scars in Normandy where are the D-day beaches and over bridges in Ardeche that were built by the Roman Empire. We gaze at the cyclists as they climb up and down the Pyrenees and up and over the Alps, but really we are looking out past them, imagining ourselves in the idyllic landscapes of modern France. More and more travellers are forgoing the dirtied windows of the tour bus and are renting bicycles to explore places and people at their own, more intimate pace. Visitors to New York are doing just that as those in the travel industry have seen a noticeable shift in the way in which voyagers move from one place to the next. In addition to being an active and free way to enjoy a city, bikes allow visitors to step off of the beaten path and to explore areas of a city that they normally wouldn’t have the opportunity to. And the Bronx is one of those places.

Much like the rest of New York City, the Bronx is enjoying a long resurgence. The crime and neglect that still defines the borough for many out-of-towners has been largely contained and eliminated. Neighborhoods that were once abandoned are now feeling the full force of gentrification. Even the infamous South Bronx is being populated by Manhattanites in search of cheaper rent. Today’s Bronx is a culturally vibrant and architecturally-rich community of working class New Yorkers, which is a great place for travellers to discover on the seat of a bike. For visitors not familiar with the Bronx it’s better to ride with a group. The ride which usually takes place in October features normally inaccessible thoroughfares closed to vehicular traffic, as the mapped-out ride takes cyclists past historic districts, numerous parklands and the Bronx shoreline. There is both a 25-mile route and a 40-mile route for more-experienced cyclists. Police escorts, safety staff and volunteers will all be on hand to make sure that the event goes smoothly. The Tour de Bronx is a wonderful way to visit a borough that normally sits off of traveller’s radar but is worth a visit.

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