Thursday, April 18, 2013

NY Bike Tour eliminates fireworks out of respect to Boston Marathon victims

The Five Boro Bike Tour — an annual cycling event through New York City — will be do away with the usual fireworks at the starting line for this year's ride.  Organizers said eliminating the towering pyrotechnics at the start was out of respect to the Boston Marathon victims. It would also prevent rattling some skittish riders and spectators' nerves too.

"We felt it was unfortunately reminiscent of the bomb attacks in Boston," said tour CEO Ken Podziba. "We got calls and e-mails about it, and we agreed 100 percent. It was out of respect for the tragedy. It was the right thing to do."

Otherwise, the annual event will go on as scheduled May 5.

In previous years, the giant sparklers spewed giant flames into the air at the TriBeCa starting line at Church and White Streets.

Some 32,000 riders of all levels are scheduled to make the 40-mile trek from downtown Manhattan and  finish in Staten Island.

Podziba yesterday said his group, which organizes the 34-year-old cycling event, has also asked the MTA to pull its subway, bus and commuter-rail ads and street-pole banners that feature last year’s photo of two smokestack-like columns spewing fireworks among a crush of riders.

He said the organization’s event program will also be redone.

"At this time of sadness and uncertainty, we want to assure riders, volunteers and spectators of the upcoming TD Five Boro Tour that we are working closely with our partners in New York City government to ensure the tour will be a safe and an enjoyable experience for everyone," Podziba said.

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