Seen & Heard: Five Boro Bike Tour Complaints

••• I heard a lot of complaints—and made a few of my own—about the noise of the Five Boro Bike Tour yesterday. Even those of us who love the idea of the ride wonder whether the kick-off needs three speakers on every block of Church blasting cheesy music (a Pitbull medley?!) and the emcees’ exhortations (“Yeeeah!” and “Have a great ride!”) for hours early on a Sunday morning? Adam and I could hear it in our east-facing Broadway apartment, even with the windows closed; at street level on Church, the volume was bonkers. Why on earth doesn’t the ride start somewhere that’s not residential? At minimum, the organizers should give us warning about the street closures and noise. I only heard about the race when a vendor at the Saturday Greenmarket asked if I would be affected by it. UPDATE: See Komanoff’s comment below for a response from the organizers.

••• Martin Auer says his forthcoming Bakehouse at 249 Church won’t open before autumn.

••• Gotham Girls Football Club is the only NYC soccer club devoted solely to girls—providing formative and development soccer training for girls ages 8 to 17. The coaches instill a love of the game, prepare the girls to compete at the highest level, and help them reach their full potential as players, students, and people. For more information about Gotham Girls FC, and to register for a try-out date (May 8 or 15), visit Sponsored.

Gotham Girls••• From Friends of Washington Market Park: “Ladybug Day is a decades-long tradition at Washington Market Park. This year we are holding the event on a weekend so everyone can join in the fun! The Friends of Washington Market Park will distribute 100,000 ladybugs to children and adults who will then release them in the park. Many of the ladybugs will make their homes in the park and help protect the plants from aphids and other pests. Please join us at 11 a.m. for this exciting event!” It’s May 30. That reminds me: If you’ve never seen the documentary Microcosmos, about insects, you really should. It’s astounding—and it’s on Netflix now.

••• A Chaise Fitness studio is opening at 180 Maiden Lane. Its “Reinvention Method combines Pilates, ballet and aerobics; transcending these by incorporating a custom overhead bungee system creating long and lean muscles. Our method will improve your flexibility, balance and posture to transform you into your best self.” There are already locations in the Flatiron District and on the Upper East Side.

chaise fitness 180 Maiden Lane••• There were a few stop-work orders on 111 Murray, as 101 Murray is now known. I don’t normally post about them—and all projects seem to get them at some point—but two of them were for improper storage of combustible liquids and a “failure to provide safety zone for demolition operations,” an done of those was a full-stop order (as opposed to a partial one). The hearing is scheduled for June 18; I can’t imagine they’re forced to stop demolition till then, but who knows (and if so I’m sure residents of 101 Warren will be relieved). P.S. The work this morning seemed to be mostly clean-up, which I think they can do during a stop-work order.

111 Murray stop work order1 111 Murray stop work order2••• An Art Strut event this Thursday from the Soho Strut blog: “From 6-8 p.m., twenty galleries will be open to the public and five will have a wine reception and live music. Plus, the 7-10 p.m. pop-up gallery at 28 Wooster features local artists, silent art auction, live music and wine ($25-$35) and includes a limited edition Moleskine notebook. The proceeds raised go to support local non profit ACE programs for the homeless! Tickets at”

••• Come on, Satur Farms! Plastic shells are totally unnecessary—and wildly wasteful—for radicchio and treviso. Do we really need Whole Foods to turn into Trader Joe’s, with its produce aisle full of plastic?

Satur Farms radicchio at Whole Foods



  1. I have a crazy little toddler that wakes up early every morning so it wasn’t as horrible for me, but I really felt bad for anyone near Church St trying to sleep in late on Sunday morning.

  2. In addition to the outrageous amplified noise at 6 a.m. for the second year in a row, the Bike Tour left behind bags of garbage and cardboard recycling receptacles on various sidewalks on Church St.

  3. Complaining here might feel good, but we should all contact the organizers on social media or via their website—otherwise there’s no way they’ll change a thing.

  4. I certainly understand the annoyance, and I experience it at my apartment for the NYC Half Marathon and the Tunnel to Towers, etc. But I also wonder if the people of Bay Ridge have a headline the day after the marathon about their complaints. Do the people on First Avenue call it outrageous noise? Maybe they do, and I don’t hear it because I don’t live there, but it seems to me they come out to cheer. The 5 Boro Bike Tour is an amazing citywide event, and I can tell you that everyone from another city, state, and country whom I met along the ride yesterday was thrilled with the warm welcome they have received. It is one day of major inconvenience. It is also one day of good will, extraordinary views of the city, and camaraderie. My nine year old got the support of strangers from all over the world as he pedaled through the boroughs, including many Tribeca residents who came out to cheer, and I am grateful that the city and so many corporations support this event. By all means we should send in suggestions to improve the event, but it would be nice to acknowledge all of the positive things about the day as well.

    • There is no need for the speakers blasting music at 6:00 on a Sunday morning to promote a bike race. The adrenaline and goodwill of all of the participants provide ample atmosphere. I have no problem with the race, street closures, etc. and I love to see the athletes lining up down the block but the speakers blasting music I believe is totally unnecessary.

  5. Well said Elizabeth. While improvements can always be made I welcome these events as it is part of what makes our city so special. This is but one of the reasons I love living here.

  6. “It is one day of major inconvenience” – so the remaining 364 days of the year are free of other major inconveniences?

    • Living in the city results in lots of inconveniences. For the vast majority of us, the conveniences of life here far outweigh the negatives. I am firmly in that camp. It doesn’t mean events can’t be better planned. But I all for the 5 Boro Bike Tour, the Half Marathon, the Gay Pride Pier Dance, the Tribeca Film Festival and all the other events that make living in New York special.

  7. Great event (my husband & I are cyclist but didn’t participate), BUT, we live off Church and there was no advance notice of the event. I knew it was going on and checked the website on Sat. nite, which stated road closures would go into effect at 7:45am. Church St. was closed to cars at 7am, when we tried to get our car off the street. Maybe they should consider waiting until 8am before blaring the music & loudspeakers. Annoying for residents.

  8. Perhaps they should put loudspeakers on the street for the week preceding the event, and announce the event all week long so that everybody is aware of the impending inconvenience.

  9. Perhaps all of you complaining should move to New Jersey

  10. You’re kidding, right? It’s not like you live in suburbia, you live in Manhattan NYC. The noise didn’t start until 7:30a.m., is that really so bad? Also, I’m sure they distributed road closure info to your building (they did to ours on the UES), so it sounds like a problem with your building’s management.

    • They did not distribute road closure notices to our building. It seems that film shoots give more warning than the bike tour did. As someone who faces Church, I’ll agree it is very loud. And I wouldn’t mind if it wasn’t so repetitive. The decibels could be lowered and the announcing could start at 8am. Otherwise, it’s all good.

    • I don’t think you realize the difference between being in the UES somewhere along the route and being smack at the starting line. Nobody is complaining about a bunch of supporters cheering and yelling. The complaints generally come from the outdoor concert speakers that are set up along Church St with the MC’s yelling into their mics and blasting music.

      I wonder if any of this will change once 56 Leonard starts move-ins.

      • There was absolutely no notice given to TriBeCa residents of the bike race or the street closures. While I am supportive of the race and agree it’s a great event, the use of loud speakers blasting so early in the morning is annoying & unnecessary. To all those who have had rude remarks about people,who complain should move to suburbia, I’d like to remind them that we who have lived in TriBeCa for all these years, supported the neighborhood through the worst of times after 9/11, when life was tough down here and we refused to give up. It would be nice if the organizers worked closer with the community
        To make the event less intrusive. And for us who live in TriBeCa, this is our home and a residential community.

    • I’m with you, Grant. What were you thinking when you moved to the “city that never sleeps”-

  11. I’ve ridden the 5-Boro Bike Tour at least a dozen times, and I second the complaints about the amplified noise leading up to the start. It’s invasive, puerile and unnecessary. I have a good relationship with the organizers and will do my best to ensure that they read (and heed) the noise complaints; ditto the trash.

    But the other complaints in this thread leave me cold. The ride has *always* started on Church near Franklin. Way back when, there were few residents to be inconvenienced. While that has changed, the logistical-transportation reasons for the choice remain. Folks who moved in since the late seventies might consider that prior claim.

    Ditto about the lack of notification. Save for the first year or two, the 5BBT has always been staged on the first Sunday in May. Anyone with a low tolerance for disruption should mark his/her perpetual calendar accordingly.

  12. yeah, funny enough, but I don’t think Church St. anywhere between Vesey and Canal really qualifies as “residential.”

  13. Maybe next year they can move the 5 Boro Tour to the Hudson & East Rivers?

  14. there are no “residential” neighborhoods in NYC–everything is mixed. Personally, I can tolerate the 5BBT.
    What I really want to fix is the onslaught of tour buses circling and idling in every nook they can find. This is an ongoing nuisance which is bringing loads of exhaust to the neighborhood. Who do we call for this?

  15. I agree that part of living in NYC is the fact that there are always incredible events going on. Yet as with most situations that result in unhappiness, much could have been avoided with simple communication. Blasting music in the early hours of a Sunday morning is just inconsiderate and surely could have waited, at least until 7:30/8am. My only issue with the race is that, afterwards, the cyclists were all over downtown. Some obeyed the rules of the road, but I saw HUNDREDS riding on sidewalks, running red lights and almost knocking over pedestrians. Not to mention coming into Hudson River park, riding way too fast along the pathways with small children everywhere. I think that, again, a bit of consideration and communication between race organizers, the riders and the neighborhood would go a long way.

  16. This all sounds like entitled whining. Why did you move to the city that never sleeps in the first place?

  17. As a rider at 6:30 am I can tell you those idiots with the mics were pretty annoying. We didn’t need to hear, “you can do this!”- it was only 40 miles, we knew we could do it. They just sounded like a bunch of idiot cheerleaders. I wish someone had unplugged their mics and just passed around some muffins – that would have been an effort well made.

  18. As promised, I reported people’s complaints about 5-Boro noise and outreach to Ken Podziba of Bike New York. Here’s his reply:

    Thanks for the heads-up about this. I was under the impression that the city, through the Community Affairs Office, was in touch with the residents. We received more complaints from residents this year than in the past — not sure why — but we need to collectively do a better job notifying and engaging the residents impacted by the noise. I will talk to my communications and events teams to find out what was done, if anything, with respect to the residents and develop a better communications / community relations plan. We’re obviously going to continue being there for Year 39 and beyond but it’s inexcusable to ignore their concerns if that’s what we’ve been doing – and for this I apologize on behalf of Bike New York.

  19. ONE MORNING in our over-privileged lives.
    Maybe next year everyone can schedule an early morning clean-up in TriBeCa Park or volunteer somewhere…ANYWHERE in the neighborhood you live in. We don’t OWN TriBeCa, we just are lucky to live here.
    SHARE – it’s good for you.

  20. Has anyone noticed that WF has gotten rid of the lb. of Satur Farms Arugula & have substituted WF brand in a 5oz. size in a plastic container for 3.99 but they have the same WF 5 oz. in a plastic bag for 1.99 , that’s 2.00 for the plastic container, duh!

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  22. So, my space is literally, and I truly mean literally, above the starting line of the event. The bike tour is like a very noisy Swallows of Capistrano coming back to roost every year and I kind of hate it for being so incredibly loud and in my living room. But I figure it’s a great event, brings a lot of different people together and has some really positive energy, so why complain. If it wasn’t here, it would be under someone else’s home, so have at it!