The Five Boro Bike Tour Might Be Quieter This Year

A hearty thanks to Sue for attending the CB1 Licensing Committee meeting in order to learn more about changes that organizer Bike New York is willing to make to this year’s Five Boro Bike Tour (May 6).

Bike New York has a new sound company and the sound techs will have sound meters to monitor volume. Reduction of sound “footprint” to Church between Franklin and Leonard. Within that block, increasing the density of speakers, while reducing the volume and base [bass?] of each speaker. In addition to an overall control on the sound board, each speaker will have individual volume control to handle issues in a particular area.

They are reducing number of sponsor announcements to just a couple per wave. Recorded music will happen right before start announcements and then for a few minutes as each wave takes off. They are saying 5 minutes per each wave. No recorded music filling time between waves.

They will send notifications to neighbors which includes an active, day-of-event number to call in complaints, for real-time action. If neighbors complain, they will lower the volume.

The CB1 committee pointed out that perhaps the neighborhood and the 5 Boro Bike Tour have outgrown each other. Five Boro Bike Tour said there are internal conversations about moving the start line in the future but that sort of planning can take a few years.


  1. Will they have a live amplified band playing instead of “recorded music”? If so, this is a meaningless pledge.

    How about air horns? Are they still going to be blasting them?

  2. No live bands. That was one of the first items announced months ago. Air horns were never brought up by any side, that I recall. I’ve been very outspoken about this and very unhappy with the previous plans. I will say that CB1 really pushed Bike NYC, making them return over and over with changes. I think Bike NYC is finally making honest attempts to balance their event’s needs with neighbors. It remains to be seen whether their efforts are sufficient.

    If you don’t trust their plan, there is still the option to complain to Precinct 1 because issuing the permit for the amplified sound at 7 am on a Sunday that close to residences isn’t supposed to be permissible.

  3. Having lived in this neighborhood for more than 20 years, I have no problem with this event. There was a time when Downtown was “too scary” to get anyone here, it’s great to see this institution has not only survived, but become an internationally popular event to showcase our great city.