2009-07-15 / Features

LaGuardia CC Joins Tour de Queens Bike Ride

Tour de Queens riders line up at the Unisphere in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park before the start of the bike race July 12. Tour de Queens riders line up at the Unisphere in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park before the start of the bike race July 12. Fifty LaGuardia Community College faculty, staff, students, alumni and friends of the College jumped on their bikes and rode in this year's Tour de Queens bike ride, a 22-mile tour that was cosponsored by the college.

The LaGuardia cyclists joined 1,500 riders who gathered at the Queens Museum of Art in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park on July 12 to leisurely explore Eastern Queens. The mostly flat course passed through Forest Hills, Kew Gardens, Jamaica, St. Albans, Hollis and Fresh Meadows. Bicyclists pedaled down the eastbound service lanes of Queens Boulevard, which were closed to traffic between 108th Street and Hillside Avenue, along waterfronts and greenways, through parks, industrial and historic neighborhoods and back to the Queens Museum.

"As a member of the Queens community, LaGuardia was delighted to lend its support to this wonderful borough-wide event that not only allowed residents to view many of Queens' natural and manmade sights while atop a bicycle, but also raised their consciousness about the importance of using environmental friendly modes of transportation," LaGuardia Vice President for Institutional Advancement E. Ramone Segree said.

Bike riders' bodies may be weary, but their spirits stayed high after the 22-mile Tour de Queens concluded at the Queens Museum of Art. Bike riders' bodies may be weary, but their spirits stayed high after the 22-mile Tour de Queens concluded at the Queens Museum of Art. Transportation Alternatives, a nonprofit group that encourages cycling, walking and mass transit as a healthy and environmentally friendly way to get around the city, organized the second annual Tour de Queens. The event is intended to increase the growth of the borough's biking community.

LaGuardia's sponsorship of this environmentally friendly event is part of its sustainability initiative. Over the past few years, the college has instituted a host of green projects, faculty members have incorporated environmental issues into their curricula and students have jumped on the green bandwagon.

"LaGuardia is working toward playing a role in transforming our economy, and ensuring that the next generation inherits a healthier, safer planet," LaGuardia President Dr. Gail O. Mellow said.

Also sponsoring the event were Bellitte Bicycles in Jamaica, Tom Cat Bakery in Long Island City, York College in Jamaica and The Creek, a Long Island City restaurant.

At the end of the ride, the LaGuardia 50, thrilled to reach the finish line, were each handed an official green bike tour tee shirt emblazoned with the LaGuardia logo.

"That LaGuardia sponsored the Tour de Queens, and had such a rousing turnout is an encouraging early sign of our commitment to the sustainability goal formulated in its vision summit," William Kelly, a LaGuardia employee and a member of Transportation Alternatives, said. "To be able to demonstrate that support in such a manner was not only fun, it was downright exhilarating. Imagine biking on Queens Boulevard without having to worry about cars!"

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