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2016 Ward Tour Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE — May 25, 2016
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Jersey City Bike Tour Rolling to Liberty State Park June 5th

JERSEY CITY—Bike around JC to Liberty! The Jersey City Ward Tour & Festival returns June 5 for its seventh year, and celebrates the preservation of Liberty State Park with an expanded festival on the park’s beautiful waterfront.

The signature event of local cycling advocacy group Bike JC, last year the Ward Tour took nearly 2,000 riders on a free 15-mile cruise through all six of Jersey City’s political wards, with a police escort. Early registration for the 2016 edition is on pace for an even bigger ride.

But this year, the tour has a new start at historic City Hall, and a finish amid the green lawns and sweeping harbor views of the state park. Bike JC was part of a broad coalition that fought schemes for private development of the park—a haven for both recreational and competitive cyclists—and led the bike contingent of a protest there in November.

“We’re focused on things that enable better biking on our urban street grid, like protected bike lanes,” said Christopher Englese, Bike JC president and co-founder. “But Liberty State Park is different; it’s a refuge for cyclists, and everyone else, away from heavy traffic. So we were glad to be there for the park.” The Ward Tour originally was to have a preservation protest theme, he said. With the state’s recent retreat from the development proposals, “It’s turned into a victory party.”

The tour starts on a Sunday morning at 11 a.m. on Montgomery Street at Grove Street, next to City Hall (280 Grove St.). Protected by rolling street closures implemented by city police, riders make a clockwise loop around the city, at a manageable pace (10 mph at the front) with several rest breaks, and finish on the Hudson River waterfront in the northeast corner of Liberty State Park around 1 p.m.

The Finish Line Festival follows there all afternoon, featuring live music, a Gastro Alley of food trucks and vendors, a beer garden, arts and kids’ activities, the Horizon Wellness Village, an expo with community/nonprofit organizations, and more.

“We’re planning a bigger and better festival, taking advantage of the the amazing green open space now available to us in the park,” Englese said.

In keeping with the celebratory atmosphere, the featured musical act will be Jersey favorites The NERDS, the high-energy über-cover band with a side of costumed comedy. Local standouts Beninghove’s Hangmen and the Penniless Loafers will get things rolling.

Food/drink trucks and purveyors expected for the extensive Gastro Alley include Mayon Grill (BBQ), Rosie's Eatery (aka Taco Guy), Bread & Spoon, The Cow and The Curd, Milk Sugar Love, Whos Gluten Free, Lizzmonade, and Hi-FiBar, with more signing on daily. For your morning coffee/breakfast needs, Bike JC is also setting up discounts for riders at cafés and restaurants surrounding the City Hall start.

The Sirelo Entertainment community drum circle will again warm up and send off the riders at the start (all are welcome to participate with their own percussion instruments).

Registration for the tour is required and is free at bikejc.org, with a $5 suggested donation to Bike JC. Riders must be age 12 or older, and must wear helmets. Younger children may be carried securely on an adult’s bike. Rain date is June 12.

The Jersey City Ward Tour is presented in partnership with the City of Jersey City, Mayor Steven M. Fulop, the Jersey City Municipal Council, and the Office of Cultural Affairs. This year Bike JC is welcoming a new principal sponsor, the Horizon Foundation for New Jersey.

Bike JC is a citizen-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit advocacy organization that aims to make Jersey City streets welcoming for bicyclists by promoting bike-friendly policies, including bike lanes, bicycle education, and traffic law enforcement.


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TOUR FACTS

WHEN: Sunday, June 5, Ride 11 a.m.–1 p.m.; Festival 1–6 p.m.
WHERE:
—Start at Montgomery St. & Grove St., next to City Hall, 280 Grove St.
—Finish & festival @ Liberty State Park, south of the end of Audrey Zapp Dr.
DISTANCE: 15+ miles
RIDE TIME: About 2 hours. (Slowest riders at the rear may finish closer to 1:30.)
RIDERS REGISTERED LAST YEAR: 2,068
COST: Free, $5 suggested donation to Bike JC
RAIN DATE: June 12

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BIKE JC ONLINE:

Website: bikejc.org
Facebook: Bike JC
Twitter: @bikejc
Instagram: @bikejcgram