How many bananas and bottles of water can fit in a fanny pack? That's suddenly a concern for the 32,000 cyclists planning to ride 40 miles in the annual Five Boro Bike Tour on May 5. With the New York City Marathon still months off, the popular race spanning New York City will be the first outdoor event to enact heightened security after the bombing in Boston last week. (The race's ad campaign also had issues.) According to an alert sent to riders this morning, backpacks, saddlebags, and hydration packs are no longer allowed. In addition, "this year's Finish Festival at Fort Wadsworth in Staten Island will be strictly limited to registered Tour riders and will not be open to family and friends of participants or the general public."
Citing "the terrible events of April 15, 2013," the new rules do permit "water bottles, fanny pack (small waist packs), and small bike frame bags (under seat and handlebar bags)." But the contraband list will be enforced: "There will be checkpoints along the route to ensure compliance with these new regulations and confiscated items will not be returned."
"Safety is our number-one priority, and I have full confidence in the NYPD that they will do what's necessary to ensure that our riders, our volunteers, and our spectators are safe," Bike New York CEO Ken Podziba said last week. A guide to what's allowed can be found here.