We've been wondering how the 5 Boro Bike Tour, for which 32,000 cyclists will pour onto city streets next Sunday, will handle its security in light of the Boston Marathon bombings. Today, we got our answer: No backpacks, no saddlebags and NO hydration packs, a statement from organizers Bike New York says.
We don't even know what a hydration pack is, but suddenly, we're just incensed that we can't have one. (Update: It's this thing.) Why would the cruel Bike New York overlords take away our freedom to have our thirst quenched like some sort of spandex-clad cycling warrior? Bike New York CEO Ken Podziba told us that the changes were agreed upon by various local, state and federal officials, and that they are an unfortunate necessity to ensure that the event remains safe.
"We’re not happy that we have to impose security measures, but safety is our number one priority," he said. "I think most riders understand that. We're not just imposing these restrictions because we feel like it."
Fanny packs, water bottles and "small bike frame bags" will still be allowed, and Podziba said that bags smaller than 12-by-5 inches are also acceptable, even if they're backpack shaped. Podziba also assured us that the route features frequent rest areas at which riders can fill up their water bottles. Another change from years past is that family, friends and total strangers will not be allowed to congregate at the Staten Island finish line, meaning that cyclists will be forced to awkwardly cheer for themselves.
Podziba doesn't know for sure what the future holds, but he doesn't think the restrictions will be permanent, he said. We're willing to bet, though, that starting line pyrotechnics are probably done for good.