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CELEBRATE 40 YEARS OF BICYCLE SUNDAYS THIS SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 28
Release Date: September 21, 2014

 

I can't believe that it's been 40 years!  Over 40 years ago I was the chairperson of the Task Force for Bikeways in Westchester.  I was also a high school student -lobbying for the first bikeway to be built in Westchester County. I went to many meetings of the Board of Legislators, called Legislators at home, wrote letters to the editors, organized rallies and bike-a-thons to promote the cause. And finally was successful.

 

The members of the Board of Legislators offered me a deal --I would promise not to show up at a Westchester County Board of Legislators meeting for 6 months and they would approve $50,000 for the first bikeway to be built in the county: along the Bronx River parkway. I agreed to that action in 1973.  And, construction started on the Bronx River parkway bike path.

 

in 1974 Westchester County Executive Al Del Bello appointed me to his Bikeway committee.  As a member of the committee I pointed out the successful NYC initiative - closing Central Park for cyclists and asked if we could so something similar in Westchester. The committee recommended the closing of the Bronx River Parkway for cyclists on Sundays.  Bicycle Sundays--now 40 years old--is one of the most popular programs the county sponsors. Every week when the parkway is closed for cyclists - many bicyclists- enjoy cycling on a parkway that is really a park.

 

This Sunday there will be a celebration of Bicycle Sundays at the county center beginning at 10 AM.  I hope you will join county cyclists at this terrific event --celebrating a great initiative that former County Executive Al Del Bello made possible.  David Wilson, a prominent cyclist and leader of the county cycling club wrote the following summary of Sunday's big event.

 

PAUL FEINER

Celebrate Bike Sundays on Bronx River Parkway on Sept. 28

Rides, a tailgate party, and musical entertainment on tap

By David Wilson -

Join us on Sunday September 28 to celebrate the 40th anniversary of 
Westchester County’s Bike Sundays. For those who want to make a day of it, there 
will be rides on the parkway and beyond, a tailgate party in the Westchester 
County Center parking lot, and live music by the lot until 4 pm. 
  It will be a good day to wear your WCC colors.
   There will be multiple level rides from the County Center at 9 a.m. Some 
will go out on 40-mile rides, and come back and do a loop on the parkway to make 
it 53 miles. Others will just show up at 10 to  do 13-mile loops through 
    I rode today and there was so much open road – for kids on training wheels 
and scooters, women pushing strollers, guys on recumbents, folks moseying along 
on hybrids, families riding together and a couple of dudes doing loops whose 
wheel I caught while they were averaging 19.2 over 40 miles. There was plenty of 
room for everyone. 
> We’ll  have a ceremony at 10 a.m. with former Lt. Gov. Al DelBello, Greenburgh 
Town Supervisor Paul Feiner and several county officials to mark the four 
decades since DelBello, then Westchester County executive, closed the parkway on 
a pilot basis in 1974. That’s when he was drumming up support to buy the 
right-of-way of the New York Central’s defunct Putnam Division, and Feiner, then 
a Scarsdale 18-year-old, was leading the charge to open the park to bikes, just 
as NY Mayor John Lindsey had done in Central Park. 
   It’s a great ride through the Bronx River Reservation, one of Westchester’s 
County’s most overlooked parks. 
    At 10, I’ll be leading a group on the 6.5-mile stretch that’s runs by 
municipalities with 400,000 residents. Supervisor Feiner will be riding with us. 
It will be a great day for those WCC members who live along the park in White 
Plains, Hartsdale, Edgemont, Yonkers, Tuckahoe, Eastchester and Scarsdale. The 
celebration is the culminating event for the weeklong Eastchester Bike Week. 
    There are two food choices for the tailgate party. We’ll have a vendor with 
burgers and wraps and drinks. Or you can bring your own. Some riders will be 
bringing grills. 
   The music starts at noon with Chris Brown, a Westchester singer/songwriter 
who plays several nights a week around the county – and was recently at Mickey 
Spillane’s in Mamaroneck, Brodie’s in Mohegan Lake, The Quiet Man in Peekskill  
and Rosy Tomorrow’s in Danbury. 
   At 2, Tall County, a Putnam-based string trio, takes the stage. They’re 
just back from the the Catskill Chill Music Festival in early September and 
today’s Common Ground Farm Pig and Veggie Dinner. 
>    See you there – and bring your neighbors! 
>    Here’s to 40,
>    Dave Wilson

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