|Vol. 12, No. 19
||October 7 - 20,
Bronx Bike Ride Will Showcase Poe Park
By JORDAN MOSS
Last stop, Poe Park!
The Bronx's big bike ride, the Tour de Bronx, now in its fifth year, is taking a bit of a
detour this year from previous routes to include Woodlawn Cemetery, Bainbridge Avenue and
the final destination of Poe Park in Fordham Bedford, where there will be music, food and
fun for those who complete a 25- or 40-mile trek around the borough.
"The Tour de Bronx always has a host community and this year it will be Fordham
Bedford and Poe Park," said Norwood resident Rich Gans, chair of the Bronx chapter of
Transportation Alternatives, a bicycling advocacy group that is one of the sponsors of the
The timing for the Oct. 17 event couldn't be better. Enthusiasts of Edgar Allan Poe, for
whom the park is named, are celebrating the 150th anniversary of the poet's passing (see
sidebar). And Poe Park, at the crossroads of the Grand Concourse and Kingsbridge Road, is
undergoing a revival that began in 1998 with the donation and installation of a new
playground from Saturn of the Bronx, a car dealership. The formation of a volunteer group,
the Ravens, which sponsors clean-ups and events in the park, and a pending $880,000
makeover, is also contributing to the renaissance of a green space that Poe once called
home. Poe Cottage still sits on the site, and is operated as a museum by the Bronx County
To welcome the riders, the Ravens and the Fordham Bedford Housing Corporation, a local
nonprofit which drafted plans to redevelop the park that the Parks Department is now
reviewing, will be sprucing up Poe Park and the surrounding area.
Helen Hamer, a member of the Ravens, said her group will be planting flowers around Poe
Cottage the day before the event for "It's My Park Day" with the help of
students from Fordham University's community service program. The day of the event the
Ravens and the students will be back to make sure things run smoothly, Hamer said.
Pat Logan, an FBHC staffer, said his organization has hosted planning meetings for the
event at its Concourse offices, and will remove graffiti prior to the 17th.
The Tour de Bronx features two routes, a 25-mile course for every age and skill level that
is more leisurely, and a 40-mile ride for experienced riders. The routes overlap most of
the way, including jaunts through Morris Heights, Melrose, Soundview and Throgs Neck, but
the longer one includes Wakefield, Woodlawn Cemetery and Norwood. Both routes finish up in
Poe Park for the celebration. Riders can start off at 10 a.m. at the Metro North station
across from the New York Botanical Garden or at 10:45 a.m. in front of the Bronx County
Courthouse at East 161st Street and the Grand Concourse.
This year's ride features new bike paths leading from Pelham Bay to Orchard Beach and City
Island. Gans said another one is in the works for Soundview.
The Tour de Bronx is hosted and sponsored by a number of Bronx businesses and
organizations including the Bronx Overall Economic Development Corporation, the Bronx
Council for Economic Development, the Bronx Council for Environmental Quality, Bronx News
12, ABC Carpet and Home, and the Montefiore Heart Center.
Participating bicyclists must register for the Tour de Bronx in advance. To receive a
registration form or for more information, call 590-BRONX or 653-2203.
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