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Friday, March 28, 2014

Brooklyn Public Library Hosts “Bike the Branches,” A One-Day Bike Ride Exploring BPL’s 60 Neighborhood Branches

Routes Highlight Brooklyn’s Historical Landmarks, Cultural and Literary Hallmarks, Music Venues, Best Breweries, and Scenic Waterfront

Co-Sponsored by Bike New York, Citi Bike, NYC DOT, Transportation Alternatives, Brooklyn Borough President Adams and Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce.  

Event Supports Library’s Annual Spring Fundraising Campaign 

Brooklyn, NY – Brooklyn Public Library (BPL) has announced that their second annual Bike the Branches event, a one-day bike ride through BPL’s network of 60 neighborhood libraries, will be held on May 17. Offering a range of routes and special events that help participants discover the borough’s exciting past and present, all proceeds from the event will go towards library services including programming, technology, and collections. 

Bike the Branches features twelve bike routes, many based on historical documents in BPL’s Brooklyn Collection. Tours include an exploration of Brooklyn’s musical history and venues, a visit to Brooklyn’s most important historical, architectural, and literary landmarks, a journey to the borough’s most notorious breweries and saloons, a trip to the homes and practice fields of the Dodgers and other Major League Baseball legends, the waterfront, and more. Participants can follow any of the suggested routes or bike independently and set their own pace. 

Bike routes include the following:

  • Early Brooklyn: Visit some of Brooklyn’s most historic locales, ranging from important Native American grounds to some of the first structures built by European settlers. 
  • Historic Postcard Tour: Visit sites corresponding to some of the Brooklyn Collection’s best historic Brooklyn postcards for a glimpse into the borough’s treasured landmarks.  
  • Brooklyn Baseball: Ride past landmarks of Brooklyn baseball’s past and present, including the homes and practice fields of Dodgers and other Major League Baseball legends. 
  • The Sounds of Brooklyn: Experience homes, schools and murals related to Brooklyn’s storied musical history, as well as some of the borough’s best contemporary music halls. 
  • Bottoms Up, Brooklyn: Visit sites of the borough’s most notorious breweries and distilleries, as well as some of the latest and greatest in cocktail culture. 
  • Landmarks of Brooklyn: This tour provides a glimpse at some of the borough’s most interesting and important landmarked architecture. 
  • Literary Tour of Brooklyn: Explore the backdrop to some of the most important novels, poems, reportage, plays, and children's books in American Literature.  
  • PowerUP!: Visit some of BPL’s PowerUP! business plan competition alumni, which has helped launched many businesses throughout the borough over the last ten years.
  • Underworld Brooklyn: Return to the scene of the crime and visit some of Brooklyn’s most famous–and infamous–locations of mischief. 
  • Citi Bike: Are you a Citi Bike member, or want to give it a try? Explore BPL branches that are close to existing Citi Bike docks, and enjoy a special docking station at Central Library on the day of the event.
  • Waterfront: Cruise along Brooklyn’s waterfront and take in some of the borough’s seaside history along the way. Plus, visit branches that have been newly renovated and reopened in the wake of Superstorm Sandy.
  • Where’s Waldo? ® Tour and Events: This family-focused tour will feature scavenger and treasure hunts, as well as prize giveaways across all the branches. Additionally, Waldo himself will make select appearances at different library branches along the Where’s Waldo? bike route.

“After last year’s phenomenal success, with over 400 cyclists and $20,000 raised for our programs and services, Brooklyn Public Library is excited to host the second annual Bike the Branches event. This occasion offers an opportunity for our communities to come together at neighborhood branches across the borough – from our historic Carnegie libraries to our newest and newly re-opened branches,” said Linda E. Johnson, President & CEO of Brooklyn Public Library. “Bike the Branches helps BPL continue to offer access to the knowledge and resources that Brooklynites need to be successful, whether that be story times for toddlers, skills workshops for job seekers, or technological tools for student researchers. So come out, support your local library, and have fun while doing it!”

"Bike the Branches is a wonderful spring celebration of two of my favorite pastimes, riding a bike through Brooklyn's byways and finding a treasure from one of our great library branches. There are so many exciting bike tours for Brooklynites to explore, and all for the noble cause of keeping our library branches vibrant and vital. I applaud the Brooklyn Public Library for bringing this event back to our roads and our reading rooms, and I look forward to seeing everyone strap on their helmets for a great ride on May 17th," said Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams. 

Bike riders will receive a “Branch Passport” to stamp at each branch visited between 10am and 5pm, and the top three adults and children who visit the most branches will receive prizes at the end of the day. All branches will be open throughout the day of the event, and select branches will offer entertainment and activities. BPL’s Central Library at Grand Army Plaza will conclude the day’s events with their Finish Line Celebration from 5-7pm, featuring live music, entertainment, prize giveaways, and more. 

Register today to Bike the Branches and support Brooklyn Public Library. Registration is $20 for adults, $10 for children 17 and under and seniors 65 and up, $40 for families (which includes up to 2 adults and 3 children), and $150 for teams of up to 10 people. In addition, this year’s participants can register as a BKLYN Trailblazer for $100. This registration class includes free participation in the event for a second guest rider, a limited edition Bike the Branches t-shirt, an exclusive BKLYN Trailblazer bib, and formal recognition for your contribution on BPL’s website and at the Finish Line Celebration. 

Bike the Branches is part of BPL’s annual Support the Branches spring fundraising campaign.  All proceeds from Support the Branches and Bike the Branches help fund Brooklyn Public Library’s work to bring vital services, resources and programs to every neighborhood in Brooklyn.  With every dollar raised, our collections grow, computer equipment is upgraded and more community programs are developed and enjoyed by our diverse populations.  

Bike the Branches is sponsored by Bike New York, Citi Bike, Transportation Alternatives, Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce, and NYC Department of Transportation (DOT), Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams, and the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce. To support the event, DOT will be offering two free helmet fittings during the two weeks prior to the event – one at the Kensington branch on May 8, and one at the Central Library on May 13, both from 4-7 pm. Additionally, Citi Bike will be offering free day passes to all participants aged 16 and up who want to participate in Bike the Branches and try Citi Bike.  They will be arranging for a mobile bike share station at the Central Library on May 17, the day of the event, and registrants will be able to request a day pass activation code when they register. 


About Brooklyn Public Library: Brooklyn Public Library (BPL) is an independent library system for the 2.5 million residents of Brooklyn. It is the fifth largest library system in the United States with 60 neighborhood libraries located throughout the borough. BPL offers free programs and services for all ages and stages of life, including a large selection of books in more than 30 languages, author talks, literacy programs and public computers. BPL’s eResources, such as eBooks and eVideos, catalog information and free homework help, are available to customers of all ages 24 hours a day at our website:



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