Nov. 27, 2018 By Meghan Sackman
Santa Claus will lead a family-friendly bike ride through Jackson Heights, Corona and East Elmhurst this Sunday.
The annual Santa Claus Bike Ride will start at Gorman Playground at 30th Avenue and 85th Street in East Elmhurst at 9:45 a.m.
The three mile ride, which is in its fourth year, will use the bicycle lanes on 34th and 30th Avenues to go through the three neighborhoods.
Kids and adults are strongly encouraged to dress up in a Christmas costume, such as a reindeer or snowman. Last year 90 people attended the event and even more are expected to participate this year.
Riders will be escorted along the route by the 115th precinct. Children ages seven or older can ride alone as long as they wear a helmet. Children younger than seven are welcome to ride but in a carrier alongside an adult.
Treats, hot cocoa, coffee, and more will be served by the Jackson Heights Beautification Group at the end of the ride.
The ride is being organized by Rodney Corcino who founded Ciclistas Latinoamericanos de New York, which promotes bike riding particularly among the Latino community.
Corcino said the event is about having fun but also promoting bicycling as an alternative means of transportation.
“We want to increase awareness about cycling and let people know that it is possible to use these bike lanes to get where they need to go,” Corcino said. “It’s a safer way to connect the parks and provides a transportation option for children to get to school in the future.”
The event is being funded by a grant the Jackson Heights Beautification Group received from NYC Parks–Build Healthier Communities Grant.
Nuala Doherty, the director of the Jackson Heights Beautification Group, said the bike ride is a great way for new cyclists to familiarize themselves with alternative forms of transportation.
“The rides are meant to encourage people who are scared to ride on the street,” Doherty said. “Even if you’re not an aggressive bike rider you can ride safely.”
This ride is also being co-sponsored by the Queens Bike Initiative and Make Queens Safer.