Nov. 30, 2017 By Tara Law
Santa Claus will lead a family-friendly bike ride through Jackson Heights, Corona and East Elmhurst this Sunday.
The third annual Santa Ride will start and finish at Travers Park, located at 78th Street and 34th Avenue, near the Greenmarket. The 3.5-mile ride will begin at 9:30 a.m. and last about two hours.
The ride will follow the bike lanes down 34th Ave and 31st avenues. The group will make stops at Junction Playground, at 33-59 Junction Blvd. in Jackson Heights, and Gorman Playground at 30th Avenue and 85th Street in East Elmhurst.
Riders will also make a pit stop at Penetros Bakery in East Elmhurst, which will serve hot chocolate, coffee and buñuelos— Latin American fried dough balls.
About 55 cyclists took part last year, and the event sponsors expect even more this year.
Attendees are invited to wear their best winter and Christmas themed costumes, such as elves, reindeer, and snowmen.
The ride is organized by Rodney Corcino who founded Ciclistas Latinoamericanos de New York, which promotes bike riding particularly among the Latino community.
Corocino will be Santa, and as a 37-year old slim man it takes a lot of effort for him to look the part, he said. He said he sewed the costume himself and uses makeup to look older. He carries candy canes, chocolate and cookies to sweeten the effect.
The final effect, he said, makes it worth it. Each year, he has to leave early to ride to the event because so people stop him to ask for pictures.
“You can’t say no,” Corcino said. “That’s part of being Santa.”
The Santa Ride is Ciclistas Latinoamericanos’s primary event of the year. The group consists of about 200 members.
The event is also being sponsored by the Jackson Heights Beautification Group, Queens Bike Initiative and Make Queens Safer.