Meet the T.A. Bicycle Ambassadors: Bin Feng Zheng
For someone who rides a bicycle every day, Bin Feng Zheng has a lot to say about what it's like to be a pedestrian in New York. That's because this 23-year-old New Yorker only just learned how to ride a bike. With his fresh perspective on New York City cycling, and a pedestrian's understanding of why city streets require cooperation, Bin was a Bicycle Ambassador before T.A. ever bestowed the title. When he tells a New York City cyclist to be polite, it's more than a suggestion for civility; it's a question of upbringing.
For Bin, being polyglot makes it easy to enlist a diversity of New Yorkers for Bicycling.
"I bike polite because my parents raised me well and that does not change when you're on a bicycle." For this profile, first in a series introducing the T.A. Bicycle Ambassadors, Bin explained, "Getting to ride a bicycle is a blessing but when you are caught up in the mentality of pedestrians versus bicyclists versus cars, you lose that joy. I refuse to limit myself to that type of conversation."
T.A. received hundreds of applications to captain our new Bicycle Ambassador campaign. At the outset, T.A.'s goal was simple: talk to as many New Yorkers about bicycling as is possible in a single summer. Among the paper trail of applicants, Bin stood out as uniquely New York. He was raised in the city, and is fluent in the city's most common languages: English, Spanish and Mandarin. With his belief that there is no tool more effective than community organizing and few things more beautiful than a bicycle, Bin was an easy choice for T.A. For the past two months, he and the T.A. Bicycle Ambassadors have been out on New York's most trafficked bicycle routes, talking up every passing bicyclist and pedestrian about how bicycles change New York City.
"I think the Bike Ambassadors' message is a life message: we're all in this together, we all have a responsibility to make our city streets safe." Bin convinces passersby to declare themselves New Yorkers for Bicycling by explaining the big picture, "it's never just about bicycling -- it's about having calmer streets, more transit choices and a better, more sustainable and vibrant community."
When you declare yourself a New Yorker for Bicycling, you become an ambassador for safe bicycle behavior and a more livable city. Help the T.A. Bicycle Ambassadors on their mission and get a free Bicycle Ambassador badge in the mail. Declare yourself a New Yorker for Bicycling today.
A Brief History of the Tour de Queens
The Panorama of the City of New York was built by Robert Moses for the 1964 World's Fair: A scale model including every single building structure standing in New York City before 1992 (which means, more likely than not, your apartment is in a museum). As a bicyclist on T.A.'s Tour de Queens, you get free admission to observe this model-making feat, and all the other extraordinary history the Queens Museum of Art contains.
Schlep the young'uns and strap ‘em in:
the Tour de Queens is friendly to kids.
Image courtesy Daniel S. Burnstein
The land that would become Forest Park was first purchased by New York City in 1895, but really became a special place in 1914, when 2,500 pines were planted to root its now sprawling pine grove. Besides the pines, Forest Park boasts 413 acres of red and white oak forest, the largest continuous oak forest in the nation. As a bicyclist on T.A.'s Tour de Queens, you get to enjoy a leisurely lunchtime snack in this idyllic New York marvel.
The borough of Queens is home to a lot more than a magnificent forests and a microscopic city. On T.A.'s Tour de Queens, you and thousands of other bicyclers can learn even more about this extraordinary borough, all while on a fun ride on New York City streets. The Tour de Queens is a 20 mile, police-escorted bicycle tour, ideal for bicyclists of every age and ability.
Queens may be spacious, but the Tour de Queens has a registration cap. Register today!
The Fourth Annual Tour de Queens
Sunday, July 10, 2011
Flushing Meadows Corona Park, near the Queens Museum of Art
Check in at 8 am