How long does the 5 Boro bike tour take?

The 5 Boro Bike Tour is an annual recreational bicycle ride through all five boroughs of New York City. Covering over 40 miles, it is one of the largest bicycling events in the United States, with around 32,000 participants every year. Many people wonder how long it takes to complete the 5 Boro Bike Tour route. Here are some quick answers to common questions about the length and duration of the 5 Boro Bike Tour:

What is the total distance of the 5 Boro Bike Tour route?

The total distance covered during the 5 Boro Bike Tour is approximately 42 miles (67 km). The route winds through all five boroughs of New York City – Manhattan, the Bronx, Queens, Brooklyn and Staten Island.

What is the average time to complete the 5 Boro Bike Tour?

For most riders, the average time to complete the 5 Boro Bike Tour route falls between 4 to 6 hours. However, completion times can vary considerably depending on factors like cycling ability, bike type, weather conditions and how many rest stops are taken along the way.

What is the typical range of finishing times?

Finishing times for the 5 Boro Bike Tour have a wide range, generally from 3 to 8 hours:

  • Fastest riders: 3 to 4 hours
  • Average riders: 4 to 6 hours
  • Casual riders: 6 to 8 hours

The event is not timed and there are no prizes for the fastest finishers. Participants can ride at their own pace and take as many rest stops as needed.

What factors affect 5 Boro Bike Tour completion time?

Some key factors that can influence an individual rider’s time to complete the 5 Boro Bike Tour include:

  • Cycling ability – Faster and more experienced cyclists can finish faster than casual riders.
  • Bike type – Road bikes are faster than hybrid or mountain bikes on the flat streets of NYC.
  • Weather – Windy or wet weather slows most riders down.
  • Rest stops – More frequent or longer stops at rest areas adds time.
  • Mechanical issues – Flat tires or other bike problems require time to resolve.
  • Navigation – Getting lost will increase ride time.
  • Crowding – Congestion due to high rider density can slow pace.

How long do the fastest 5 Boro Bike Tour riders take?

The speediest riders in the 5 Boro Bike Tour can finish the 42 mile course in around 3 to 4 hours. These fast finishers tend to be experienced cyclists riding high-performance road bikes. They are able to maintain faster speeds, take minimal breaks, and navigate the route efficiently.

Some key stats on fast finishing times in the 5 Boro Bike Tour:

  • The course record is 2 hours, 21 minutes set in 2001.
  • The top 5-10% of riders finish in under 3.5 hours.
  • Finishing in under 4 hours is considered a fast time.
  • The winners complete the course in around 3 hours, 10-15 minutes.

What is the average finishing time for most 5 Boro Bike Tour riders?

The average finishing time for most riders in the 5 Boro Bike Tour is between 4 to 6 hours. This timing reflects an “average” cycling ability and pace for the 42 mile distance.

Some key statistics on average 5 Boro Bike Tour finish times:

  • The median finishing time is around 4.5 to 5 hours.
  • Over 50% of riders complete the tour between 4 and 5.5 hours.
  • Around 80% of participants finish in under 6 hours.
  • Riders finishing between 4 to 6 hours generally have decent cycling capability and make a few stops along the way.

For recreational riders of average fitness, keeping a pace of around 10 mph and taking 3-4 rest stops can result in an estimated finishing time of 4.5 to 5.5 hours.

How long do slower 5 Boro Bike Tour riders take to finish?

Slower recreational riders and beginner cyclists often complete the 5 Boro Bike Tour in 6 to 8 hours. These participants ride at a more relaxed pace, take frequent breaks, and may have less cycling experience.

Some statistics on slower finishing times:

  • Riders finishing in 6 to 7 hours are cycling at a more casual pace.
  • New cyclists or riders on heavy bikes often finish in 7 to 8 hours.
  • Riders finishing in 8+ hours are likely taking their time to enjoy the experience.
  • Slower riders may average speeds of 8-9 mph and take long breaks.

Slower riders should not feel rushed to finish quickly and can take as much time as they need to complete the tour comfortably.

How can 5 Boro Bike Tour participants estimate their finish time?

For riders aiming to gauge their likely finishing time for the 5 Boro Bike Tour, here are some tips:

  • Consider your recent cycling speed and fitness level over similar distances.
  • Calculate your expected average speed based on your cycling capability. 10-12 mph is a common pace.
  • Factor in estimated break time at rest stops.
  • Add extra time buffers for potential delays like congestion, mechanical issues or getting lost.
  • Review the finishing times from previous rides.
  • Try practice rides of 30+ miles at planned pace and stops to test your estimated time.

Online pace calculators and charts can also provide estimates based on inputs for distance and speed. Keep in mind these are rough guides and actual times may vary.

Is there a time limit or cutoff time for completing the 5 Boro Bike Tour?

There is no official time limit, cut-off or requirement to finish the 5 Boro Bike Tour within a certain number of hours. Riders can take as much time as they need to complete the course.

However, the NYPD only keeps roads along the route closed until around 5:30pm. After this time, riders still on the course divert onto open roads and sidewalks to finish.

So in practice, most riders look to finish before 5:30pm when NYPD support ends. But the event is untimed so no riders are disqualified for exceeding this general cut-off mark.

Can slower riders start earlier to give more time to finish the 5 Boro Bike Tour?

All riders in the 5 Boro Bike Tour start in the same wave, with no earlier start times allowed based on expected pace. This ensures optimal road closure support for all participants for the duration of the event.

However, slower riders worried about having enough time can consider these tips:

  • Start near the front of the wave to maximize time on the course before roads reopen.
  • Keep stops brief to save time.
  • Consider skipping optional bridges with big climbs.
  • Carry bike repair tools and spare tubes to minimize mechanical delays.
  • If needed, be prepared to safely ride on open roads after 5:30pm.

Ultimately, slower riders should focus on enjoying the unique experience at their own comfortable pace rather than worrying about cut-off times.


Completion times in the 5 Boro Bike Tour range from about 3 to 8+ hours depending on factors like rider ability, rest stops and weather conditions. While the fastest riders finish in around 3 hours, most cyclists complete the 42 mile tour in 4 to 6 hours. Slower recreational riders often take 6 to 8 hours. There is no official time limit and all participants can take as much time as they need to finish.

Riders should estimate their expected time based on their cycling pace and planned stops. But the most important thing is to enjoy the incredible experience of cycling through all five boroughs of New York City.