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Join us as we pedal the boroughs' football landmarks, and explore soccer's seldom acknowledged roots in this storied city. We'll be teaming up with some of New York's most avid supporters of the game to bring you an unforgettable soccer experience, by bike!
We'll meet in Brooklyn, off the L-train (*bikes rentals available*), and we'll conclude the evening in Manhattan, just east of Central Park. Along the way, we'll leisurely wind our way through three boroughs, and a wealth of worldly soccer culture.
Soon after we kick off, we'll find ourselves at a true gem of a pitch, The Metropolitan Oval. Nestled among the working-class row homes of Maspeth, it has the feel of an English stadium seamlessly tucked into a hamlet on the outskirts of London. Built by German and Hungarian immigrants, well before it's spectacular skyline views came into sight, this field is arguably the most historic in the United States. Several notable clubs still compete at the Met Oval, and later in our ride we'll explore the tight-knit immigrant communities of Queens to better understand how these clubs are the vehicle through which cultures and communities maintain their heritage.
Before getting too deep into Queens, we'll make a stop in Brooklyn's only soccer specific indoor facility, The Pitch. This beautifully groomed field is conveniently connected, via locker-room-tunnel-like hallway (a perfect way to make an entrance!), to Berry Park, a longtime go-to for anyone looking to catch a match on the big screen. With a great space to watch a game, and an even more impressive rooftop beer garden, it's enough to make Ray Hudson exclaim something like this!
Food, refreshments, and a little footie will provide the ideal halftime before we jump back on the saddle to discover how the Roaring Twenties of football in NYC let to the fashionable 70s, and how these legacies live on in the budding soccer craze that is beginning to sweep the city today. Working class factory teams and industry leagues first influenced the formation of the storied Cosmopolitan Soccer League, and immigrant-rich club teams like Greek American Atlas even made the leap to the ASL, becoming one of only two teams to win the US Open Cup 3-times in a row.
We'll visit the original home to the New York Cosmos, where Pele's fast feet first graced this city (on a pitch so poor it needed to be painted green for television!). Leaving the far off fields of Randall's Island, we'll take the Triborough Bridge to a better known bit of greenery, Central Park, where space to play has always been contentious.
Don't miss this opportunity to experience soccer and your city in a whole new light, one that reflects the excitement and diversity of the city itself. Historic fields & stadiums, tight-knit ethnic clubhouses & pubs, and long forgotten monuments to NYC soccer, will all reveal the city as a living, breathing PITCH, one that is best traversed by bike!