Self-guided Queens cemetery bike tour causes uproar from community

Photo: Plowboylifestyle/Wikimedia Commons

Much confusion arose from concerned community members after QNS announced that Spinlister, the world’s largest peer-to-peer action sports rental company, was providing cyclists with a tour guide of some of Queens’ most popular cemeteries.

Many residents felt that a bike tour through a cemetery would be disrespectful to those laid to rest there, as well as their families.

Several cemeteries that have been named as stops on Spinlister’s “Beyond Calvary Cemetery: A Queens Cemetery Cycling Tour,” including Cavalry Cemetery and Middle Village’s Lutheran All Faiths Cemetery, have noted that cycling is not allowed on the grounds.

“Please be advised that the Lutheran All Faiths Cemetery has no knowledge of such bike tour,” Daniel C. Austin Jr., president of All Faiths Cemetery, wrote in an email to QNS. “Nor, does the cemetery permit bicycles on the grounds due to the safety of our elderly lot owners as well as the cyclists themselves.”

Spinlister has confirmed that the bike tour is not an organized event that will bring hundreds of cyclists into the cemeteries.

“This is not an organized bike tour. There are no groups taking this tour, nor is Spinlister — or anyone else — profiting from it in any way,” explained Andrew Batey, chief marketing officer at Spinlister. “On the contrary, our Queens Cemetery tour is a self-guided, completely free, suggested mapped cycling route designed to allow visiting bikers, as well as those who live in the city, the opportunity to respectfully visit these beautiful cemeteries on their own time, learning about the borough’s history along the way.”

The “Beyond Calvary Cemetery: A Queens Cemetery Cycling Tour,” highlights five of the borough’s cemeteries that hold historical significance for Queens. The self-guided tour brings cyclists to First Calvary Cemetery on the border of Maspeth and Woodside, New Calvary Cemetery, Mount Zion Cemetery, Mount Olivet Cemetery and, finally, Lutheran All Faiths Cemetery.

“As we’ve done in great cities like Paris and Barcelona, Spinlister has identified the necropoli of Queens to be of notable historical significance, and have chosen to educate our community by way of a mapped bike tour and accompanying informative article,” Batey said.

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