June 1, 2024


For The Reading Line's 10th anniversary Book Ride, we are in New York City. We will ride through Lenapehoking, the ancestral homeland of the Lenape. The name Manhattan comes from their word Mannahatta, meaning island of many hills. We acknowledge the displacement of this region’s original inhabitants and the Lenape diaspora that exists today. We honor the generations of stewards, and we pay our respects to the many diverse Indigenous peoples still connected to this land.


We are celebrating ten years of our free reading series providing the opportunity for participants to see the city from a new perspective, from the seat of their bicycle, through authors’ words, and in locations newly imagined as reading salons. For details and registration please go to MEETUP Brompton New York or EVENTBRITE Book Ride NYC. No bike, no problem. Meet us at our stops along the way using NYC transit. Everyone is welcome!

The Route

Let's meet at the beach! GANSEVOORT PENINSULA, Hudson River Park, is lit worthy and perhaps you'll be inspired to pen a piece of poetry. We will cycle south on the Empire State Trail. Off the beaten path in SOUTH COVE, there is a place where land and water, nature and metropolis, past and present, come together. That is where you will hear JAHMAL MAYFIELD read from Smoke Kings. The propulsive novel explores decades of racial tensions through a fictional landscape where the line between justice and revenge is blurred. Then across the 141 year old BROOKLYN BRIDGE to Brooklyn. On the other side of the East River, we will go through a number of neighborhoods until we reach RED HOOK with a view of the Statue of Liberty. We will cycle up to Prospect Park finishing on Vanderbilt Avenue at a cafe. Here you will be introduced to SHENEQUA GOLDING and her blazingly honest essay collection from a refreshing new voice exploring the in-between moments for Black women and girls, and what it means to simply exist. Total route is 13 miles with plenty of stops.

The Writers

JAHMAL MAYFIELD writes gritty crime novels that touch on large social issues. He was born in Virginia but currently resides in New Jersey. In addition to writing, he serves as the director of a nonprofit program that provides employment support to people with disabilities. SHENEQUA GOLDING is a writer and an editor whose work focuses on race, gender, popular culture, and entertainment. A native New Yorker, Golding returned to her roots as an entertainment writer. Her work, both on-camera and in print, has appeared in prominent Black publications such as Vibe and Essence, as well as mainstream outlets, including Complex, the Associated Press, BBC, and Vanity Fair.


What's going to happen during NYC

  • Jahmal Mayfield

    Smoke Kings

    Meet Jahmal will who share his writing inspiration and read from his acclaimed debut novel SMOKE KINGS in South Cove. Additionally, Alison Simko, publisher of THE BROADSHEET, will tell her story of publishing Lower Manhattan’s Local Newspaper. We will then cross the East River and cycle to Red Hook. With a view of the Statue of Liberty, meet K. KERIMIAN, the originator of the NONBINARIAN BOOK BIKE, along with some Nonbinarian volunteers who will describe their mobile queer and trans led mobile initiative. The Book Bike is an incredible custom built cargo bike which will open up to provide free queer books for distribution. Donations (books or monetary) are appreciated if people are so inclined.

  • Shenequa Golding

    A Black Girl in the Middle

    Our group will ride to Vanderbilt Avenue's vibrant Open Streets where we will stop and meet Shenequa who will will engage us with her story of growing up in Queens and read from her debut essay collection memoir A BLACK GIRL IN THE MIDDLE.

  • Open Streets

    Vanderbilt Ave

    In summer and fall 2020, the Vanderbilt Avenue Open Streets program provided desperately needed economic relief to more than twenty neighborhood restaurants, helped keep restaurant workers employed, and created a space for residents and visitors alike to share an afternoon or evening together in a safe way. The program has operated each year since, from spring to fall, with improvements to barriers, clearer demarcation of bicycle lanes, increased programming, and paid staff to operate the Open Street. Here we will keep the book talk going as there are plenty of options for participants to purchase food and drinks!

  • Independent Bookstore

    Hive Mind Books

    Want to have our authors sign a copy of their book after their readings? We can accommodate that impulse! JULIE WERNERSBACK, founder of the traveling independent bookstore Hive Mind Books, will be on hand with books you can purchase at our reading locations. When we bike, we shop local. AND thanks to REALSY we'll have a limited supply of Peanut Butter Dates on hand!

Featured Books

Smoke Kings

Jahmal Mayfield

ISBN: 9781685891114

A Black Girl in the Middle

Shenequa Golding

ISBN: 9780807007983