WTC developer and … cyclist?

<i>Larry Silverstein rides, but few notice, even at ground zero</i>


Larry Silverstein

Larry Silverstein is pretty well known in New York — even outside real estate-only circles. Rebuilding the World Trade Center will do that.

And yet this 79-year-old real estate biggie rides around town on his bike virtually unnoticed. That helmet provides some impressive privacy.

Take this example from a couple of years ago.

“[I was] bicycle riding along the Hudson [and] I thought to myself, ‘Let’s ride over to the World Trade Center,'” said Silverstein, who lives in Midtown. But when he arrived at the site to check on construction progress, he was stopped at the gate by an incredulous security guard.

Undeterred, Silverstein asked the guard to call his boss.

“I hear [the guard] telling the supervisor, ‘There’s some old fart down here saying he’s Larry Silverstein.'” The guard, Silverstein said, was given a description of the developer’s appearance over the phone.

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“At which point he said, ‘Mr. Silverstein, I’m so sorry.'”

Silverstein complimented him for being thorough, and for not opening ground zero to just some guy on a bike.

Still, the cycling enthusiast said he usually sticks to a more traditional commute when getting to 7 World Trade Center, his Lower Manhattan office.

“During the week, usually the best way to get there is somehow by car.”

There’s a bike room for people who work at the building, and Silverstein estimates that on average, roughly 50 cyclists a day take advantage of it.

While Silverstein didn’t recall the make and model of his ride, he did note that “it’s a pretty good size because I have pretty long legs.”

But it’s not just New York that turns on his fire for bicycling. He and his wife spend much of their vacation time on their two-wheelers, tooling around Martha’s Vineyard, the coast of Maine and Sag Harbor — and they don’t get spotted there, either.