BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – As the weather warms up, more and more bicyclists are hitting the roads, and GObike Buffalo is hoping more people will give biking a try.
Friday, they’re leading bike trains from different areas around the city to the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus in honor of National Bike to Work Day.
Just a few days later, on Sunday morning, GObike Buffalo will host its huge annual SkyRide. “This is an opportunity for people in Buffalo and around the region to enjoy Buffalo’s iconic Skyway like they never have before,” explained GObike Buffalo Executive Director, Justin Booth.
These upcoming events are a few of dozens planned for the month of May, Bike Month in Buffalo.
“We are so excited,” said Alison Mesmer, the Community Outreach Coordinator for GObike Buffalo. “There are things going on every day for people of all ages and experience levels to get out and enjoy Buffalo by bike.”
Members of the bicycling community say it’s easier now than ever to get into biking in Buffalo, thanks to increasingly bike-friendly policies and practices here. “We are a city that is thinking about how people get around in a sustainable and efficient way,” noted Jennifer White, Marketing and Communications Executive for Reddy Bikeshare.
“Back in 2008, we worked with the city to pass a Complete Streets policy, so whenever we design, construct and maintain roadways, we need to accommodate all modes of travel upon our roadways,” Booth explained.
Since then, there has been a huge increase in the number of bike lanes. We’re going to see that hit the 100 mile mark this year, and city leaders have made a commitment to getting that to 150 miles by the end of next year.
Already, the bike lanes and infrastructure have made a big difference in the efforts to get more people to bike. “When we make our streets safe and people feel comfortable riding on a regular basis, more and more people are out there riding,” Booth said.
That’s not only good for the environment, it’s good for people’s health, which makes it an obvious fit for the mission of the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus. “We’re a medical campus, so promoting health and healthy behavior is always a priority of ours, so biking to work, active transportation is really important,” said Thea Hassan, the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus’ Transportation Program Manager.
The Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus offers incentives for employees to bike to work, including the availability of indoor bike parking, guaranteed rides home on days when the weather turns bad before the commute home, and offering free memberships for Reddy Bikeshare memberships.
Reddy Bikeshare members can use an app to find the closest available bike to them or they can pick one up from one of 35 stations around the city. “Just sign up online, it takes about three minutes, find the nearest location to you, and plug in your numbers on your keypad and you are ready to go,” White explained.
Friday’s Bike to Work rides to the Medical Campus will end near the Reddy station at Ellicott and North Oak Streets, and participants will be able to enjoy free breakfast and enter for raffle prizes.
If you’re new to biking, and would like to take part in Bike to Work day or any other upcoming bicycling event, GObike Buffalo has several online resources to help you get started.