Cycling

Ask any passionate biker what happiness means and they’ll probably say, “You can’t buy happiness, but you can buy a bike and that is close enough.”

If you’re interested in using a bike to get around Rochester, see below for a collection of local cycling tools & resources.

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Regular cycling can cut your risk of heart attack in half.

Just one hour on a bike can burn well over 500 calories (depending on incline and how quickly you’re pedaling). It’s an excellent way to get your heart rate up and can actually help slow the decline of cardiovascular health1—possibly even cutting your risk of heart disease by up to 82%.2

And not only can your bike make you physically fit, it may also make you smarter. Biking, along with other types of aerobic exercise, has been shown to increase the hippocampus, the part of your brain related to memory and learning.3

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Bikes can fit within the space of 1 car.

In addition to the health & social benefits of the bicycle, there are economic perks to consider as well. For individuals, cycling can greatly reduce the costs of transportation and health care.4

While cyclists tend to spend less per shopping trip than drivers, they also tend to make more trips, pumping more total money into the local economy over time. Multiply that by the additional number of bikes that can fit within a single car parking space, and that could mean a big boost for local businesses.5

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Miles of bike paths in Rochester
(including 60.4 lane miles on-street)

Here in Rochester we have some of the most attractive trails in New York State, including the Genesee Riverway Trail and Erie Canalway Trail.

Within our metro area there are over 230 miles of multi-use trails, 60.4 miles of on-street bike facilities, and more being added every year.4

With the rise in popularity of bicycling, this trail network offers significant social and economic benefits to adjacent communities. In fact, simply having access to bike paths can increase your home value by 11%.5

For cyclists that are new to the area or for residents who are new to biking, we hope this overview of Rochester’s great bike scene is helpful.

Check out our Community Cycling Calendar here, Rochester’s one-stop-shop for group bike rides, clinics, advocacy opportunities, and any bike-themed event.

Have a group to add to this page? Let us know at cycling@reconnectrochester.org 

Reconnect Rochester: That’s us. We aim to normalize riding a bike in Monroe County. Our advocacy efforts focus on mobility equity, accessible recreation, sustainability & complete streets. We teach regular classes to get more people comfortable biking and lead the Flower City Feeling Good bike ride series in the summer. We offer local history bike tours as well.

Rochester Bicycling Club (RBC): Founded in 1967, the Rochester Bicycling Club promotes the use of bicycles for sport, recreation, health, and transportation. They have several hundred members, covering a wide range of ages and abilities, who ride bicycles for fun and fitness.  They schedule nearly 400 rides per year covering the greater Rochester area and the beautiful Finger Lakes region.

Rochester Accessible Adventures is on a mission to improve the health and wellness of people with disabilities by guiding communities to create a culture of physical accessibility, social inclusion, and equitable open access in recreation, sports and tourism.

Black Girls Do Bike Rochester grows and supports a community of women of color who share a passion for cycling. They champion efforts to introduce the joy of cycling to all women, but especially, black women and girls. They offer a comfortable place where female cyclists can support, advise, organize meet-ups/rides, and promote skill-sharing. They look to share positive images of ladies and their bikes that affirm the truth that black girls do indeed bike! Check out their summer Unity Rides on Thursdays.

ROC Freedom Riders: A movement comprising Black people and their allies riding bikes to Black Spaces, Black Places and Acknowledging Black Faces. Their routes are intentional and action-oriented. Their bicyclists ride in the spirit of the original Freedom Riders of the 1940s and 1960s.

Rochester Bicycle Time! is a group of friends that ride bicycles. Their mission is simple. All bikes, all riders regardless of skill level. Every Thursday, they meet at Parcel 5 (285 E Main Street) at 7pm and roll out at 7:30pm for their Thursday Night Cruise.

Rochester Deaf Cyclists: Rochester has one of the largest deaf populations per capita in the country and so many love to bike! Check out this Facebook page for group rides.

Keeping It Classy Cycle Club (KICCC) was formed in 2019 to host well-executed, accessible social rides. Their motto: Be classy. Ride Bikes. Have fun. All Seasons. Turn heads. They organize the Flower Pedal Populaire in the Spring and the Fall Classic in the Autumn.

Coffee & Cogs 585: Casual group rides ending with coffee at Rochester area coffee roasters and cafes.

R Community Bikes is a grassroots, non-profit bike co-op, staffed entirely by volunteers, that collects and repairs used bicycles for distribution, free of charge, to the Rochester area’s most needy children and adults. They give away over 2,000 bicycles every year and do over 3,000 repairs for their clients, many of whom depend on bicycles as their main source of transportation. RCB welcomes donations of bikes, bike parts, tools and money. They are always in need of volunteers to serve as mechanics and in a variety of other positions. You can also support them by buying one of their used, refurbished bikes.

Flower City Family Cycling (previously Kidical Mass Pittsford): Promotes safe, fun family bike rides. Their purpose is to create awareness of kids and families on bikes and the need for all road users to respect each other. FCFC brings together families who bike in an effort to provide a positive community experience and rides on which kids can practice their safety skills.

Conkey Cruisers is a grassroots Conkey Avenue neighborhood bicycling & wellness program that strives to inspire neighbors, especially children, to stay active and make healthy food choices. They aim to decrease obesity rates, create a positive image of their neighborhood and change negative perceptions of exercise. They promote nature, hiking, and biking in Northeast Rochester along the El Camino Trail.

Rochester Women Bike is a group of Rochester women who aim to make it easier for women to use a bicycle for transportation and recreation. They organize the annual Rochester Women’s Bike Festival, a free, day-long bike festival featuring workshops and demos.

Wheel Women of Tryon is a group of women having fun on two wheels! They welcome ALL who want to learn more about cycling and create happy adventures together.

WomanTours, a women-only bike tour company, is headquartered here in Rochester! They’ve been creating small, inn-to-inn road bicycle tours for women since 1995. Their trips are fully supported with two guides and a vehicle to serve you on the road, carry your luggage, provide your meals, show you the routes, and fit you to a bicycle if you need one. All you have to do is show up and ride!

Rochester Bike Kids (RBK): A dynamic, informal group of mostly young people who bike together regularly. All bikers are welcome. Their signature ride is the Wednesday Night Cruise (WNC). They congregate at Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Park in downtown Rochester every Wednesday at 7pm and roll out at 7:30.

Just for Giggles was started just to get cyclists together and grew organically through Facebook.  Rides posted by members tend to be more spontaneous and come with less notice. Their signature annual event is the Summer Solstice Ride.

Huggers: Though they began as a ski club in the mid-70’s, the Huggers have evolved as a club for active adults that just want to have fun. Their most popular activity has become cycling.  All of the Huggers rides and other events are posted on their HSC Meetup site.

Genesee Valley Pathfinders: Interpretive history of the Genesee Valley via bicycle. A leisure club for expeditions to lost roads, historic points of interest, and picnics.

George Eastman Bike Tour: See Rochester in a new way. A nod to George Eastman’s own love of cycling, the George Eastman Bike Tour will take you to ten different locations related to the life and work of this pioneer of popular photography and famous Rochesterian. You will see buildings and sites that shaped Eastman’s life—or were in turn shaped by him.

Bikes, Beers & Buildings is Rochester’s first bike scavenger hunt. It’s organized every year by the Young Urban Preservationists. See some of Rochester’s best known gems and little known secrets, get some exercise, and  learn something new about the Flower City.

Bike Shop Rides: Many of Rochester’s bike shops organize weekly rides. Check out your favorite Rochester bike shop for more details.

Rochester Youth Cycling Club: NICA NY Youth Mountain Biking Club in the Rochester, NY area for 6th-12th grade student riders.

ROOTZ: Youth & Beginner Mountain Biking USAC Club (fully insured with over a dozen regular ride leaders / ‘roll’ models) who undergo background checks.

Genesee Regional Off-Road Cyclists (GROC): Promotes off-road bicycling in the Greater Rochester community to enhance the quality of life for everyone. Your go-to organization for all things mountain biking.GROC organizes trail maintenance in addition to rides.

Rochester Gravel Collective: A gravel community centering on FTWNB, BIPOC, queer, and para-athletes. Workshops, socials, & group rides.

Genesee Valley Cycling Club: Affiliated with the United States Cycling Federation and USA Cycling, they are dedicated to the promotion and development of road racing in Monroe and the surrounding counties.

Western New York Bike Racing Club: Western New York’s resource for individuals looking to explore bike racing.

TIP #1: Follow the Law

Ride on the right side of the road as far to the right as you can while remaining safe. We recommend having three feet of clear space on each side. Ride three feet away from the curb or parked cars. This gives you maneuvering room. Follow all street signs, signals, and markings.

TIP #2: Be Conspicuous

Never let a driver say “I didn’t see them!” Make yourself easy to see by wearing bright colors. Ride where you are seen, which often means riding in the road rather than the sidewalk. If you’re proceeding straight through an intersection, ride in the center of the rightmost lane that allows you to proceed straight. This makes right hooks and left crosses, the two most common crashes, way less likely. Though it’s state law to have a white front light and a red rear light on your bike at night, it goes a long way towards making you conspicuous during the day as well, particularly when riding through underpasses or in the rain.

TIP #3: Be Predictable

Ride straight. Don’t meander in and out between parked cars. Scan frequently and make eye contact with other road users. Use your turn signals to let drivers know when you’re turning, changing lanes, or coming to a stop.

TIP #4: Plan Ahead

Know your route and be in the correct intersection position before the intersection. Since most crashes happen at intersections, be extra vigilant for turning vehicles. Anticipate drivers’ moves. Ride clear of road debris and potholes. At intersections, be in the rightmost lane for the direction you’re going.

TIP #5: Ride Ready

Wear a helmet; it’s the final protective layer for when every other layer of safety goes wrong. Inspect your bike briefly before you ride and make sure the tires are firm. You should always ride with some basic equipment with you, such as the tools to fix a flat tire.

For more cycling tips and resources visit BikeLeague.org.

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