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.
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
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
(including 60.4 lane miles on-street)
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
One great way to get involved and promote biking in your own community is to participate in – or organize – a Bike to School Day event. It’s fun for the whole family and encourages an alternative and healthy way of getting to school without using a car. We pooled together everything you’ll need to know about organizing a safe and awesome Bike to School event here!
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.
Full Moon Vista (Rochester)
Rochester Fitness & Cycling (Penfield)
Toms Pro Bike (Henrietta)
Bert’s Bikes & Fitness (Henrietta)
Bike Zone (Greece)
Bert’s Bikes & Fitness (Webster)
Towpath Bike (Pittsford)
RV&E Bike & Skate (Fairport)
Sugar’s Bike Shop (Spencerport)
Toms Pro Bike (Victor)
Bicycle Outfitters Inc (Brockport)
Advocacy Advance (tools to increase biking and walking)
Alliance for Biking & Walking
League of American Bicyclists
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (Bicycles)
National Safe Routes to School Program
New York State Vehicle & Traffic Laws (Bicycles)
Parks and Trails NY
Pedestrian & Bicycle Information Center
- The Huffington Post: Why Riding Your Bike Makes You A Better Person (According To Science)
- British Medical Association (1992). Cycling Towards Health and Safety. Oxford University Press.
- Shape: The Brain Science of Biking
- Rochester Area Bike Sharing Program Study – NYSERDA
- Streetsblog: Why Bicyclists Are Better Customers Than Drivers for Local Business