Many of you know that I enjoy riding my ancient, three-speed Raleigh bicycle from home to the office when weather permits. Riding my bike is something I’ve enjoyed since I was a boy.
Here at town hall we’ve stepped up our game in recent years in making both biking and walking around town safer and more convenient and in providing more choices for both.
The joint Town-Village Active Transportation Plan is devoted to this purpose. We’ll be finalizing the plan shortly. Meanwhile, we’ve moved forward on certain elements of the plan already in place. Later this month, you’ll see work begin on the new East Avenue sidewalk. This is a $535,000 project that’s fully funded.
A few weeks ago we installed a bicycle rack in front of town hall. This represents just one of the many good ideas that came out of the public workshops for the Active Transportation Plan. You’ll also find bike racks both in front of the library and behind it and at the Spiegel Community Center. Our town and village deserve a bicycle- and pedestrian-friendly network of pathways. We’re committed to providing it. As the examples cited illustrate, we’re moving forward already on that commitment.
May is National Bike Month. Here in Pittsford it includes several activities.
The Rotary Club of Pittsford will hold its eighth annual Bike Drop from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. May 6 at Pittsford Mendon High School, 472 Mendon Road, Pittsford. Pittsford Rotary will collect bicycles and bike parts and accessories in any condition, for donation to R Community Bikes. That’s a charity that repairs and distributes bicycles free of charge to needy children and adults in the city of Rochester. For many people that bike amounts to the only personal transport they have other than walking. We at the town of Pittsford are proud to co-sponsor this event for yet another year. Consider donating—your old ride will live again and be put to good use.
May 10 is National Bike to School Day. I’ll be joining students from Jefferson Road Elementary School for a group ride that morning, starting at 7:45 a.m. at the library and setting off along South Street to the school. For information: walkbikepittsford.com/biketoschoolday.
If biking to work is practical for you, consider participating in National Bike to Work Day on May 19.
The Pittsford Classic Car, Boat and Bike Show on June 4 will include a classic bicycle display and an 8-mile bike ride around the town.
Finally, whether you are a seasoned spandex rider or merely a casual, tweed jacket rider like me, please observe the basic cycling safety rules:
Wear your helmet. Choose a helmet that feels snug and centered. It shouldn’t tilt to the front or back. Look for a seal of approval from the CPSC, ASTM or Snell. Replace your helmet right away if it’s damaged. Damaged helmets don’t absorb shock very well.
Make yourself visible. Wear light colors if possible. Choose a helmet whose color really stands out. Mine is a strange combination of taxi-cab yellow and fluorescent orange. Pretty nasty, but people can see it. Add reflective tape where you can and install front and rear lights on your bike. You can even attach extra lights to your helmet or to a backpack.
Follow the rules of the road. Ride on dedicated bike paths, where possible. If you must share the road with traffic, go with the flow of traffic, not against it. Learn hand signals and use them. And obey all traffic lights and road signs.
Keep your feet in mind. Pick shoes that are in good repair and have good traction. Make sure the legs of your pants aren’t too loose or too long.
Happy riding.
As ever, if you have comments or questions about these or any other topics, please stop by my office in town hall, call me at 585-248-6220 or send a message to bsmith@townofpittsford.org.