While community events like Slow Roll Buffalo are currently suspended due to the state of emergency over the spread of COVID-19, yet parks are open to enjoy outdoor activity at safe social distance, Slow Roll is helping fill the void in communal gathering by posting the routes of our 2016 rides from five Buffalo parks and encouraging the public to ride individually for the benefit of our collective mental and physical health. 

The five public parks are part of the Buffalo Olmsted Parks system – Cazenovia, Delaware, Front, MLK and Riverside. Routes are posted at www.slowrollbuffalo.org/socialdistancerides

Instead of riding as one big group with a set start time, we encourage everyone to ride on their own time and at the safe social distance of at least six feet apart. For those unable to ride, Slow Roll Squad members are planning to livestream their solo rides online, pointing out places of interest along the route including those providing essential services such as grocery stores and urgent care centers. All are welcome to post about their rides to Slow Roll Buffalo’s open Facebook group as well as their own pages, to share how they’re staying mentally and physically active during this public health crisis. Partners in promotion include Slow Roll Buffalo presenting partner Independent Health along with GObike Buffalo, East Side Bike Club and Campus Cycling Collective. 

“While we must at this moment listen to public health professionals and limit our interactions accordingly, we must also maintain our mental and physical health,” said Slow Roll Buffalo cofounder Seamus Gallivan. “Slow Roll has always been about more than bikes, more than the Monday night massive gathering – it’s about communal connection, a community service that we’re evolving to meet the needs of this moment.”

“The City’s and Olmsted parks remain open to passive use,” said City of Buffalo Mayor Byron W. Brown. “So, while residents are not able to go to their gyms or other usual recreational locations, I encourage them to use the maps Slow Roll Buffalo will provide in order to physically or virtually enjoy some of our parks and hopefully relieve some stress. Physical activity, done with the proper precautions and in accordance with social distancing protocols, helps bolster our health and sense of well-being and can therefore help our residents better cope with this public health emergency.”

While Slow Roll Buffalo’s sixth season of 26 straight free and inclusive community bike rides is scheduled to run again from May through October, plans for the start of our season are uncertain, and our April 6th Schedule Reveal Party at the Broadway Market is postponed. We will continue to follow the lead of public health professionals and announce changes as needed here at www.slowrollbuffalo.org.