For all the countless interruptions to our 2020 season of free and inclusive community bike rides, the most significant has been the delay in announcing Slow Roll Buffalo’s status as a standalone nonprofit organization, after growing out of GObike Buffalo over the winter.

While we’ve maintained our mission to connect communities by bike thanks to a committed board of directors and volunteer squad along with continued support from presenting partner Independent Health, we now turn to the public for support through a month-long Biketober campaign that will include more rides beyond our standard Monday nights.

As for standard Mondays, we’ll continue our practice of moving up the start time of October Monday rides to 6pm, beginning with a Voter Registration Ride this coming Monday, October 5th, starting from Community Beer Works (520 7th Street) on a route that will feature early voting locations. Also as usual, themes for the following Monday rides will be announced weekly. Pandemic-induced ride restrictions persist, as listed below.

A new ride will debut on Saturday, October 17th, when we’ll join with the African Heritage Food Co-op and Fruit Belt Community Land Trust in a free and inclusive Fruit Belt Pedal Party, celebrating the seeds of community-controlled investment in the neighborhood in the form of a grocery store and affordable housing, both now in construction. The roundtrip ride will begin at 2pm from the future African Heritage Food Co-op at 238 Carlton Street.

Finally, Biketober will conclude with a Halloween-themed fundraiser ride on Saturday, October 31st, hosted by Undergrounds Coffee House & Roastery and limited in size. Tickets to participate in the inaugural All Potholes Eve Pedal Party – now available in our store! – include a ghoulishly-guided 31-mile ride along with a Chiavetta’s dinner and stops for treats from Undergrounds and Community Beer Works followed by an afterparty, all for a $31 donation to Slow Roll, with a dinner-only option available for a donation of $13. The ride will begin at 2pm, with dinners served from 4-8pm. A virtual afterparty will begin at 8pm in the form of the Virtual Slow Roll season finale, livestreamed at our website and Facebook/YouTube channels with ride highlights, live music, auctions and raffles.

“Biketober is an exclamation point to the most challenging season in the seven years of Slow Roll Buffalo,” said Anthony Caferro, board president of Wheel B. Herd, which now operates Slow Roll Buffalo independently. “With gratitude to all who’ve helped us get to this point, and excitement to map our own route in continuing to connect communities in inclusive and innovative ways, we’re calling to the public for support in establishing Slow Roll as an independent organization.”

More Biketober rides and promotions to be announced, stay tuned!

With ongoing guidance from local and state public health leaders to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Slow Roll Buffalo organizers have been carefully considering ways to resume community bike rides while maintaining some semblance of Slow Roll’s inclusive spirit. Having prepared a plan that meets or exceeds all requirements, the weekly ride presented in partnership with Independent Health has resumed, free and open to all.

Reopening Slow Roll requires working within the current Phase 4 of “New York Forward” state mandate, including a limit on public gatherings to a maximum of 50 people, along with CDC guidelines for events to “consider ways to significantly reduce the number of attendees”; in turn, organizers have reimagined the ride with the following changes:

– Staggered start times as required, ensuring that attendees ride in groups of 50 or less
– Mandatory covering of mouth and nose for the entirety of the ride
– Pace and distance faster and longer than usual, with no scheduled stops for regrouping and speakers
– The ride will be self-supported, with no “SAG” support and gear before or during
– Participants and their bikes should be prepared to ride immediately upon arrival, and maintain safe distance from those outside of their own household while waiting to ride
– No police motorcade – riders will share the road
– No afterparty – Slow Roll squad will disperse at the end of the ride
– All measures subject to change as part of continued commitment to public safety and consultation with public health leaders

Those unable to participate include anyone showing symptoms of (coughing, shortness of breath, fever of over 100.4), a positive test for, recently exposed (within 14 days) to COVID-19, or within the 14-day quarantine requirement after traveling to New York from states with significant community spread – please see the NYS Travel Restriction website for a current list of affected states.