Look for some sweet new bikes on this coming Monday’s free and inclusive Waterkeeper Blueway Ride starting and ending at Groove Lounge (1210 Broadway in Broadway-Fillmore, 6:30pm start), as our friends at Shared Mobility are beginning to launch an e-bike library with Reddy Bikeshare and East Side Bike Club with ambassadors who are already well familiar with Slow Rollers, including our longtime squad member Debra Hall. Get to know Debra below, and ask her about her bike come Monday night!

What inspired you to volunteer with Slow Roll?

I was trying to reconnect with my sister Tina after being away for 30 years, I’d come back and didn’t feel the close-knit connection we’d had as sisters years back, so I thought I would get involved in some activity that she’s involved in to help bring us closer. She was into bike riding and was already a volunteer for this Slow Roll thing – she invited me to it, and I was hooked on my first ride.

How has it changed your life?

Oh, my God. It’s just wonderful. I have a bunch of great new friends who enjoy doing the same things I like doing – there’ve been times when we would drop what we’re doing just to go for a ride. It’s given me new friends, and I feel a freedom that I haven’t felt since I was a kid. I just enjoy it tremendously, it’s something that gets me out and keeps me active.

How did you get involved with the new e-bike library program?

Since I also participate in the East Side Bike Club rides on Saturday mornings, George Johnson asked me if I would consider being an ambassador or would pass it around to anyone else who would. He sent me the job description, and I read it not really thinking about myself, then I kinda felt like it’s something I could do so I said yes. They wanted to highlight the East Side Bike Club – and the upcoming e-bike station outside the Museum of Science in MLK Park, near where the club meets – as a place where folks who don’t ride bikes normally can go get an e-bike to ride with East Side Bike Club and through the East Side of Buffalo.

What are you most looking forward to about in being a community ambassador for this program?

I’m looking forward to people getting the e-bike experience and getting back into bicycling – it’s something you can do with a group of people or on your own, and still have that good feeling of freedom. And it can get you from one point to the next. I just love to share these experiences with other people, especially people who haven’t been on a bike in a long time.