Our annual free and inclusive Labor Day Ride will begin at one of our favorite venues, the Colored Musicians Club, founded in 1917 in response to Black musicians being denied membership in Buffalo’s all-white musicians union, and now the longest continuously-operating Black musicians club in the United States.
Our 15-mile route prepared with input from the Coalition for Economic Justice will pass locations of note to the local labor movement, including teachers, healthcare workers, steelworkers, firefighters, postal workers, and Buffalo’s newest union in the workers of Spot Coffee. The ride will end at The Freedom Wall, whose 28 honored civil rights icons include labor leaders such as Martin Luther King, who was assassinated while visiting Memphis in support of sanitation workers.
Thanks to our presenting partner Independent Health for continued support of Slow Roll Buffalo since 2015.
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
– The ride will end in a different location than it began, not roundtrip
– 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
– Mandatory covering of mouth and nose for the entirety of the ride
– 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.
“We are so excited to finally begin connecting communities in person again, after months of discussing, researching, and practicing the best possible ways to resume our rides,” said Dr. Karen Huffman, a Slow Roll Buffalo board member, longtime volunteer, and PhD in infectious disease. “Although this season is going to look different than others, please be assured that we are working hard, as always and more so now, to keep everyone safe while riding. This includes meeting and exceeding what the County and the State are requiring for public gatherings at this stage of the pandemic.”
Future rides will be announced weekly, and the Virtual Slow Roll that started online in May will continue on Thursdays at 8pm, with scenes from Monday’s ride guided by Slow Roll Squad and guests from along the route.