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Bike Month 2024 presented by Independent Health

May is National Bike Month! Independent Health is excited to once again partner with GObike on all the ways you can celebrate bicycling in Western New York – from bike breakfasts to movie screenings and group bike rides, there’s something for everyone.

Whether you’re an avid cyclist or it’s been a while since you’ve been on two wheels, we encourage you to make the month of May the time you change your habits and incorporate riding more often. We live in a region that’s perfect for it, thanks to years of hard work by GObike – not to mention the variety of health benefits that bicycling provides.

Here are all the ways Independent Health is gearing up for Bike Month:

Bike Month Contest

Do you love bicycling in Western New York? We want to hear about it!

In 350 words or less, tell us why you love riding a bike – is it your main mode of transportation? Has it helped you in your health and wellness journey? Is it something you enjoy doing with your family?

Submit your story and you could win the grand prize, a Bike Month Prize Pack courtesy of Independent Health, which includes:

  • One (1) $200 gift card to Dick’s Sporting Goods
  • Two (2) complimentary SkyRide registrations with two (2) bike helmets
  • Two (2) free annual memberships to Reddy Bikeshare (or two $40 riding credits for existing members)
  • One (1) Independent Health prize pack

The contest runs May 1 through May 24. Entrants must be at least 18 years of age and a resident of New York State. Essays will be reviewed by a panel of judges. See official rules.

Here’s to Safe Rolling

At Independent Health, we believe it’s possible for drivers and cyclists to share the road. But there are important steps each of us can take to ensure a safe and positive experience:

  • Stay visible. Wear bright, light or reflective clothing and gear, especially at dawn and dusk.
  • Keep right. Always ride with traffic on the right side of the road.
  • Safety first. Always wear a helmet to protect yourself.
  • Be predictable. Ride your bike with the flow of traffic, ride straight, and don’t swerve between cars.
  • Stay alert. Avoid phone distractions. Keep one earbud out while riding if listening to music.
  • Keep in touch. Use hand and verbal signals with other riders and those on/around the road.
  • Light the night. When riding after sunset, it’s the law to use lights on your bike – white in front, red in the rear.
  • Keep it legal. Obey all traffic signs, lights, and laws. Remember, pedestrians always have the right of way.
  • Look twice. Drivers should always look twice for cyclists before turning left or right.

GObike has a variety of short videos on bike safety – be sure to check them out!

Community Events

GObike is the ultimate resource for all things bicycling in our region, connecting you to more than 30 different events across Buffalo and Niagara Falls during Bike Month.

Independent Health will be at the following GObike events with FREE giveaways, while supplies last:

  • May 3 – Bike Month Blastoff Party at GObike’s Headquarters (313 Broadway) | 5 - 7 p.m.
  • May 8 – Bike Breakfast #1 at Trinity Episcopal Church (371 Delaware Ave.) | 7:30 - 9:30 a.m.
  • June 5 – Bike to Work Week/Bike Breakfast #5 at Trinity Episcopal Church (371 Delaware Ave.) | 7:30-9:30 a.m.  

Follow GObike on Facebook, X (formerly known as Twitter) and Instagram for the latest updates on Bike Month events and more.

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No bike? No problem!

Reddy Bikeshare presented by Independent Health is an easy, affordable and fun way to get around. Now in its ninth season, there are 465 bikes at 110 stations across Buffalo and Niagara Falls, making it easy to commute to work, ride to school, visit your favorite park or take a leisurely roll. Wherever you go, it’s a great way to get healthy and explore our region by bike.

New this year, Reddy+ Bikes (electric pedal-assist bicycles) are now available! If you haven’t been on a bike in a while, now is the time – the e-bikes offer a battery-powered boost to help you move even farther with the power of your own body. 

Bikes are available now through October. Remember, Independent Health members receive discounts on annual memberships, and eligible members can use their Health ExtrasSM card to cover the cost.

Look for Reddy Bikeshare at various events this Bike Month with special discounts on memberships. You can also learn about the 100-Mile Challenge, offering prizes to those who ride 100+ miles on a Reddy bike this season.

Since 2016, Reddy Bikeshare helped those in Western New York travel more than 569,000 miles – the equivalent of almost 23 trips around the world – and burn 22.75 million calories!

Why Bicycling?

Do you want stronger legs, lower cholesterol, less stress, and maybe to lose some weight? Ride a bike!

Studies have shown that bicycling is good for your overall health – and because it’s a low-impact activity, almost anyone can do it.

Heare are our top five favorite reasons to ride a bike:

Maintain a Healthy Weight

Pedaling a bike can help you burn some serious calories and the more active you are, the less likely you are to get chronic conditions.

Build Muscle

Cycling uses all the major muscle groups as you pedal, engaging your lower body, upper body and core.

Save Money

Americans spend over $10,000 each year on car maintenance, gasoline, insurance payments and more. Win-win!

Mental Health Boost

Regular physical activity from biking can improve your mood, aid in better sleep, reduce depression/anxiety, improve cognitive brain function, and more.

It’s easy! 

Unlike some sports, cycling doesn’t require a high level of physical skill. Most people know how to ride a bike and, once you learn, you don’t forget.

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Check Out Outer Harbor!

Among the many places you can ride a bike in Western New York, we encourage you to check out Lakeside Bike Park presented by Independent Health. The park is open year-round for all to enjoy, offering different tracks and trails for riders of all ages and skill levels, as well as scenic views of the lake and cityscape. You can also ride along the Independent Health Wellness Trail – a 3.1 mile stretch from Lakeside Bike Park to Wilkeson Pointe* (a certified 5K route).

Did you know there is a Reddy Bikeshare station at Lakeside Bike Park and Canalside? And the Queen City Bike Ferry makes it even easier to get between the two locations! The ferry operates daily from Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day weekend.

If you’re headed to Terminal B for a concert this summer, skip the traffic and travel by bike – there’s a new bike corral available, courtesy of Independent Health.

*Please note: Wilkeson Pointe is closed for 2024 due to construction.

Save the Date

GObike's 10th annual SkyRide sponsored by Independent Health will be held Sunday, July 21, at Lakeside Bike Park. This family-friendly event offers a unique opportunity for riders of all ages to travel across the Skyway at a casual pace. All are welcome to stay for the Lakeside Bike Bash afterparty featuring food, live music, and more. Independent Health’s RedShirts will be there with FREE giveaways, while supplies last.New this year, GObike is planning additional events on Friday and Saturday leading up to the SkyRide on Sunday!

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Independent Health is proud to support and partner with community biking programs and events like GObike and Reddy Bikeshare. Together, we’re working to create a culture of health in Western New York by supporting recreation and exercise through bicycling.

It’s all just one more way Independent Health is Bringing Healthy to You this summer.