Summer is here, and Clarence Hollow Farmers’ Market is in full swing. With the warm weather come another sign of summer, and Market Rides returns Saturday June 12th for a third season. Presented by Tom’s Pro Bike, Market Rides is a 16-week series of free group bike rides. Participants meet up at the Bike-Friendly Booth at the Farmers’ Market (10717 Main Street) every Saturday at 9:30am with the ride departing at 10am on a different route each week.
The weekly series, which runs through September 25th, is designed to promote a bike-friendly Main Street. Rides are escorted by volunteers, who keep the group together and moving as they wind through neighborhoods and along more rural stretches through open spaces. “You don’t have to be a serious cyclist to join us,” says Noel Dill of Discover Main Street, “you just need a bike in good repair and be able to ride independently at a 10-13 mile average speed.”
This is Clarence, of course, so there will be a hill or two along the way. In fact there’s always some type of hill at the beginning, since the Market sits at the bottom of the Clarence Hollow. “The good news is it’s downhill at the end” says Dill, grinning.
The group rides kept going last year through the pandemic, and this year looks to grow substantially as interest in the two-wheeled sport has surged. One category of bike in particular has been ebikes, which helps riders go farther, faster and climb hills with confidence. The latest generation of ebikes are lighter, sleeker and in some cases nearly indistinguishable from a standard bicycle.
Along with the rides, Tom’s Pro Bike will be on hand offering ebike demos to help educate the public on the capabilities of these new machines.
The Bike-Friendly Booth will also have information on cycling advocacy and other group rides in the Buffalo area. Riders are encouraged to come early and do some shopping at the Market. The Clarence Hollow Farmers’ Market has the distinction of being New York’s first rails-to-trails farmers’ market.