Buffalo has just been named one of the nation’s best “bicycle-friendly” communities, but it became less friendly Tuesday night for the head of the city’s major bicycle promotion organization.
A Schwinn World Sport owned by Justin Booth, executive director of GOBike Buffalo, was stolen from the bike rack in the Innovation Center at the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus at 640 Ellicott St., where the 5-year-old, 400-member organization’s offices are headquartered.
Booth gave Buffalo police the building surveillance pictures of an approximately 6-foot tall man who took the recently renovated bike out of the inner building ramp, which does not provide locks. Booth said he noticed that the bike, “My car,” was missing when he left his office at about 5 p.m.
On his Facebook page, Booth told the approximately 3,000 followers of his organization about the theft of his “Old school Schwinn World Sport with a brown brooks saddle” and the new wheels, rims and drive train he just installed.
The loss of his $1,000 bike “is frustrating” but is part of what Booth called “the rampant” theft of bikes taking place throughout the city.
Police plan to publicly post videos of the theft.
Booth said the thief may have problems riding the bike or selling it because it was specially engineered to accommodate his 6-foot, 9-inch frame.
In mid-October, the League of American Bicyclists named Buffalo a Bronze Bicycle-Friendly Community in recognition of the city’s commitment to improving conditions for bicycling through investment in bicycling promotion, education programs, infrastructure and pro-bicycling policies.
According to census figures released by the league, Buffalo ranks 14th in the nation for total number of bicycle commuters.
Booth’s organization is promoting cycling for the sport’s health, environmental and quality-of-life benefits for the local community.