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Leading the charge for healthy living

Paul Maurer loves what he sees happening downtown.

Maurer, a radio ad sales worker who launched Re-Tree WNY after the October Surprise storm in 2006, also is leading his fourth annual Buffalo Living Tour from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. Handlebar at the Hub, a bike shop and gastro pub at Swan and Elm streets, will serve as headquarters for the free, public tour designed to show off condos, suites and lofts that have repopulated renovated buildings. Maps of seven sites will be available at Handlebar and online at buffalolivingtour.net. Trolleys will be available, but organizers encourage two other modes of transportation.

“For the first three years, we encouraged people to walk the route, which we thought would be a good way to see the progress of downtown, the architecture, so we aligned ourselves with the Wellness Institute of Greater Buffalo,” Maurer said. “This year, the fact we’re in the Handlebar at the Hub, we figured, let’s add a bike element.”

GoBike Buffalo helped map out a route using mostly bike lanes.

Q. You’ve calculated the biking benefit of the tour?

If 1,000 people biked the route, there’d be 6,300 fewer pounds of carbon in the air. I figured, too, the average person, who weighs about 175 pounds, would burn 238 calories on the 7½-mile tour.

Q. Talk about the health benefits for those who’ve decided to move into the downtown core.

There are a lot of benefits to walking rather than driving your car everywhere. There’s the cardiovascular fitness, better joint mobility. You’re not dealing with the stress of driving in traffic. If you’re parking your car, you’re really doing a big favor for everybody else keeping the atmosphere more clear. The average car gives out 8,320 pounds of carbon per year. That’s 4 tons of greenhouse gas floating in the atmosphere, a staggering amount.

Q. What’s the must-see stop on this year’s tour that most symbolizes a healthy lifestyle?

The Apartments at the Hub is the most indicative. If you want to be green and sustainable in not only philosophy but in health and fitness, it’s probably the place to be.

– Scott Scanlon