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Letter: Slow Roll merits praise for community building

Slow Roll merits praise for community building

I would like to express my opinion and the facts I know regarding the Slow Roll Monday night bicycle tours in Buffalo. This community event was recently criticized by an employee of a local hospital that was on the path of one of Slow Roll’s weekly bike tours. The group aims to visit areas of the city not necessarily visited by those within and on the outskirts of the community. This event is meant to highlight these communities and provide a pleasant group activity to people willing to hop on their bike for a leisurely ride.

As a longtime employee of the same hospital, I would like to praise Slow Roll for its commitment to the city and the tremendous effort and organization it takes every week to safely escort over 1,000 citizen riders of varying age and skill. The route is marked by local signage in advance of the event, Buffalo Police are part of the escort and permits have been obtained. There are trained volunteers to assist in emergencies with riders and for on-site repair of their bicycles. Monitors will also assist people in the community with finding alternate paths to bypass the bicyclists or they will stop the bicycle traffic when safe to do so. The route is also scouted out and assessed days in advance by the volunteers. The organizers are well aware of the rules and responsibilities regarding emergency vehicles.

Last Monday night I was called to the hospital for an emergency. As I was driving down Main Street, I noted the lineup for the start of Slow Roll. At the front of the line were several police officers. I felt confident I would be able to enlist their help, if needed, to get to my destination.

I think we can all step back one Monday out of 52 a year for Slow Roll to ride through our neighborhood.

Gail Diefendorf


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