Warning: packs of leisurely pedaling bicyclists ahead.
The second full season of Slow Roll Buffalo will kick off May 8 making a push for the “right-sizing” of the Scajaquada and Kensington expressways.
Dubbed the “Parkway Revival Ride,” the event will shift to a Sunday to start things off, before returning to Mondays for the relaxed-pace rides that visit different parts of Buffalo each week.
Last year, the weekly events reached upwards of 2,000 participants during the peak summer sessions. Buffalo has the largest gatherings for the rides outside of Detroit, where they were founded, according to organizers.
“We’re thrilled that it’s grown as fast as it has,” said Seamus Gallivan, co-founder of Slow Roll Buffalo.
Organizers hoped to hold one of the Slow Rolls on the Scajaquada Expressway last October, but plans weren’t able to be finalized in time.
They agreed to opening their second season on a Sunday instead of a Monday after requests from state officials to hold the ride at a time with less traffic, since roads need to be closed.
Participants in the May 8 event will gather at the Marcy Casino in Delaware Park at noon. The approximately 10-mile ride starts at 1 p.m. It’s open to riders of all ages.
Guided by a Buffalo Police motorcade, bicyclists will head onto the Scajaquada and then down Humboldt Parkway, alongside the Kensington, at a pace of 8 to 10 mph.
The route will bring bicyclists back to the Marcy Casino for an afterparty with refreshments and live music.
Advanced registration is encouraged at slowrollbuffalo.org, but on-site registration will also be available. Participants only have to register once for the whole season.
About 20 Slow Rollers from Buffalo traveled to Detroit on Monday to help them kick off their season. A group from Detroit plans on coming to Buffalo for the May 8 kickoff, Gallivan said.
Everywhere these rides are done, they come with a vibe of reconnecting their city, according to organizers.
In Detroit, Slow Rolls last year drew around 5,000 people. Buffalo’s events still brought in about 1,000 bicyclists even as the weather cooled later in the year.
“The Parkway Revival Ride is only our first statement – while we continue to keep Slow Roll free and fun for all, we’re pushing this social event to take on social causes, with many more to come,” Tony Caferro, co-founder of Slow Roll Buffalo, said in a written statement.
Other organizations partnering for the kickoff ride are GObike Buffalo, the Scajaquada Corridor Coalition and the Restore Our Community Coalition.
The rest of the Slow Roll Buffalo season, with its Monday night events, run through Oct. 31.