Dr. Marc Fineberg is a Buffalo dad who, like many in the region, was raised on pizza and wings.
There are times he still feels them calling his name at dinnertime. But these days, the sports medicine and active lifestyle physician with UBMD Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine, and team doctor with the Buffalo Sabres and Bills, eats those Western New York staples sparingly – and only after relieving some of the guilt with a bike ride.
Fineberg not only preaches to his patients the wisdom of low-impact fitness, including biking, he sets out on trips of up to 30 miles himself, three times a week.
“The goal isn’t just to get a quick fix to lose some weight and pound yourself into oblivion to get to that point. The goal is to maintain a certain cardiovascular level and certain weight level that isn’t stressing the joints in a way that’s going to shut them down and reverse all the benefits they’ve achieved,” said Fineberg, 48, also an orthopedic surgeon and clinical associate professor at the University at Buffalo Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences.
That’s why he mixes up his fitness routine. He bikes, mountain bikes, walks, and has an adaptive motion trainer – similar to an elliptical – in his house. He does weight training with low to moderate weight, higher repetitions and good form. Stationary biking, swimming, even walking in a pool, are other sound low-impact choices, Fineberg said.
“The ideal fitness program,” he said, “is a combination of low-impact exercise, resistance training – which helps build muscle and burn calories – and a realistic diet that’s sustainable.”
The great thing about biking this time of year is that you can enjoy it outdoors, Fineberg said, though it’s important to think about safety: Ride with traffic, know and follow vehicular traffic laws, wear a helmet.
It will be easier than ever to roll into fitness this year, said Henry Raess, event manager for GObike Buffalo, the region’s biking advocacy group.
“When some people get a price of $300 for a bike, they’re intimidated,” Raess said. “The amount that people spend in one month on their car could probably last them one to two years on their bicycle. It’s economical, it’s sustainable, it’s community friendly. It keeps you fit. You see the world at a human speed. You’re not just whizzing by it.”
Raess shared information about some of the top biking events coming up, as well as the biking clubs that also will keep fitness fans, bike enthusiasts and those who want to sample the regional bike culture happy during the coming months.
A movement to introduce bikers of all ages and skill levels to more corners of their communities started six years ago in Detroit and took hold in Buffalo last summer. Slow Roll Buffalo launched its second season of free rides this week with more than 2,000 bikers. Riders gather at 5:30 p.m. and rides start at 6:30 sharp each Monday through October. Each runs 8 to 10 miles over about 90 minutes. Bikers up to age 18 must be accompanied by an adult. Coming rides include those that start Monday outside the Oakk Room, 1435 Main St.; May 23 outside The Buffalo News, One News Plaza; Memorial Day, Buffalo Naval Park; June 6, Larkin Square; June 13, Hertel Avenue near Camden Avenue; June 20, Groove Lounge, 1210 Broadway; June 27, Resurgence Brewery, 1250 Niagara St.; July 4, Riverfest Park, 249 Ohio St.; July 11, Martin Luther King Jr. Park, off Humboldt Parkway; July 18, Artisan Kitchens and Baths, 200 Amherst St.; and July 25, Lackawanna Fire Station 3, 2990 South Park Ave. For more information on rides later in the season, visit slowrollbuffalo.org.
This group has put Buffalo biking on the map in more meaningful ways during the last decade. The group advocates for greater bike safety and more bike lanes across the city. Its Buffalo Community Shop, at 98 Colvin Ave., helps GObike members maintain their bikes from 6 to 9 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays and 1 to 5 p.m. Sundays through August. The group also lists at gobikebuffalo.org/events more than 50 events it and others have planned this year. They include:
Bike Trains: Four are scheduled next week for Bike to Work Week, including two on Friday, Bike to Work Day. “This is to encourage people who work downtown to give biking to work a try,” Raess said. “Those familiar with the routes lead the way and can assist you if you have any issues. Most of the rides are paired with a bicycle breakfast, so bicyclists get discounts, or free coffee and snacks.”
SkyRide: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. next Saturday, includes 10- or 25-mile rides through the city, including over the Skyway. Register at skyridebuffalo.org. Rates climb after Saturday.
What’s New in Buffalo by Bike Tour: Starts at 2 p.m. May 29 at the Tim Horton statue, Main Street and Marine Drive. Explore Buffalo tour costs $15, or $5 for students. Visit explore.buffalo.org or call 245-3032 for reservations for this and other bike tours through the summer.
Inaugural Central Terminator Race and Festival: June 3-5, Central Terminal, 495 Paderewski Drive, includes bike races around the terminal. For more info, visit centraltermin8er.com.
Ride for Roswell: To benefit Roswell Park Cancer Institute, 14 routes out of University at Buffalo North Campus, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. June 25. Learn more at rideforroswell.org.
Tour de Farms: The third Saturday of September, bikers have a chance to visit rural and urban farms, with plenty of biking in between. This year’s GObike event will be expanded, Raess said, though will still end with a gathering at Oles Family Farm in Alden.
Buffalo Bicycle Club: Those interested in bike racing can find this club at buffalobicycling.com.
Big Wheels Bicycle Club: This club offers bike tours, with a stop along the way, almost daily during good weather. Join at bigwheelsbikeclub.com.
Campus Cycling Collective: Campus Wheel Works, 744 Elmwood Ave., hosts Tuesday bike rides for all abilities starting at 5:45 p.m. Its collective also hosts Wednesday evening mountain bike rides at Sprague Brook Park in Glenwood. Learn more at campuswheelworks.com.
East Side Bike Ride/Club: This new club recently started meeting at noon Saturdays at the Martin Luther King Jr. statue in MLK Park for trips around the city.
Kidical Mass Buffalo: Family biking advocates Jesse Smith and Stacy Bisker established this club two years ago. Its next ride starts at 10 a.m. Sunday at the Delaware Park Rose Garden, behind the Albright-Knox Art Gallery. Learn more at facebook.com/KidicalMassBuffalo.
Meetup: The WNY Mountain Bike Meetup group, meetup.com/WNY-Mountain-Bike-Meetup, has Holiday Valley Trail work days scheduled Sunday and next Saturday.
Niagara Frontier Bicycle Club: The group offers members daily rides at an athletic pace. Learn more at nfbc.com.