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Cycling advocates are using this year's Bike Week to show off new routes, trails, and more

Cyclists in single file, wearing helmets, riding on a sidewalk along the Genesee River with a stone arch bridge
Max Schulte
Cyclists ride along the Genesee River.

An annual celebration of all things bicycle in the Rochester area kicks off Friday.

Rochester Bike Week runs through May 19, and each day features group rides and events not just in the city, but in all corners of Monroe County. They range from the Arnett Block Association bike clinic on May 11 to the Hamlin Hustle 24-mile ride on May 18.

Reconnect Rochester coordinates Bike Week, though individual groups organize each event. Jesse Peers, cycling manager for Reconnect Rochester, said it’s like the Super Bowl for the local bicycling community.

“It's just an opportunity to get folks back on bikes who perhaps haven't been on a bike in a while to show them how welcoming the bike community is here, to show off recent bicycle investments,” Peers said. “And we're naturally blessed anyway with some gorgeous trails that people come from all over the world to ride on.”

Since last year’s Bike Week, the city and county have each completed their first active transportation plans. Those documents lay out strategies for the local governments to plan and invest in infrastructure for bicyclists, scooter users, pedestrians, wheelchair users, and other forms of human-powered transportation.

The League of American Bicyclists has ranked Rochester as a bronze-level Bicycle Friendly Community, a designation it has held for more than a decade.

That means that Rochester and Monroe County still have a lot of work to do to make their roadways bike- and pedestrian-friendly, Peers said. But he added that both are devoting more effort and funds to the cause.

Peers pointed specifically to the bike lane that Monroe County put on Elmwood Avenue from South Goodman Street to Brighton’s Twelve Corners last year as one key advancement. It's the first bike lane the county installed on a road it controls.

“In the next decade, we're really in a position here to be the best biking community in the Great Lakes,” Peers said. “It's within our reach if we want it.”

Bike Week begins at 7 p.m. Friday with the Light Up the Night ride. It starts at the Elmwood Avenue sports complex in Genesee Valley Park and covers nine miles, all on the city’s growing bicycle boulevard system. The bike boulevards are routes through neighborhood streets intended to provide a low-stress alternative to riding on the city’s busy arterial streets.

It ends May 19 with the Flower Pedal Populaire, organized by the Keeping it Classy Cycling Club. The Populaire is a “fancy-summery-dress themed ride,” according to the club. It starts at 11 a.m. at Lake Riley Lodge in Cobbs Hill Park and will proceed at a leisurely pace through and around the city, including a break at a park for a picnic lunch.

A full schedule of events is available at

Jeremy Moule is a deputy editor with WXXI News. He also covers Monroe County.