It's become a rite of spring in New York's Capital City: "Bike To Work Day."
Highlighting alternative methods of transportation to get to work is the point of Bike to Work Day.
Keeping with tradition, Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan assumed position as "leader of the pack" of downtown-bound cyclists. "Today I'm going to be riding one of the CDPHP cycles, thanks to CDTA we have bikes as an option here across the city and really across the region. We're over here on Clinton Avenue to highlight the fact that we have a bike lane that runs all the way down Clinton Avenue and provides, you know, a safe way for people to bike to work and to cycle here in the city."
National Bike To Work Day is celebrated on the third Friday in May, and Sheehan says cycling has really caught on in Albany. "The CDPHP cycle has been tremendously successful. They've exceeded the number of subscribers that they expected to have and I see people riding them from literally all walks of life in every neighborhood. And that's the other reason that we're here on Clinton Avenue. You know a lot of people think that cycling is just for, you know, sort of an elite class. We see people, I see people cycling all the time. It's an important mode of transportation and option for every neighborhood in the city."
- USING BIKE SHARE: If you want to ride one of the bikes from CDPHP Cycle! they are available on the corner of Ontario and Clinton and at other locations around the city. (To rent a bike, you need to register first at https://cdphpcycle.com/)
- National Bike to Work Day originated in 1955 by the League of American Bicyclists and is endorsed by the American Medical Association. The event is part of National Bike Month.
Fellow Democrats, State Assemblymembers Pat Fahy and John McDonald, stopped by the West Hill Firehouse to help send off the cyclists. "My bike is on my car right now because I'm racing out to Delmar for the Mohawk Hudson Land Conservancy Bike to Work Day. I think it's great that we have bike to work events all over. This is a great reminder, even if the weather isn't the best today, but it's a great reminder that spring and summer are truly here and we've got to take advantage of all of these modes of transportation."
McDonald says electric bicycles are in vogue as an environmentally sustainable form of transportation. He is one of several legislators pushing to legalize them in New York. "It's met some resistance particularly in New York City, because of the fact of the potential for the speeds that these bikes can attain, and that's something that has to be factored into the discussion. As much as we'd like to see some movement this year, as the remaining weeks of session are starting to dwindle, I think it's becoming less likely."
Nevertheless, CDPHP's Cycle! program has taken off throughout the region. Carm Basile is CEO of the Capital District Transportation Authority, which administers the program. "Bikes are an additional connection. Bikes and buses go together, and in fact we're seeing that people use bikes to get to bus stops and then to get to their final destination. We promote using ride-sharing, we promote using cabs. People don't have to use their car, especially now that they have all these choices, it's actually less to think about, less to plan. So we're moving toward sort of this seamless mobility program."
The Bike To Work Day cyclists pedaled down Clinton Avenue, along the first bike lanes striped in the city, and then made a right on Broadway, finishing at an espresso bar before going to their respective workplaces.