My hat is off to the Southern Tier Bicycle League for its efforts in creating a free bike-sharing program in Watkins Glen and Chemung County.
This is a super program that will help those of us in the beautiful Finger Lakes region of the Southern Tier get out on the roads to enjoying biking.
Here is a news report on the bicycle-sharing program:
Bike Share Program Urges Neighbors to Get Out on Two Wheels
Reported by: Jenelle Tortorella
Elmira, N.Y. – One Chemung County group is working to get you off the couch and out exploring your neighborhood.
The Southern Tier Bicycle League unveiled a new bicycle share program. It makes bikes available to neighbors and visitors in the Southern Tier for free.
The Southern Tier Bicycle League has opened a bike share in the City of Elmira. With four adult bikes and five children’s bikes, the program gives neighbors and visitors the chance to ride through the Southern Tier, free of charge.
“It’s cheaper, you’re using less gas, and you’re able to get out and enjoy yourself,” said Kent Goben, the Southern Tier Bicycle League President.
This is the second bike share to come to the Southern Tier; the League opened the first one at the Village Marina in Watkins Glen last fall. There are two adult bikes and four children’s bikes there.
The bike pool provides two wheels to anyone who is interested, all you need to do is sign out a bike, buckle up your helmet, and return the bicycle by dark.
The creators of the bike pool said this service isn’t just a way to encourage you to get out and about, but it provides visitors to the area an alternative way to explore the Southern Tier.
“We have transients come in by boat and their only means of getting downtown to check out what we have to offer is by foot,” said Village Marina General Manager Mike Schamel. “There are a lot of nice places to visit near here like Watkins Glen, and the Catherine Trail. That’s a long way to walk by foot, but if you had a bike, you could check [those places] out.”
“I’ll advertise [the bike share] on my website and Facebook, that we have the ability to give our guests free bikes to use to go through the Historic District. Many people come to this area just for that reason; this way, they can stop and look at the houses and really enjoy it,” said Butch Monroe, the owner of the Painted Lady in Elmira.
The business owners said having the bike share is an extra incentive they can offer their customers.
The program is a first come, first serve basis, but you can reserve the bikes ahead of time.
If you’re interested, you can call 607-733-6798 for the Elmira bike share, and 607-546-8505 for the Watkins Glen bike share.
To learn more about the Southern Tier Bicycle League, click here.
The site includes some great information, including a local schedule of events, safety information and many great links. Check it out!