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2020 Buffalo Slow Roll is a “Reimagined Ride”

Buffalo’s beloved Slow Roll is set to roll later today, as a “Reimagined Ride.” In order to pull of The Roll, organizers have been working with Centers for Disease Control (CDC), to ensure the utmost safety of the cyclists. 

This summer seems “off” for a whole lot of reasons. No festivals, no concerts… no Slow Rolls. But that’s all about to change, as Slow Roll Buffalo’s Reimagined Ride embarks from Babeville (341 Delaware Avenue) later today (Monday, August 3) at 6:30pm. 

“We are so excited to finally begin connecting communities in person again, after months of discussing, researching, and practicing the best possible ways to resume our rides,” said Dr. Karen Huffman, a Slow Roll Buffalo board member, longtime volunteer, and PhD in infectious disease. “Although this season is going to look different than others, please be assured that we are working hard, as always and more so now, to keep everyone safe while riding. This includes meeting and exceeding what the County and the State are requiring for public gatherings at this stage of the pandemic.”

As New York State continues to slowly and safely reopen, Slow Roll organizers felt that it was time to bring back the highly anticipated weekly event, while meeting or exceeding all CDC requirements. The weekly bike ride, presented in partnership with Independent Health, is free and open to all. 

Phase 4 of “New York Forward” state mandate requires a maximum of 50 people at gatherings. Therefore, Slow Roll organizers knew that they needed to get creative when it came to hosting the ride. The following rules and regulations* have been drafted up, to ensure the safety of all participating cyclists:

  • Staggered start times as required, ensuring that attendees ride in groups of 50 or less
  • The ride will end in a different location than it began, not roundtrip
  • Pace and distance faster and longer than usual, with no scheduled stops for regrouping and speakers
  • The ride will be self-supported, with no “SAG” support and gear before or during
  • Participants and their bikes should be prepared to ride immediately upon arrival, and maintain safe distance from those outside of their own household while waiting to ride
  • No police motorcade – riders will share the road
  • Mandatory covering of mouth and nose for the entirety of the ride
  • No afterparty – Slow Roll squad will disperse at the end of the ride

The Buffalo Slow Roll has become a ceremonial rite of summer passage. Bringing back The Roll, even in a limited capacity, is an attempt to bring back a semblance of normalcy, during a time when the world seems upside down. While it’s important to stay safe during this pandemic, it’s also important to stay healthy. Whether you rock this Roll or not, be sure to get outdoors and get some exercise – walk, bike, run, do yoga at the park… staying fit is one way that we can all benefit during these uncertain times.

*All measures subject to change as part of continued commitment to public safety and consultation with public health leaders

Those unable to participate include anyone showing symptoms of (coughing, shortness of breath, fever of over 100.4), a positive test for, recently exposed (within 14 days) to COVID-19, or within the 14-day quarantine requirement after traveling to New York from states with significant community spread – please see the NYS Travel Restriction website for a current list of affected states.

Future rides will be announced weekly, and the Virtual Slow Roll that started online in May will continue with scenes from Monday’s ride guided by Slow Roll Squad and fellow community stakeholders. For one-time annual registration and more information, please visit

Written by queenseyes


Newell Nussbaumer is 'queenseyes' - Eyes of the Queen City and Founder of Buffalo Rising. Co-founder Elmwood Avenue Festival of the Arts. Co-founder Powder Keg Festival that built the world's largest ice maze (Guinness Book of World Records). Instigator behind Emerald Beach at the Erie Basin Marina. Co-created Flurrious! winter festival. Co-creator of Rusty Chain Beer. Instigator behind Saturday Artisan Market (SAM) at Canalside, Buffalo Porchfest, and Paint vs. Paint. Founder of The Peddler retro and vintage market on Elmwood. Instigator behind Liberty Hound @ Canalside. Throws The Witches Ball at Statler City, the Hertel Alley Street Art Festival, and The Flutterby Festival.

Contact Newell Nussbaumer |

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