Rochester Cycling Alliance unveils messaging campaign

Stock photo.

In the wake of the past year’s bike boom brought on by the pandemic, Reconnect Rochester and its biking arm, Rochester Cycling Alliance, are kicking off a new messaging campaign, “20 Minutes by Bike,” to help area residents visualize how quickly they can get to nearby destinations on bike. 

“I wanted to find a way to visualize just how quickly residents can get to nearby destinations on a bike,” said Jesse Peers, cycling coordinator. “Many people think of bicycles as a slow way of getting somewhere, but not when you’re talking about short distances in urban environments, particularly in small- to mid-size cities like Rochester.” 

Since half of Americans’ car trips are within 3 miles, the planning team settled upon 20 minutes as the "magic number" when biking to a destination is usually the same, or sometimes even faster, than driving. 

Reconnect Rochester’s series of custom “bike shed maps” for the area will be centered around a popular destination or hub of activity. 

Throughout the year, Reconnect Rochester will unveil a new “20 Minutes by Bike” map and an accompanying blog by a guest writer offering tips for navigating each map’s green area. These blogs will examine bikeability in Irondequoit, Brighton and Pittsford over the course of the series, along with tips for navigating to popular employment destinations like the University of Rochester and Rochester General Hospital. The campaign will continue in 2022 with more maps and bloggers. 

“Many people, at least at first, won’t consider the idea of bicycling to a far destination and that’s OK,” Peers said. “The goal of this campaign is to inspire residents to give biking a shot to nearby destinations. I tell people all the time, ‘even if some only biked for short solo trips in good weather, we’d live on a different planet.’

“Reconnect Rochester’s strength has always been inspiring people to get out of their cars, to give other modes of travel a shot and have fun doing it. We hope this campaign piques residents’ imaginations and gives them that little push to try biking to a nearby destination.”