On Saturday, Oct. 20, more than 40 local bicyclists of all ages participated in a ride to the Oak Grove MBTA station as part of the first Melrose Cycles! event.
The event, also attended by about 60 cycling enthusiasts who did not make the ride, was organized by the Melrose Energy Commission and the Melrose Public Health Department’s Mass in Motion program in an effort to make the City more “bike friendly.”
“Cycling is great exercise and a convenient way to get around town,” said Mayor Rob Dolan, who attended the event and addressed the cyclists prior to their ride to Oak Grove.
“In a small community like ours, a bicycle is often more convenient than a car. It offers health benefits, costs nothing to ride, and eliminates the problem of parking.
“I commend the MBTA for establishing a bicycle storage area at Oak Grove and putting bike racks on their buses. Both these actions will help make cycling easier and reduce pressure on the MBTA parking lots.”
Sponsors also included MassBike, Bike to the Sea and Malden is Moving. Representatives from these organizations had tables at the event, offering cycling tips and answering questions. Dolan welcomed the cyclists prior to the 11:30 a.m. ride to Oak Grove.
“This is the first step in organizing a committee to help bicyclists in Melrose,” said MEC Co-chair Ellen Katz. “Bicycling is great for fitness and helps the environment. The City has started the process by installing bike racks on Main Street.
“We’d like to develop good bike routes, teach people about bike safety and demonstrate that biking is a viable alternative to commuting by car.”
Thanks to Malden is Moving, several dozen bicycle helmets were given away.
At Oak Grove, MBTA Project Director Erik Scheier gave a tour of the new bike storage facility, answered questions and demonstrated the new bike racks on MBTA buses.
Melrose’s Mass in Motion initiative is funded by a grant from the Centers for Disease Control through the Mass. Dept of Public Health.