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Local News -

May 11, 2010

Outdoor biking program starts in city

Staff Report

ONEONTA _ An outdoor biking program Tuesday nights has begun in Oneonta.

The group meets at the Brenner Recreational Center near Hodges Pond in Neahwa Park at 5 p.m. Last week's first outing will be followed by a ride today.

The outings will be informal gatherings designed to develop the pleasure of bicycling, David Hutchison, chairman of the Oneonta City Environmental Board, said Monday.

Hutchison said six bikers met last week. They left the park and rode along River Street out to the town of Oneonta and into West Oneonta, he said. The distance was about 10 miles, he said, and took perhaps 60 to 90 minutes.

However, the routes and lengths of the rides are flexible, depending on interests and abilities, Hutchison said. Also, times may be adjusted depending on work schedules and longer-lit summer nights, he said.

Participants should bring a bicycle and helmet, Hutchison said, and younger riders should be accompanied by an adult. Safety is a priority in the biking activities, he said.

Similar rides were held several years ago, Hutchison said, and discussion during the Oneonta Environmental Board meetings prompted restarting the outings.

``The idea is to get people to feel comfortable (biking) on city streets and in the country,'' Hutchison said. Formal instruction may be provided later during the summer on rules of the road, he said.

For more information, call Hutchison at 432-2236. Decisions about rides in the case of bad weather will be made by 4 p.m., he said.

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