By Himanee Gupta-Carlson
Saratoga’s Bikeatoga group encourages people to get out of their cars and onto their bikes in the spirit of easing traffic as well as promoting good health, fitness, and fun. Now, the organization is partnering with the Saratoga Farmers’ Market to bring more bicycling enthusiasts this summer to High Rock Park.
Starting tomorrow, market goers will be able to buy a $5 Bicycle Benefits sticker at the market shed. These stickers will entitle purchasers to a $2 coin redeemable at a vendor’s stall of their choice each time they visit the market via bicycle.
The partnership brings the market into the community’s Bicycle Benefits program, a project that Bikeatoga’s Ian Klepetar founded in Saratoga about a decade ago. That project has since expanded nationwide. Its goal, says Klepetar, is to help build safer and healthier communities via bikes.
“Getting more people to realize their great ability to move with their own power is meaningful in a number of ways,” says Klepetar. “It creates a way to address the city’s biggest issues: safer streets, healthier humans, and noise, visual, and air pollution caused by vehicular traffic.”
The Saratoga Farmers’ Market shares similar health goals, which makes joining the Bicycle Benefits program a natural fit.
“Our vendors will benefit from having more bikers at the market,” says market administrator Julia Howard. “And by giving people an incentive to bicycle to the market, we will be able to ease traffic around High Rock Park.”
How Bicycle Benefits works is simple. Bicyclists affix their stickers to their helmets. Then, when they visit the market on Wednesdays and Saturdays, they can stop by the market shed at the south end of the High Rock pavilion and show the sticker to a market staff member or volunteer on duty. One $2 coin will be offered per day.
Those who purchase Bicycle Benefits stickers at the market also will be able to obtain discounts at other businesses who participate in the program.
Market regulars who live outside Saratoga can participate even if biking from home isn’t feasible by parking away from downtown where congestion is less and biking into the market.
The Saratoga Farmers’ Market is 3-6 p.m. Wednesdays and 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturdays at High Rock Park. Find us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and check us out on the FreshFoodNY app. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for volunteer opportunities.