LIVINGSTON, NJ — On the heels of National Bike Month in May, more than 300 Livingston residents—the highest number to date—participated in the West Essex YMCA’s fifth annual Bike Livingston on Sunday, where local families had an opportunity to ride together while learning Livingston’s safest bike routes just in time for summer.

With three routes ranging in length and difficulty, cyclists had the choice between the four, seven or eleven-mile route, all led by local volunteers. The Livingston Police Department was also on hand at the start of the day to ensure all helmets were secure and to remind riders to stay safe and how to use their hand signals.

Mayor Shawn Klein also addressed the crowd, thanking the YMCA for hosting the event and reiterating Bike Livingston’s purpose: to show residents that Livingston truly is a bike-friendly town. In fact, he said, the township passed a “complete street” policy only a few years ago to ensure that the Township of Livingston remains safe for not only cars, but for pedestrians and bicyclists as well.

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“Bike Livingston is great annual event,” said Klein. “The goal of Bike Livingston is to promote bicycle riding as a safe and environmentally friendly and healthy means of transportation. With bicyclists and pedestrians on the streets, the town is safer, it feels more alive, people are more healthy—and those are all things we’re trying to promote when we do Bike Livingston.”

Participants also enjoyed a presentation from bike-stunt professional Chris Clark, a Summit native who has attends the event each year to perform special tricks for Livingston residents.

West Essex YMCA Executive Director Helen Flores said Bike Livingston is an event where families can enjoy their “beautiful town” while also enjoying a family-friendly, heart-healthy activity.

“This event is a wonderful example of the community coming together,” said YMCA Assistant Executive Director Francione. “The Y is very happy to facilitate it.”

The Y also thanked Bike Livingston sponsors Cycle Craft Bicycle Stores, CPG Interactive.com, Eastman Companies, the Healthy Community Healthy Initiative of Livingston, Inc., Regal Bank, RWJ Barnabas Health and ShopRite of Livingston. Livingston Bagel and Farmers Market also provided riders with free snacks following the completion of their ride. 

TAPinto Livingston thanks Russ Jones, acting township manager for the Township of Livingston, for providing photos from this event.