Ice bikes rock!
The clever contraptions put Buffalo on the National Geographic Traveler magazine's "101 Reasons to Travel Now" last October. Then they starred in Katie Couric's Buffalo's Big Comeback piece on Yahoo News in January. They have made appearances on Yahoo Travel, in the Boston Globe, and in the Huffington Post.
Now they are being featured on The Today Show, bookending Dylan Dreyer rides an 'Ice Bike' and checks out a winter wonderland, an "ice segment" that starts and ends on the rink at Rockefeller Center, taped live today (February 25, 2016). You can't buy this kind of publicity.
Ice bike inventor, Lisa Florczak, has been quoted as saying she "thought I might end up being the laughingstock of the city" when she first morphed Water Bikes of Buffalo's pontoon bikes that riders have been pedalling on the Buffalo River for several years, into ice bikes.
The story goes that when she caught wind of Canalside's search for fun things to do on the immense, new rinks, she bought a bike off the rack at Wal-Mart and worked with General Welding and Fabricating in Elma on a design. The finished product is a 26-inch bike that sits on a rectangular base with a duller blade replacing the front wheel. They ride like a regular bicycle, but balance is not required, making them a great way to enjoy the ice even for those who are not great on skates.
I hope some industrious viewer saw the Winter Wonderland in New Jersey that Dreyer visited in between spins on the ice bike and find the time and energy to do a similar indoor ice park here in WNY. Remember, we are embracing winter.
Buffalo used to be thought of as cold. Now it's cool. Thanks, Lisa!