GEDP Promotes Pedal Power with New Incentives & Amenities
May is National Bike Month, and for those thinking of dusting off their wheels for a ride to work or trip to the Easton Farmers’ Market, the bike ride just got a whole lot sweeter. The nonprofit Greater Easton Development Partnership (GEDP) has been adding amenities for cycling commuters and recreational cyclists over the years, and will be promoting pedal power throughout its programs and festivals.
“Downtown Easton is already a convenient stop for cyclists using the Karl Stirner Arts Trail or the D&L Trail, but we’re hoping these amenities will encourage neighbors and visitors to ride here and spend the day enjoying all that the city has to offer,” said Jared Mast, executive director-GEDP.
Pedal Power Rewards
Not only is bike riding good for the planet and for your health, but it could actually earn you rewards at Easton Public Market. Starting this month, wear or show a helmet at the Highmark Farmstand and get a free piece of fruit (apple or banana).
When visitors stop by Scratch with a helmet, they’ll be able to join the Mug Club free of charge (typically a $150 entrance fee!) Club members receive $1 off drafts at Scratch and the ShawneeCraft Brewing Company Taproom in Shawnee-on-the-Delaware, as well as discounts on Shawnee gear and swag. Cyclists just need to provide an email address to sign up for the Scratch newsletter to be entered into the club for the first year. The Mug Club has a $25 annual fee for those who wish to renew.
Repairs on the go
Easton Public Market (EPM) has also added a bicycle repair and wash station and bike pump on the Church Street side of the building, to complement its existing pump and bike racks. Cyclists can also refill water bottles inside, and refuel with healthy snacks and juices throughout the market. Upgrades like this helped the market to become one of 43 businesses nationally named in 2021 to the League of American Bicyclists’ Bike-Friendly Businesses. Locally, EPM also earned an official Trail-Friendly Business classification by the D&L in 2021.
Those looking to bike to work for Bike to Work Week (May 17-23) or Bike to Work Day (May 21), can utilize the 10 artist-designed bike racks throughout Downtown Easton — some shaped as pumpkins, others as colorful sculptures. The bike rack program started in 2009 and to date Easton Main Street Initiative has installed 10 specialty bike racks throughout town.
Easton Farmers’ Market (9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays, Larry Holmes Drive) launched a bicycle valet at the market this month where cyclists can park their bikes in a supervised corral for free while they shop the market.
GEDP is also partnering with Community Bike Works, an Allentown-based youth organization that encourages a love of cycling through its signature Earn a Bike program. The City of Easton reached out to Community Bike Works in 2020 to discuss a possible expansion into Easton. GEDP purchased 921 Spruce St. to house Community Bike Works, as well as GEDP’s Easton Ambassadors and Easton Garden Works. Programming for Community Bike Works is slated to begin later this year.
“2020 made us rediscover and appreciate the outdoor recreation areas throughout Easton,” said Megan McBride, Easton Market District Director. “With the market’s new riverfront location, and the welcome addition of the staff of Hearst’s Bicycling Magazine and soon Community Bike Works, we’ve noticed an influx of riders and wanted to offer amenities for them.”
McBride hopes the new incentives encourage EFM customers to make Saturdays their new shopping days by parking their bikes at the riverfront and filling their baskets as they explore the shops and restaurants throughout Easton. The new Market Rewards program encourages EFM customers to stop by the Info or Merch tents each week to pick up that day’s Market Reward. The rewards offer a coupon or freebie at a select Downtown Easton retailer. Supplies are limited and deals are valid for that Saturday.