Niagara Gazette — For those who haven't ridden on two wheels in a while, there is no longer an excuse not to check out the bike paths along the river.
A new business called "Preview the Falls" has opened at 6720 Buffalo Ave., and there are 20 different bikes to choose from for children and adults.
Owner Gregory Smalko is particularly proud of his bikes, all cruisers designed for comfort with large, cushioned seats.
"Everything is brand new," he added, noting that the bikes come equipped with saddlebags, water bottle holders and helmets.
The bike rental location is across the street from the city's new LaSalle Park, near the south Grand Island bridge. An entrance to the bike path which leads to the falls is nearby as well, so tourists can ride along the Niagara River to Niagara Falls State Park.
Smalko, who has been handing out brochures to all the motels and hotels in the city and is available on Facebook while he creates a website, is a bicyclist himself, and rides the bike path often. Opening the business in June was a dream he'd had for years.
Mayor Paul Dyster visited Smalko's location recently and was happy to see a bike rental business in LaSalle. "I think it's a great idea," he said.
"Not everybody owns a bike and not everyone who does wants to carry it on their car when they go on vacation," he added. "It's a service that has to be offered in a tourism economy."
Dyster, who on a recent vacation rented bikes with his family, noted that the rental shop's proximity to the bike trail is a plus. "Families are much more interested in using a dedicated bike trail, because they don't have to worry about cars. It makes the whole affair so much more relaxing."