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The Story Behind A BFA: The Stony Brookside Bed & Bike Inn
Since the Bicycle Friendly America program began, we’ve seen so many amazing applications come our way from communities, businesses, and universities across the country. On our map, you can find every current award we’ve bestowed, but what’s a little harder to capture are the things that make each business or community or university so inspiring. So, we set up a way for the advocates behind the awards to tell us more about the people on the ground building a Bicycle Friendly America for everyone. Let us know which BFA champion should be next on the blog »
Today, meet Bicycle Friendly Business (BFB) The Stony Brookside Bed & Bike Inn in Stony Brook, New York. Stony Brookside Bed & Bike Inn renewed its Gold-level Bicycle Friendly Business award in our Spring 2022 round and takes pride in being Long Island’s first bed and bike inn — lodging that’s the perfect fit for those who want to explore Long Island’s North Shore by bicycle.
In addition to advocating for the advancement of New York’s bicycle tourism, innkeepers Martin & Elyse Buchman happily lead guests on guided bike tours, assist them in planning self-guided tours and provide complimentary bikes for guests. Read more about their story (and get ready to start dreaming about your next cycling vacation or business venture!)
WHAT DOES THIS AWARD MEAN FOR YOUR BUSINESS?
It is the pinnacle of everything that we are about. We are a bed and breakfast that was established to promote bicycle tourism. Everything in the Inn is oriented toward making the cyclist feel that the business was created with a cyclist in mind. We believe that cyclists should not have to "bikesplain" when they come to lodging. There should be indoor bicycle parking, tools and pumps, a nutritious breakfast, degreasing wipes, cycling routes to the next destination and caring hosts who have been there and done that when it comes to cycling.
WHAT MADE YOU DECIDE TO APPLY TO THE BICYCLE FRIENDLY BUSINESS PROGRAM?
We have been a part of the League for some time, and we saw the award as the consummate confirmation of our commitment to cycling tourism.
HOW HAS BIKE CULTURE AT YOUR BICYCLE FRIENDLY BUSINESS GROWN SINCE YOUR FIRST AWARD IN 2017?
Each year the percentage of guests who come to our Inn exclusively to cycle has increased and often our guests who did not know each other before they arrived sit around the breakfast table and share cycling stories. We could have made a fortune promoting our business as a wedding venue but that would not have provided the sense of pride and self-worth that we have promoting a space for cyclists.
What Is The Biggest Bicycle-Friendly Advancement Your Bicycle Friendly Business Has Made?
Our advocacy for building a rail trail in the area has come to fruition and the North Shore Rail Trail, Long Island's first rail trail, is opening this weekend. Since the announcement of federal funding in 2016, we have been an advocacy force at every stage. Marty spoke in front of the Suffolk County legislature multiple times, appeared at all community meetings, has been a consultant on the County Executive's Hike Bike Master Plan and we have been invited to cut the ribbon at every stage of trail development. We have ridden the trail both before and during every stage of development, and finally rode in triumph on our road bikes this spring!
We also host a yearly fundraising ride for over 100 riders that raises money for the New York Bicycle Coalition and recently, we celebrated the signing of New York’s first 3-foot safe passage law in Suffolk County!
Anything You’re Looking Forward To In 2022?
We will be holding our 7th Annual NYBC (New York Bicycling Coalition) CycleNY Ride in October, which attracts over 125 riders each year from the state and features 25 and 50-mile local routes that we design. For future projects, one project we are super excited about is the potential construction of a trail across the Great South Bay over the Robert Moses Causeway. This will connect the existing Ocean Bay Greenway with a mainland terminus in Suffolk County. Additionally, we are also working tirelessly with the support from the Trust for Public Land (TPL) to get the Empire State Trail extended to Long Island. Our commitment to bicycling tourism extends way beyond our business.
If you would like to see your story on our blog or on our social media, share your journey to being better for people who bike with us now, and if you would like to see your business earn the League’s Bicycle Friendly Business designation, apply today at apply.bikeleague.org or learn more at bikeleague.org/business. Applications for our fall round of BFB awards are due by November 3, 2022, at 11:59 pm PT.