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Bike Valet looks to ease downtown parking congestion during 350th birthday weekend

WESTFIELD – The Friends of the Columbia Greenway Rail Trail are teaming up with the Westfield 350 Committee and MassBike to provide an alternative to driving and parking a car in downtown Westfield during the 350th Birthday Weekend celebrations.

From 11 a.m.-5 p.m. on May 18 and 12-4 p.m. May 19, a bike valet service will be available at the north end of the south section of the Columbia Greenway, near the Main Street ramp and Stop & Shop.

Instead of driving downtown, the valet offers the option to ride a bike and park it with the Friends volunteers. It works just like a car valet: drop off your bike, get a ticket, return later with the ticket and pick up your bike.

The valet service is free, though donations to the Friends of the Columbia Greenway Rail Trail organization are welcome.

The Bike Valet is not the only event being hosted by the Friends of the Columbia Greenway Rail Trail organization during the big birthday weekend.

On Saturday, May 18 at 7:30 a.m., they are hosting an open-air yoga class on the Esplanade. The class is open to people of all experience levels. Participants are encouraged to bring their own mats, but the YMCA will have some to borrow, if needed. In case of rain, the class will be moved to the gym at the YMCA (67 Court St.). If there is a question, check the Friends of the Columbia Greenway Rail Trail Facebook and Instagram accounts, or call the YMCA at 568-8631 after 6:30 a.m. that day for the location.

From 9-10:30 a.m. on Saturday, the Friends are teaming up with the Westfield Police Cadets to host a Bike Rodeo. This is a children’s event, designed to help them ride safely and with confidence. New Horizon’s Bike will be on hand to help with bike repair basics. The Rodeo will be in the lots behind the YMCA, parents driving to the event are asked to park behind City Hall. All riders must wear a helmet to participate. There will be a limited number of bike helmets available for participants who need them.

Also on Saturday, gather your team and play the Trail Quest game. Start any time between 11 a.m.-1 p.m.. This game, designed to take 1-2 hours to complete, will have your team up on the Columbia Greenway solving puzzles and following clues to figure out the final puzzle. Prizes will be given out to the teams with the shortest Total Time at 3 p.m. Here’s the clue to the starting location: Your Quest begins where the Fast & Flat ends.

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