Yesterday was Colorado’s annual Bike to Work Day, which “probably makes it the safest day of the year to pedal to the office,” writes David Sachs for StreetsBlog Denver. On Bike to Work Day last year, in Denver alone, the number of bicycle commuters rose from an average daily estimated 18,000 riders to a whopping estimated 30,000, according to the Denver Regional Council of Governments (DRCOG), as Sachs reports.
Because more people were riding bikes, there may have been 25,000 fewer motorists on the roads, DRCOG said, as Sachs writes. On its Facebook page, WayToGo (a regional partnership between DRCOG and a group of transportation managements associations) cautioned drivers to look out for bicyclists: “Have a great ride in this morning, if you’re biking–if you’re not, please be extra-vigilant on the roads today!”
Everyone was looking out for cyclists yesterday. The Colorado Department of Health and Environment issued an ozone alert until 4 p.m., urging cyclists to “please take it slow and easy on your ride home and make sure you bring water or stop at a water aid station if needed.” In Colorado Springs, the first 1,000 participants in the city’s 22d annual Mountain Metro Rides Bike to Work Day were given a commemorative pin good for discounts and special offers around town, as The Gazette reported. Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers was among the bike commuters.
Safety is important on the roads at all times, and especially when bicyclists are present. WayToGo notes that the Denver Zoo encourages its employees to provide classes to the public on Bicycling Traffic safety. The zoo also provides free resources for all staff commuters, such as locker rooms, a bike commuter tool shed, WayToGo writes.
There was so much enthusiasm for Bike to Work Day that some people got into the act even when they had no place to commute to. As Jesse Paul writes for The Denver Post, Beth Teitell of Littleton found herself on her bike even though she works from home. Paul quotes Teitell as saying, “I got up at 4:30 this morning and wondered why I was doing it since I don’t even have to commute.”
Boulder celebrated the day with the unveiling of a new bikeway that is part of the larger U.S. 36 Express Lanes project, Kimberly Turner writes for Colorado Hometown Weekly News. Although the bikeway, which is designed for commuters, runs along U.S. 36, it is “not actually on the highway,” said Megan Castle, communications manager for the Colorado High Performance Transportation Enterprise (a division of the Colorado Department of Transportation). “The 12-foot bikeway features protective barriers, grade-separated crossings and way-finding signage,” Turner writes.
In Greeley (which encourages safe bicycling, as this blog reported several weeks ago), a few days before the event, the town’s Facebook page wrote, “Regular Bike to Workers: today is the day to convince at least 2 non-Bike to Workers to ride with you next Wednesday!” One resident posted the following on Greeley’s Facebook Bike to Work Day page:
The city of Englewood enticed people to bike to work with snacks and sports massages, among other treats, as it wrote on its official website. There were also many “breakfast stations” throughout the Denver region, as Amanda Zitzman and Anica Padilla write for TheDenverChannel.com. Denver Mayor Michael Hancock and Lt. Governor Joe Garcia participated in the day, during which AAA Colorado provided free roadside assistance to all bicyclists, Zitzman and Padilla write. On a more whimsical note, as Deborah Radman writes for the Pagosa Daily Post, the “iconic Bison” in front of the History Colorado Center, in Denver, was dressed in cyclist gear, “complete with [a] helmet” to encourage people to commute by bike.
Here is a DRCOG video about Colorado’s Bike to Work Day: