Today Wednesday June 24th marked the official Bike to Work Day for the state of Colorado. Many events are being put on across the state to commemorate the day. After all, Colorado is one of our nation’s premier cycling friendly states. Denver is home to over 650+ miles of paved bike paths and is second to only to Minneapolis which is a city I have still yet to visit.
So while many events are taking place around the city today and tonight, I got up early for the second morning in a row and volunteered with Bike Denver in leading a bike to work ride from my neighborhood. I woke up to the sound of my alarm at 6am and honestly had no idea why this horrid noise was disrupting my sleep. But alas, it was Bike to Work day and I had to get to the ride start by 6:30. Being only 3 miles from work I can usually stroll out of bed as late as 8:10 and be in the office by 8:30, so the early hour of 6am usually only sees me rising for skiing or catching a flight.
So the ride I helped out with today was a Bike Denver Peloton which was graciously sponsored by New Belgium
Brewing, Denver Water, and Performance Bike Shop. The idea of the ride was to bring together the cycling community explain to riders how to be safe while commuting and how to access downtown without becoming a hood ornament. It was an interesting experience and nearly 25 riders showed up for this 1st annual event. Other cities that have run successful “Peloton” campaigns on Bike to Work Day include San Francisco, Chicago, and Minneapolis. Probably the highlight for me was wearing a bright yellow safety vest while riding sweep for the ride.
Our ride ended at Civic Center Park in downtown Denver which is home to the Capitol Building and many of our state government offices. The park was packed with thousands of cyclists and many vendors giving out food and other refreshments. Mayor Hickenlooper addressed the crowd and talked about his commitment in making Denver the premiere cycling city in the United States. Hickenlooper participated in another Bike Denver Peloton and he regularly commutes by bike which says a lot coming from a guy helping to call the shots for the city.