Health and wellness

Bike to Work Day cycling back around

Annual Bike to Work Day returns June 22

Posted 6/5/16

Bike to Work Day has grown by leaps and bounds over the past several years, and organizers are expecting an even bigger turnout this year.

The free annual event falls on Wednesday, June 22, and will feature stations all over the metro area, …

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Health and wellness

Bike to Work Day cycling back around

Annual Bike to Work Day returns June 22

Posted

Bike to Work Day has grown by leaps and bounds over the past several years, and organizers are expecting an even bigger turnout this year.

The free annual event falls on Wednesday, June 22, and will feature stations all over the metro area, contests and environmentally friendly fun.

“I love that for at least one day, the streets are more for people than for cars,” wrote Rachel Hultin, an officer with the Wheat Ridge Active Transportation Advisory Team, in an email interview. “The dynamic is different on Bike to Work Day. You can see the camaraderie as people on bikes congregate at stoplights and pass one another on the street.”

According to information provided by Katy Burley, communications coordinator with the Denver Regional Council of Governments, Denver’s Bike to Work Day is the second-largest in the country, right behind San Francisco. Last year, 248 stations and events celebrated riders who collectively biked 603,613 miles. There were more than 32,000 participants last year, 37 percent of whom were first-timers.

“I did my first Bike to Work Day in 2009,” said Blake Feik, executive vice president of North Valley Bank in Thornton. “I was training for Ride the Rockies at the time, and thought it was a cool idea to bike to work and save gas. I started doing it regularly and setting goals for myself.”

Throughout the day, businesses, organizations and local governments will be hosting stations to provide breakfast, rehydration and even parties.

“We, of course, are encouraging all residents and businesses to participate as well as our employees,” wrote Stacie Oulton, Lakewood public information officer, in an email interview. “At the end of the day, Lakewood employees are also invited to join the public event of a group ride to the Westfax Brewery in Lamar Station Plaza for after-work food and a drink. “

Westminster’s Butterfly Pavilion has hosted breakfast stations since 2012. Amy Yarger, horticulture director has witnessed firsthand the benefits of cycling.

“The riders are so upbeat and appreciative,” Yarger wrote in an email interview. “Everyone who participates in Bike to Work Day makes the planet healthier for humans and, also, for important wildlife like pollinators.”

There are always challenges when cycling, including motorists and lack of paths. But Way to Go, a regional partnership between the Denver Regional Council of Governments and a dedicated group of transportation management associations, has resources to help riders plan their routes.

“My biggest challenge as a rider is the 40 blocks I have to ride along Pecos Street,” said John Orr, an employee with the City of Thornton. “I like participating in Bike to Work Day and joining the party.”

The community, physical and emotional benefits of cycling are all among the reasons riders return year after year.

“When communities prioritize and support safe, connected options to walk and ride a bike, they are investing in the whole health of the community,” Hultin wrote. “Physical, mental, economic, environmental health are all tied to active transportation, and people feel more connected to the people and the places where they live, work and play. What’s not to love?”

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