Bike to Work Day gets people 'rolling towards better choices'

Goal to have first-time riders turn into regulars

Posted 6/5/16

For her daily commute, Katy Burley either walks or takes RTD's Call-n-Ride to the nearest Light Rail Station at Belleview and I-25. Then she takes the train to downtown Denver.

“If you try it,” she said, “you might like it and make it a new …

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Bike to Work Day gets people 'rolling towards better choices'

Goal to have first-time riders turn into regulars

Posted

For her daily commute, Katy Burley either walks or takes RTD's Call-n-Ride to the nearest Light Rail Station at Belleview and I-25. Then she takes the train to downtown Denver.

“If you try it,” she said, “you might like it and make it a new habit.”

The sooner Denver starts acting like a big city — which means using more multi-modal transportation — the better off it will be, said Burley, a Greenwood Village resident and public relations coordinator for Denver Regional Council of Governments.

And that's the hope behind Bike to Work Day — to encourage commuters to explore other ways of getting around.

Way to Go, a transportation program of Denver Regional Council of Governments (DRCOG), coordinates the annual event to promote healthy lifestyle choices. National Bike Month is May but because of Colorado's iffy spring weather, the occasion falls on the third Wednesday of June — that's June 22 this year.

DRCOG is a group of elected officials from 56 agencies that address regional issues and plan for the future. The council oversees several counties along the Front Range, including Arapahoe and Douglas.

DRCOG's three areas of focus are aging, regional planning and transportation.

Last year, Bike to Work Day had 32,800 riders with an average bike ride of about nine miles, according to a DRCOG report. The event reduced daily carbon dioxide emissions by a quarter of 1 million pounds.

Bike to Work Day isn't a bike race — it's a bike ride and a communal celebration.

Stations will be set up across Denver for riders to rejuvenate, socialize and share their success. Last year, there were 243 stations, including breakfast stations in the morning, snack and water stations in the afternoon, and craft-beer stations at the end the day.

“It's a way of saying, `You biked so many miles so cheers to you,' ” Burley said.

Participants can register for free online at www.biketoworkday.us until June 22. The user-friendly website will map out a bike route from starting to ending point. It will also identify nearby stations.

Registered participants are automatically entered to win prizes, including bike gear, sports packages and Red Rocks tickets. Participants can enter an additional sweepstakes for a cycling vacation for two along Italy's Amalfi Coast.

Bike to Work Day puts a fun spin on behavior modification, Burley said.

“If commuters just try it,” she said, “they are more likely to stick with it.”

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