I just had my bike stolen in Boulder -- bummer. But it serves to remind me how much I love this city for its bike-friendliness.
In my fair city, it's Bike and Walk Month, and Bike to Work Day is just around the corner. But no matter where you live, you can celebrate along with us. Here's what I'm doing this month:
1. Protecting my bike from thieving scum.
After suffering at the hands of bike theft -- they cleared out half of the bikes on the rack! -- I'm keeping my remaining bike inside until I get my hands on a much more serious lock. I may actually go ahead and find a bike rack that I can keep inside, even though space is at a premium in here.
2. Getting excited for cruiser rides
Well-known in Boulder and Denver, cruiser rides are a time to get together with friends or strangers, wear some silly costumes, and ride bikes. The Denver cruiser rides go down on Wednesdays and the Boulder cruiser rides on Thursdays. I always remind people that they can create their own rides and routes instead of linking up with the giant rides -- sometimes it's more fun to have eight or nine friends riding around with you, rather than getting caught up in traffic at every gentle turn on narrow parts of bike paths.
3. Daydreaming about better bike parking
Bike and Walk Month is largely an awareness-raising deal. A lot of us already bike, walk or bus to work. But when we're all thinking about it at the same time, we can consider issues that we don't usually make time for. What if we sacrificed a bit of automobile parking for (a) bike corrals or (b) tiny parks? And what about bike-sharing programs?
4. Celebrating not being a cyclist
Not too long ago, I read a blog post about how the U.S. needs more people who ride bikes, but not necessarily more cyclists. What the heck does that mean? Well, it just means that I really don't consider myself a cyclist or that deeply entrenched in bike culture. I ride my bike to work most days, but I'm not on a $1,000 bike or talking in bike jargon or pedaling up Boulder Canyon. I'm just a guy on a bike.
Biking has a really low barrier to entry -- you just need a bike and a route. Armed with those two things, you'll get to know your area better, you'll get in better shape, and you'll use less fuel and cause less pollution. Pretty impressive!
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