Summit County towns host events for Bike to Work Day | SummitDaily.com

Summit County towns host events for Bike to Work Day

Alli Langley
alangley@summitdaily.com

Can two wheels get you to work better than four?

Matthew Madsen thinks so.

"I love bike commuting because it's a great way to trick people into being healthy," said Madsen, healthy families program manager for the Family and Intercultural Resource Center.

Not only does biking to and from work and other daily destinations provide a workout, mental energy and stress relief, the activity also benefits the environment by reducing vehicle pollution that contributes to global warming and by furthering people's appreciation for the nature around them.

“For us, it’s a great way for people to just enjoy the recpath if it’s a way that they can easily, safely commute to work. It’s easier to get to work than you realize by bike.”Katie Kentresource specialist with Summit County’s Open Space and Trails Department

Recommended Stories For You

"It's about physical health, but it's also about environmental health," he said. "If you don't need to get in your car, don't get in your car."

CYCLE IN FOR COFFEE

Madsen is part of PANTS, or the Physical Activity and Nutrition Team of Summit, and has led the group's efforts to host its second annual Bike to Work Day on Wednesday, June 24, as part of the statewide event.

From 7 a.m. to 9 a.m., cyclists can stop by any of six stations across Summit County to receive free coffee donated by local shops, snacks donated by Whole Foods Market and raffle tickets for a mixer that evening. Mechanics will also be on hand from nearby bike shops to fix any small bike problems that arise.

In Breckenridge, bikers can stop by a station at the courthouse on Lincoln Street, manned by county government employees, or the Blue River Plaza, where the Breckenridge Tourism Office, Breck Bike Guides and the Crown coffee shop will be present.

In Dillon, cyclists who stop at the Marina Park on Lodgepole Lane along the bike path will find representatives from Howard Head Sports Medicine and Christy Sports; and, in Frisco, bikers have two location choices: the County Commons building that houses the library or at the Historic Park on Main Street, where representatives from PANTS, the town of Frisco, Rebel Sports, the Next Page Bookstore await.

Silverthorne cyclists can stop by Red Buffalo Café on the bike path along the Blue River to visit a station manned by Red Buffalo and Wilderness Sports.

If the free coffee and food doesn't incentivize folks, maybe the scenery and bike paths will. The county was given a gold-level award by the League of American Bicyclists for being bicycle-friendly last year, in part, for its recpath.

"Biking to work up here is actually possible," he said. "For being a rural area, we actually have a good bike infrastructure."

BIKE TO THE AFTER PARTY

Bike to Work Day was started by the League of American Bicyclists in 1956 and is celebrated around the country in late May. Colorado is an exception, as the state tries to include its snowy, mountainous communities by celebrating in late June.

The city of Boulder first celebrated Bike to Work Day more than 25 years ago, and CDOT began promoting it statewide. The Denver area's event has become the largest in the state.

In Summit, the event was started by the county's Open Space and Trails Department as a way of encouraging bike commuting as well as appreciation for public lands, trails and paths.

"For us, it's a great way for people to just enjoy the recpath if it's a way that they can easily, safely commute to work," said Katie Kent, resource specialist with the Open Space and Trails Department. "It's easier to get to work than you realize by bike."

Madsen said about 75 people participated in 2014, the first year the PANTS group took over the event, and he hopes for 100 or more participants this year.

"Two hundred would be awesome," he said.

Elevate CoSpace in Frisco will offer free coworking all day to bike commuters and is hosting a community mountain bike ride Wednesday. For more information, email hello@elevatecospace.com or visit http://www.meetup.com/ELEVATE-coworking/events/222472175.

Then, later in the day, the Summit County Chamber of Commerce organized a mixer from 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the Island Grill restaurant in Frisco.

The event will feature live music, a raffle with prizes from local businesses and those who arrive by bike or are chamber members will receive a $5 burger-and-beer special.

"We feel this is supporting and uniting the community," said Doug Berg, a chamber board member and president of the Frisco chapter. "We want to make this a huge event."

He said everyone is welcome to the mixer whether or not they biked that day, though he joked people might want to bike a little further to burn off calories from the weekend's Colorado BBQ Challenge in Frisco.

For more information about Bike to Work Day in Summit or to get involved, contact Madsen at (970) 455-0236 or matthewm@summitfirc.org.

WHY BIKE TO WORK?

• Automobiles produce toxic substances that pollute the ground, air and water

• Vehicles burn fossil fuels, create CO2 and contribute to global warming

• Bike commuting allows you to include a workout in your daily schedule

• Riding a bike is often less stressful

• Staying in better shape decreases your chances of getting sick

• Off-road trails, bike lanes and wide curb lanes allow you to ride past traffic

• Bike commuting often takes less time when you account for traffic and delays in public transportation

• You’ll spend less money on gas and automobile maintenance

• You could save money on parking (and tickets)

• You won’t have to have a membership to a gym to workout

• Arrive at work refreshed and full of energy; ride off stress after work

• Commuting under your own power gives you a sense of accomplishment

• Take the long way home, ride through a park or along a local river or scenic path

Source: League of American Bicyclists