DENVER (CBS4) – Winter Bike To Work Day is a celebration of those who brave the elements to cycle their commute most days of the year.
“It shows that it’s doable in the winter, and it shows the need for it, and that it’s something that everyone can do. It just takes a little more preparation and a few more layers,” said Mariah Wollweber, with Way To Go, a division of the Denver Regional Council of Governments.
Biking is the fastest growing form of transportation. The Denver Metro Area has more than 1,600 miles of shared use paths, more than 515 miles of roadways with bike lanes, and more than 360-miles of roadways identified as bike routes. In the City of Denver, there are 196 miles of on-street bike lanes. The City plans to install 125 miles of bike lanes by the end of 2023. It’s a commitment to making bike commuting easier and more accessible to every resident.
It seems to be working. A recent Commuter Survey conducted by the Downtown Denver Partnership showed that bike commuting in Downtown is at an all-time high, with 9-percent of commuters using bikes. That is a 36-percent increase in bike commuting since 2016.
“It’s my job. I do it for work. I do it to work, and I do it for leisure, as well,” said Daniel Greene, a committed bike commuter.
Greene told CBS4 that he was once addicted to heroin, and that bicycle riding was a major part of his recovery.
“Once I fell in love it with it, I was like, you know, ‘I’m going to find a job where I can do this every day.’ My momma taught me if you do what you love you don’t work a day in your life, so I’m trying to apply that,” Greene explained.
Over the years, he’s figured out how to make his passion for biking a year-round love affair.
“Well, I had to learn not to wear as much because you’ve got to be a little cold getting out the door. 10-minutes in you’re going to be too hot if you have too much on, that’s the key for me,” he said.
Biking during the winter does come with some challenges, including cold temperatures, snow, and ice.
“The best thing people can do is be prepared. This includes lowering the seat on your bike, driving slowly, coasting through ice, never turning or breaking (on ice). I think the thing to make the connection here is that riding your bike in the winter is almost the same as driving your car in the winter,” Wollweber told CBS4.
About 3,000 Coloradans participate in Winter Bike To Work Day. Colorado Bike To Work Day will be on Wednesday, June 24, 2020, when those participation numbers will jump to nearly 30,000. There will be 250-plus way stations set up, group rides, and prizes for registering your ride. Those registration numbers are used to show the interest in bike commuting, and the need for more infrastructure improvements.