For many states, Bike Month happens in May. But here in the Centennial State, Bike Month is June. Never say Coloradans don't like doing their own thing.
The featured event for Bike Month across the state is Bike to Work Day, always the fourth Wednesday of the month—which is June 24 this year. In Colorado Springs, it's the event's 22nd year, featuring a breakfast, commemorative pin for participants, corporate challenge, and the Mayor's Ride.
Other highlight's of the cycling-centric schedule include the Starlight Spectacular, a fun nighttime group ride in which you can choose a route of 14 to 22 miles; Pedal Parties every Wednesday hosted by nonprofit group UpaDowna; and Kids on Bikes Popcycle rides on June 14 and 21, complete with Popsicles at the end for participants.
Bike to Work Day is still a signature event, though. Allen Beauchamp, a local bike advocate who has been a part of the Mountain Metro Rides-sponsored Bike to Work Day steering committee for more than a decade, is "tickled beyond belief" that the city's newly elected mayor, John Suthers, will be leading the 6 am Mayor's Ride from Acacia Park this year. (Because former Mayor Steve Bach didn't ride, but most of the council members would, he says the event in recent years had been coined the "City Council Cruise.")
"We just hired in a mayor that totally gets bicycles, the power of the bicycle to change the community, to make it better, biking and walking infrastructure—so it's not just bikes, but it's everything that goes with them, and the economic impact it has," Beauchamp adds, "We have so much possibility, potential. … That's going to be the big push moving forward, not just to just expand offerings during Bike Month, but all year long."
It will start with the presentation of a resolution to City Council on June 9, declaring June as Bike Month in Colorado Springs, an effort that will, in part, "raise awareness of cycling's positive impact on the economy, health, wellness and the creation of viable transportation options in the City, and will celebrate the contributions bicycle-related businesses, non-profit organizations and volunteers make to support cycling in Colorado Springs."
But the initiative goes beyond fancy words on a piece of paper.
As Beauchamp explains, over the past six months, the City has rebuilt its bike webpage , making it a solid resource for cyclists to not only find a list of all the Bike Month events, but to access year-round information on such topics as the local Bike-n-Bus program, bike safety, the work of the Active Transportation Advisory Committee, and area trail and bike lanes. It also includes information on initiatives recently completed or underway, such as the Springs' first protected bike lane, designed specifically to assist Pikes Peak Greenway riders at Beacon Street where it turns east to West Van Buren Street.
"I'm trying to create a community that embraces bicycles," Beauchamp says. "My tagline is: 'More butts on bikes, more often, safely.'"
Part of that effort is getting out of the downtown and westside cores, and connecting with folks all over the city. The Bike to Work Day breakfast has been expanded to more locations this year, says Vicki McCann, public relations and marketing supervisor for the City of Colorado Springs' Public Works Transit Services Division. Thanks to a partnership with the YMCA, it will now be held not just at downtown's Acacia Park, but at the Briargate YMCA, Garden Ranch YMCA, Memorial Park Recreation Center YMCA, and the Southeast and Armed Services YMCA.
To register for the free breakfast, visit the City's Bike to Work Day webpage . There you can also link to the Colorado Bicycle and Byways Map to plan your individual route for the breakfast, or as Beauchamp might suggest, every day. With 110-plus miles of on-street bicycle routes, nearly 120 miles of urban bike trails, and more than 60 miles of unpaved mountain bike trails, Colorado Springs is a growing hub for cycling enthusiasts—an upward trend that's showcased during June.
"I see Colorado Springs as being able to really help the entire state become more cyclist friendly by making strides here," Beauchamp says. "We can become leaders."