This year was the largest Bike to Work Day in Fort Collins, CO, in over two decades! With 57 free breakfast stations and more than ten sites with volunteer bike techs there to help you, not to mention absolutely perfect biking weather, the turnout was in the thousands. 7,436 to be more precise. And 40% of all the people who signed up at the breakfast stations at Bike to Work day said that it was their first time. Lots of new bikers!
The event took place on Wednesday, June 23, with breakfast stations open from 6:30 to 9:30 in the morning. Odell’s sponsored an afternoon event (free beer with a token collected at a breakfast station) at their brewery, which expanded Bike to Work Day to a day-long event!
I biked all week and Wednesday definitely had the most bike traffic thanks to the event. The stop at Café Vino served breakfast burritos and coffee, and handed out free beer tokens. The stop sponsored by Trees, Water, People had bagels and more, and the 415 Mason Court station featured La Luz burritos and Morning Fresh chocolate and root beer milk. These were my three stops and they were awesome!
Becca Henry and Holly Reynerson of the City of Fort Collins’ PDT Communicators said, “You Snooze, you lose,” about their attempt to eat the well-renowned pineapple upside down pancakes at first year vendor, Snooze. They thought they could hit it up toward the end of the morning and were snubbed. Becca’s chain also popped off her bike, but she didn’t let that deter her from riding again!
As an informed cyclist, I wondered why there were so many breakfast stations situated on College Ave. between Laurel and Harmony, where biking is illegal. Molly North, Assistant FC Bikes Coordinator, explained that most of them were bike shops and first time vendors that have access from the Mason Trail, or from Remington, and they just wanted to use their store fronts. They made sure these stops were still accessible to cyclists.
Molly went to ten breakfast stations throughout the downtown area and thought they were all very different. “Ten Thousand Villages had a rickshaw that had someone taking visitors around on little tours; Public Service Credit Union had a bike-up lane for cyclists to bank from their saddles this year; and New Belgium Brewing had 2 cows from Taft Hill Dairy and a screen printer that printed shirts that said ‘I came on my bike today’ and another one had a picture of a cow and it said ‘Bike to Work Day NBB 2010.'”
Climate Wise added the Bike to Work Day events to their list of programs which earn partner businesses points toward level awards. Check out fcgov.com/climatewise to learn more. Molly thinks they had a significant impact on the unprecedented growth of the event this year. The five articles in the Coloradoan couldn’t have hurt their marketing campaign, and the Fossil Creek Bike Fair encouraged a large number of attendees as well. Many bike shops and sponsors put posters in their store fronts and also had people volunteer to help out at the stations as bike techs.
The Work Site Challenge encourages a competition among local businesses to see who can have the highest percentage of their staff arrive on bike. Neenan Construction, one of the winners of the Work Site Challenge, had over 90% of their company participate, and they also made a Bike to Work Day video on Facebook.
The future of Bike to Work Day includes the Winter Bike to Work Day, which will be Wednesday, December 15. Hopefully that will grow this year as well. They are also creating a new event for Colorado State University students this year; Bike to Breakfast will offer 16 breakfast stations around campus for students only, on Mondays and Thursdays throughout September. There is also the possibility of adding a spring event. Keep up to date with cycling events at fcgov.com/bicycling.
Bike to Work Day is a great way to reduce your carbon footprint, eat some free grub, and have some fun on your way in to the daily grind. If you didn’t get to participate this summer, make sure you gear up for winter!
Check out my photos from DK and Molly’s Bike Traffic Skills 101!