June 27th in Colorado is Bike to Work Day; the rest of the country celebrated it last month but officials in Colorado, worried about the possibility of bad weather in the mile high state raining on the parade, pushed it back a month. I support biking to work, for me is convenient, and it’s cheaper and faster than driving. Little Pepe and the Thundra don’t fit into the tight parking spots in downtown Denver that well either, so I ride every day, even during the winter months here in Colorado. It’s only 5 miles each way and door to door it takes me about 20 minutes. For others, biking may not be so convenient; they might live farther away, they might not own a bike, or the thought of the slightest bit of physical exertion makes them shiver. Still, I am always amazed how the bike paths swell with pedal pushers and the highways empty themselves of cars on the last Wednesday in June in Colorado.
Bike to Work Day is supposed to get more people into the continued practice of biking to work by showing them how easy it is. I know at least a dozen people who live not only within easy biking distance, but in some cases walking distance from the office, yet still choose to get into their cars to commute to work. Unfortunately, the novelty of Bike to Work Day seems to wear off quickly and it doesn’t take long for things to shift back to normal; the bike paths empty and the highways and arterial roads clogged with traffic.
It got me thinking about the millions of people throughout the world who ride their bikes to work every day, covering distances far greater than I do on my own brief commute. Here, people have the luxury to choose to sit in their cars on a gridlocked freeway for hours at a time and here, ride organizers have to bribe people with free coffee and doughnuts at “aid stations” (in addition to echoing the multiple reasons why biking to work is good; its healthy, its better for the environment, it gives you a better sense of the community you live in), to get people to dust off their bikes once a year. So, to honor those people who live in places where it is Bike to Work Day everyday; many of them have no other choice, I thought I would share some photos on the one day where the masses in Colorado decide that riding a bike for a reason other than recreation is a cool thing to do.
Image: Mira Terra
Image: Dustin Rudgers
Image: Going Slowly