Colorado’s Grand Valley celebrates Bike to Work Day | PostIndependent.com

Colorado’s Grand Valley celebrates Bike to Work Day

Brittany Markert
bmarkert@gjfreepress.com
Cyclist gather at Grand Junction's City Hall to hear a proclamation naming June as Mesa County's official Bike to Work Month.
Submitted photo |

GO&DO

WHAT: Bike to Work Day

WHEN: Wednesday, June 24

WHERE: Throughout Colorado’s Grand Valley

COST: Free

INFO: www.healthymesacounty.org/bike-month-btwd

CYCLIST RULES & TIPS

Go with the flow of traffic, not against it.

Be in the right lane unless preparing for a left turn or avoiding hazards.

Ride in a straight line and be predictable. If an object is in the road, swerve minimally.

Two bikes abreast on the road is legal, but single file is suggested to not impede traffic.

Wear a helmet to protect the noggin and brightly colored shirts for better visibility.

Obey all traffic laws, signs and signals.

Use signals for turning and stopping. It’s as simple as pointing a finger left or right. Put a hand towards the ground if stopping.

Never assume motorists see you; make eye contact and acknowledge motorists.

Wave and thank motorists as they pass safely.

If riding at dusk, dawn or dark, use lights for more visibility.

Pedestrians have the right of way on sidewalks. Give them space.

MOTORIST RULES & TIPS

Give cyclists at least 3 feet of room while passing. Passing in a double-yellow line is legal as long as it’s clear on the other side.

Treat bicyclists as motorists. At four-way stops, follow the right-of-way rules.

Slow down while passing and be courteous; be sure that it is safe to pass.

Don’t get angry while passing bikers.

Be aware of surroundings, especially at corners. Motorists, take note that cyclist may take up a whole lane if they want to.

Make eye contact with cyclists and acknowledge them.

Remember cyclists are slower than your car, so when the time comes get ahead of them safely.

Mesa County is once again celebrating its bicycle culture with a month-long schedule of events culminating with Bike to Work Day on Wednesday, June 24.

“It’s an event for both motorists and cyclists,” said Elizabeth Collins, event organizer. “There is education and awareness that happens on both sides.”

According to Collins, celebrating Bike to Work Day all month reaches a bigger cross-section of Grand Valley residents.

“It’s nice for a lot of people to participate multiple times as well,” she said.

Last year’s official Bike to Work Day hosted more than 300 participants. Event organizers hope to see the same amount of people ride their bikes in 2015, if not more.

A MONTH OF COMPETITION

Participants who bike to work through June are competing either as an individual commuter or as a business. The business and individual with the most bike miles logged will win gift certificates and bragging rights.

Mesa County Health Department is both a big promoter and participant of Colorado’s Bike to Work Day, with 100-150 people riding bikes annually.

Fruita Community Center is also an avid supporter of the event.

“It promotes a healthy lifestyle and the concept of families enjoying fitness outdoors together,” said Cheri Delaney, fitness and wellness coordinator for Fruita Community Center. “We hope the event encourages residents to participate in many bike-related events offered in the Grand Valley during the month of June.”

Delaney hopes an increased number of cyclists on the road will raise motorist awareness as well.

“Cycling is an active [mode of] transportation and it has to be a culture change,” said Jeff Kuhr, executive director of Mesa County Health Department. “You see some cyclist riding the wrong direction [on roads], so there is a lot of education and understanding that has to occur.”

Cyclist need to obey the rules of the road just as much as a motorist do, Kuhr added.

On Bike to Work Day, breakfast for cyclists will be offered at three locations — Fruita Community Center (324 N. Coulson Ave., Fruita), City Hall (250 N. Fifth St., Grand Junction), and Octopus Coffee (759 Horizon Dr., Grand Junction).

For more information, visit http://www.healthymesacounty.org/bike-month-btwd.


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