Garfield County is getting ready to ride for Colorado Bike Month
Free, local events meant to encourage more transportation by biking
Colorado Bike Month is upon us, and to celebrate, Garfield Clean Energy is hosting free events throughout Garfield County to promote more biking.
Zuleika Pevec, clean energy program coordinator at CLEER, who implements programs for Garfield Clean Energy, said the goal is to help people feel safe and confident when biking and taking the elitism part out of it.
“Cycling is one of the best ways to decarbonize our transportation system. I think it’s common knowledge now that we are kind of at a breaking point with carbon emissions and climate change,” Pevec said.
The events require registration and can be found on the BikeThere Garfield County website. Besides workshops showing folks’ best routes to ride to common locations in their towns, like the grocery store or post office, there will also be basic maintenance lessons and a Bike Expo taking place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Centennial Park in downtown Glenwood Springs.
“People may have a bike, but they don’t have a bike shop or the ability to make sure their bike is usable and up and running,” Pevec said. “Like if it has a flat tire and they don’t know how to change a flat tire, not all the towns in Garfield County have a shop they can go to get their tire or inner tube replaced.”
Way of Compassion Bike Project will have upcycled bikes for sale at the expo, as well as vintage models that have already been refurbished to show the potential of the bicycles. Director Aaron Taylor said the organization will also be looking to promote tips for safe riding and the free maintenance space they offer at their location in Carbondale’s Third Street Center.
“We’re going to be helping with some of these mini bike obstacle courses that are going to be timed and will have fun prizes. … We will also bring a pile of bicycles that we’re calling the ‘pile of potential,’ and people will be able to donate for some of these bikes that are not refurbished yet but are kind of cool, old bikes,” Taylor said.
Individuals can sign up to showcase their bike in the exhibit, and are encouraged to, especially if they have some unique modifications to their ride.
Pevec added that there will be bike passports and bingo cards available at local public libraries in Garfield County. The bingo card is designed for individuals to take on new biking experiences, and the passport is a way to support local businesses and receive discounts by biking to their various locations. After submitting a completed passport or bingo card, participants will be entered to win a prize.
“I live like a block away from our office, so I either walk or cycle every day. … By taking the elitism out of biking we want to encourage people to use their bikes on a day-to-day basis even if they aren’t biking to work,” Pevec said.
Steve Smith from Glenwood Springs Bicycle Advocates said CLEER reached out to his group to be the local point people for all of the events planned in Glenwood. Smith said the first workshop they’ll host Saturday will cover navigating basic bike hazards, and all attendees who register will receive a free helmet and bike light.
“We’ll have a bicycle practice rodeo at the end of the workshop where we can create some mild hazards and show riders how to navigate those,” Smith said.
The month will be jam-packed with celebrating ways to help individuals better enjoy the ride. Smith said that once people figure out the best way for them to bike, they can start off slowly incorporating one trip a week that they used to take by car, and then two and so on. He said it’s like the old saying goes when it comes to adopting the new fun and functional method of transportation.
“It is shaping up to be a perfect month for riding bicycles and doing events like this,” Smith said. “You can get lots and lots of places (by bike), and the more familiar you become with it at your own gradual, incremental pace, you’ll get comfortable and see it’s just like riding a bike.”
Reporter Jessica Peterson can be reached at 970-279-3462 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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