Hold onto your handlebars Garfield County, Colorado bike month is right around the corner
For the state of Colorado, celebrating bikes is a one-two punch with National Bike Month taking place in May and Colorado Bike Month being designated for June. Zuleika Pevec, the clean energy program coordinator at CLEER said her company teamed up with Garfield Clean Energy to provide virtual and in-person events to Garfield County residents to empower them to see biking as a reliable way to travel.
“From CLEER’s point of view it’s really part of the transition to a clean economy. So, we do a lot of work with electric vehicles and promoting electric vehicles, but a huge part of transportation is active transportation … what we want to do is encourage people to see the benefits,” Pevec said.
For the first three Saturdays in June there will be bike workshops in every town in Garfield County with the exception of Parachute and Battlement Mesa. There will be a bike safety workshop, one on simple and basic bike repairs, a bike tour of common locations in each town and the last Saturday, June 26, will be a bike expo held in Glenwood Springs.
“Those are going to be the three sort of learning, educational workshops. And the final, culminating event is going to be in Glenwood and it’s going to be a bike expo,” Pevec said. “Kind of like a car show but with bikes, so we’re gonna find fun, unique bikes and have their owners come show them off. … (You can) get all bike nerdy and see all the cool bikes that are out there.”
Troy Titchschler, owner of Defiance Cyclery in New Castle, said he’s been biking all his life and got the urge to open his own bike shop after an outdoor store he worked at during college closed down back in 1987. Titchschler said the energy of the biking community is vibrant and enthusiastic especially because of the number of trails in the area.
“Particularly in New Castle, the biking community has really grown a lot in the last few years. You know there was that old joke in the movie ‘Field of Dreams’ if you build it they will come. Well, that’s how it works with trails, too,” Titchschler said.
His shop is primarily for service and bike maintenance, but he’ll also do bike fittings for people which Titchschler said is essential to having a good experience while biking.
“We can take an existing bike and make it biomechanically better for you. There’s a lot of adjustment in bikes that people don’t know or understand. And they can make a big, big difference especially with things like knees. No pain, no gain has no place in bicycling … if it hurts it’s probably bad. Usually there’s a way to address it and usually it’s not that difficult. There’s no such thing as a one size fits all bike,” Titchschler said.
Pevec said the goal of CLEER’s programming in June is to take elitism out of biking, often associated with the expense of a new bike, and show those who are less familiar with the sport that it is easier than they may think to incorporate into their day-to-day errands.
“Not to think that ‘well, I can’t bike commute so I don’t bike,’ you know … there are so many other ways to utilize your bike than going to work or school. … I think as people start riding more they’ll realize that it’s just fun to be out and hopefully realize it’s easier than they think it is,” Pevec said.
Some of Titchschler’s basic tips besides having your bike properly sized is to clean it regularly, wear a helmet and gloves, and to be careful not to put too much lube on the chain.
Titchschler said the bikes are the most energy efficient form of transportation based on what they can give you and where they can take you from how much effort you put in. The benefits to cyclists’ health and to opting to ride instead of drive are ones Titchschler said would improve our way of life and we ought to embrace them.
“If people adopt them, bicycles can save the world. They cut down on the high price of fuel, they make your body healthier, they can do a lot of things right. … They’re quiet, they’re durable, they’re fun … it might be the best invention we ever made,” Titchschler said.
Reporter Jessica Peterson can be reached at 970-279-3462 or email@example.com.
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UPDATE: Both westbound lanes and one eastbound lane of Interstate 70, according to a 12:20 a.m. update from Garfield County.