Ride Garfield County raises goal to 50K miles | PostIndependent.com

Ride Garfield County raises goal to 50K miles

Heather McGregor
Clean Energy Economy News
Cyclists pick up swag at the Colorado Bike to Work Day breakfast station, held at the RFTA Park and Ride in Carbondale on June 22.
Jennifer Balmes |

Ride Garfield County, a campaign to boost bicycle and bus riding, this week pushed its total mileage goal to 50,000 miles by Sept. 30, after local riders blew by the original goal to log 23,055 miles from May 1 to June 29.

“Our original goal was 10,000 miles,” said event organizer Karen Wahrmund of CLEER and Garfield Clean Energy. “We seriously underestimated the appetite for cycling in Garfield County. We’ve now ramped up our goal to hit 50,000 miles by Sept. 30.”

“We also set a goal of involving 400 riders. We are almost halfway to that goal, with 195 riders,” Wahrmund said.

Ride Garfield County is using the National Bike Challenge website, where thousands of riders and hundreds of teams across the country are logging their bike miles from May 1 to Sept. 30.

All outdoor cycling miles logged by registered riders count, and riders gain additional points every time they get on their bike and log miles.

Bus riding and carpooling miles count, too, and can be tracked on a spreadsheet available for download from GarfieldCleanEnergy.org.

Riders compete as individuals and as teams, and miles ridden by everyone registered in the Ride Garfield County challenge add together to compete nationally.

As of June 29, the top five riders for Ride Garfield County, all residents of Glenwood Springs, are:

John Currier, 1,299 miles, Eric Kuhn, 1,215, Greg Wetzel, 1,124, Patti Holt, 807 and Ken Keister, 611 miles.

In the team competition, Team Kiwanis and the Colorado River District are jockeying back and forth in first and second place.

As of Wednesday, the 14 riders in Team Kiwanis held a slight edge, with 4,978 miles, compared with the 16 riders on the Colorado River District team with 4,924 miles.

Other registered teams are Holy Cross Riders, SGM, Colorado Mountain College, Nirad and Re Pedaling Partners, Garfield County with Friends and Family, Post Independent Fair and Balanced Riders, Old Slow Guys and a Spunky Girl, Tandem2Some, Energy Resource Center, Garfield County Libraries, Third Street Center and the U.S. Forest Service Aspen-Sopris Ranger District.

BIKE TO WORK DAY

Colorado Bike to Work Day breakfast stations hosted June 22 in Carbondale and Glenwood Springs helped build momentum for local cycling, drawing about 200 bike and bus riders to RFTA’s Carbondale Park and Ride and about 100 riders to the Glenwood Springs Branch Library.

In Carbondale, riders learned how to load their bikes on a RFTA bus for multi-modal mobility. Rider Michael Gorman won the RFTA raffle prize, a free bicycle tune-up at Aloha Cyclery.

In Glenwood Springs, riders and commuters who biked in from Carbondale, along with Grand Avenue Bridge construction workers, stopped in for burritos, doughnuts, coffee and juice. Many of them met Tanya Allen, the new transportation manager for Glenwood Springs.

Rider Stephen Hughes won the Glenwood Springs raffle, winning a free bicycle tune-up donated by Sunlight Ski and Bike Shop.

It was the second Bike to Work Day for Glenwood Springs this year, after celebrating National Bike to Work Day on May 20.

Colorado third nationally

In Colorado, 6,326 riders are participating in the National Bike Challenge. The state ranks third in the nation with 632,340 miles logged as of June 29.

Nationwide, the National Bike Challenge has 40,904 riders logging nearly 11 million miles to date.

For the national rankings, the National Bike Challenge website calculates miles ridden by all riders registered for an “advocacy challenge,” such as Ride Garfield County, to set a points score.

In the points ranking, Ride Garfield is in 67th place nationally.

“We would love to see more riders logging more miles to improve our national standings,” Wahrmund said.

To get registered for Ride Garfield County, visit GarfieldCleanEnergy.org.


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