Editorial Board, June 2009 to September 2009
- Suzanne Schlicht, general manager
- Brent Boyer, editor
- Mike Lawrence, city editor
- Tom Ross, reporter
- Grant Fenton, community representative
- Paul Strong, community representative
Contact the editorial board at (970) 871-4221 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Would you like to be a member of the board? Fill out a letter of interest now.
Steamboat Springs As if on cue, Mother Nature awarded Sunday's arrival of summer with consecutive days of sunny, warm and nearly precipitation-free weather. We couldn't ask for better reasons to ditch our cars for our bikes and pedal to work as part of Bike to Work Week.
Locally, Bike to Work Week began Monday and runs through Saturday, and a number of activities have been planned to celebrate it. Today is Bike to Work Day, and there will be free breakfast for bike commuters on the Routt County Courthouse lawn from 7 to 10 a.m. Other activities include a skills clinic at 6 p.m. Thursday at Howelsen Hill, a poker ride at 6 p.m. Friday, and a family friendly bike ride ending with a barbecue and live music Saturday. The ride begins at 11 a.m. at Wheels Bike Shop in west Steamboat.
Biking to work - or anywhere, for that matter - decreases traffic, reduces vehicle emissions, cuts fuel consumption and promotes a healthy lifestyle.
The lifestyle issue came up Tuesday during Lt. Gov. Barbara O'Brien's visit to Steamboat Springs. O'Brien is in the midst of a series of public forums across the state gathering ideas for how to better connect children with the outdoors. That's not a significant problem in Steamboat, where a slew of outdoor recreation opportunities are readily available to many of our youths. In recent years, youth bicycling programs have exploded in popularity here in Routt County, led by the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club's cycling program.
As more of our children grow up on and around bikes, and as more adults in our community take to two-wheeled transportation, there is reason to adopt additional measures to become the bicycle-friendly community we profess to be. Nonetheless, there have been positive steps to that end recently.
The city painted bike lanes on Oak Street, and similar lanes could soon be created on Yampa Street. Led by the Routt County Riders bicycle club, new mountain bike trails are being built on Emerald Mountain - a true gem of singletrack riding in Northwest Colorado.
An extension of the Yampa River Core Trail in east Steamboat and the future addition of a pedestrian and bicycle bridge over the Yampa River at 13th Street will further bicycle-friendly efforts.
And the Routt County Board of Commissioners is hosting upcoming discussions about the shared use of county roads. The first discussions are scheduled for 6 p.m. Monday and July 6. The discussions are the result of last year's poor decision by the commissioners to shrink the shoulders along Routt County Road 36, a popular road for cyclists.
Finally, it's worth reminding cyclists and motorists to obey traffic laws. When they do, the result should be safe, shared roadways.
The League of American Bicyclists encourages riders to follow five "Rules of the Road." They are:
- Follow the law. It's the safest way to ride. Bicyclists have the same rights and duties as other drivers and need to follow the same traffic laws.
- Be predictable. Ride in a straight line, signal turns and check behind you before turning or changing lanes.
- Be conspicuous. Ride where drivers can see you, use lights at night and wear bright clothing.
- Be aware. Anticipate the next move of drivers, pedestrians and other cyclists. Watch for debris, potholes and grates.
- Ride ready. Tires need air, brakes must work, chains should run smoothly, and quick release wheel levers must be closed. Carry repair and emergency supplies. Wear a helmet.
From the abundant singletrack to the hundreds of miles of county roads, there is no shortage of places to ride in Routt County. Whether riding to work or tackling a mountain pass, there are few better ways to enjoy the outdoors while getting exercise and reducing traffic. Get your bike out of the garage and considering taking part in Bike to Work Week.