Joel Reichenberger: Craigen’s new cause
September 19, 2010
Steamboat Springs — I love the novelty of a good vacation spot.
Lake of the Ozarks, where my family has vacationed as long as I've been alive, is (or was) full of such novelties, my favorite of which revolve around the concept of staying on the water.
One need not ever leave the water when visiting the large Missouri lake. There are restaurants and gas stations on the water, night clubs and dive bars. There are water sports shops and boat rental places, T-shirt shops and mini-marts with all the essentials.
My favorite, however, was always a boat-through pizza joint. This long, Erector set-looking contraption stuck out into the lake from the main building and theoretically would deliver your order.
We never actually tried it, and I'm fairly sure it no longer exists. Still, I just loved the idea, and it more than anything summed up one of my favorite things about the lake: You never, ever have the get off the water.
Robin Craigen and the tireless crew of Routt County Riders are on a quest that reminded me a little of that pizza joint, which always seemed more pizzazz than practical.
Craigen's newest quest — at the tail end of a summer that saw he and Routt County Riders at the front of unfathomable development in Steamboat cycling — involves being able to ride a bike through the drive-through lanes at the Wells Fargo bank in downtown Steamboat.
Other banks in Steamboat allow such access, but a nationwide corporate policy prevents Wells Fargo from following suit.
"That just doesn't seem right when we're trying to become Bike Town USA," Craigen said.
To be honest, I only half get it. I'd likely always get off my bike anyway. I struggle sometimes to stay on a singletrack path. I probably don't need to be trying to sign a check while on my hardtail.
Plus, there's a bike rack behind the building and plenty of places to lean and even temporarily chain your bike in front.
But some bikers want to bike through the drive-through, and Craigen, as the leading voice of the group that's the leading voice for cyclists in Routt County, is set on trying to help them.
He was quick to praise the local branch for its understanding, in addition to its community activism, and said his communications with Wells Fargo at all levels have been well received.
But the rule hasn't changed.
It'd be neat if it did, and I don't think that because I view the current policy as an affront to bikers. It'd be neat because it would be more evidence of the town's commitment to the dream Craigen has helped grow.
Bike-through banking? That seems to me a little more pizzazz than practical, but just like the boat-through pizza joint, it'd be pretty cool and a great way to make a statement in town.
Maybe it's just the start of things, too. Hey, Brooklyn's Pizzeria, have I got an idea for you…