Swapping wheels for pedals | SteamboatToday.com

Swapping wheels for pedals

Drivers encouraged to bike to work this week

Kristi Mohrbacher

Dan Dean, who works at Resort Group, chats with Lori Biagi, who works at NextStar Funding, while biking to work Monday morning. The pair was joined by, from left to right, Lori's husband Evan Biagi, who works for Resort Broadband, and Larry Mashaw and Jason Edinburg, who also work for Resort Group. This is Bike to Work Week, and Wednesday will be Bike to Work Day.

Finding a parking spot around town might be a little easier than usual this week as some commuters swap their cars for bikes during Bike to Work Week.

The month of June is Colorado Bike Month, and Wednesday is Bike to Work Day. Local organizer Lisa Shafer said there are two events planned to celebrate the occasion, adding that the goal is to increase bicycle awareness and safety practices.

“The events are a really fun way to celebrate bicycle awareness,” Shafer said. “It’s also about camaraderie and fun.”

The first event is a complimentary breakfast from 7 to 9 a.m. Wednesday on the Routt County Courthouse lawn on Lincoln Avenue between Fifth and Sixth streets. Pastries, fruit and coffee will be offered to participants who bike or walk to work that day.

A bicycle rally is planned from 9 to 10 a.m. Saturday. Cyclists will meet in the parking lot behind the Routt County Courthouse and ride through downtown Steamboat Springs. Shafer said about 40 people showed up last year – some in costumes – and she hopes to beat last year’s numbers.

Evan Biagi plans to ride his bike to work Wednesday, which is not out of the norm for him. He said he tries to ride his bike three days a week during the summer instead of driving.

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“It’s refreshing in the morning and good to unwind after work,” Biagi said. The commute takes him 15 to 20 minutes, which is only five minutes more than when he drives. He said biking is good exercise as well as fun and convenient.

It takes Dan Dean about 25 minutes to bike 4.5 miles to work. He said he does it five days a week because it’s healthy and keeps him in the right state of mind.

Biking “puts everything in perspective for me,” Dean said. He uses the time to plan his day on the way to work and the ride home gives him a chance to decompress. It also helps him to avoid high gas prices at the pumps.

Bicycle rally participants who are not members of Routt County Riders will need to sign a waiver before the ride Saturday, so Shafer recommends they show up about 8:30 a.m.

– To reach Kristi Mohrbacher, call 870-1376 or e-mail kmohrbacher@steamboatpilot.com

Tips on how to share the road

Motorists

– Reduce speed when encountering a bicyclist.

– For safe passing, leave at least 3 feet between your car and a bicyclist.

– Scan for bicyclists before making turns and make sure the road is clear before proceeding.

Bicyclists

– Ride no more than two abreast and move to single file if riding two abreast impedes traffic.

– Scan the road, anticipate hazards and communicate your moves to others.

– Use hand signals to alert nearby vehicles to turns or lane changes.

– Bicyclists have the same rights, rules and responsibilities as other vehicles on the road.

Source: Colorado Department of Transportation