COLORADO SPRINGS – This Wednesday – June 26 – is Bike to Work day in Colorado Springs, and as we told you in our last story with Dr. David Rosenbaum a cardiologist with UCHealth Memorial who often rides to work, there are many benefits to riding your bike.
Steve Bitter is an avid cyclist who rides to work several times a month from the Northgate area to downtown Colorado Springs.
Steve says, “I do it because I simply enjoy riding my bike. I figure I can kill two birds with one stone – I get my ride in and get to work at the same time.”
It’s about 17 miles each way, and around 35 miles round trip for Steve. He carefully plans his route, beginning with roads that have a wide shoulder then transitioning to neighborhoods, dedicated bike trails, and then downtown roads with a dedicated bike lane.
Steve explains, “From Northgate I come down Voyager to Academy. When I hit Academy I’ll go behind the shops and restaurants to a neighborhood. Then I cross over Woodmen and then just behind the car dealership, I catch the trail and bring it the way to downtown. Then I ride on Cascade that has a dedicated bike lane and to the office.”
Steve is the U.S. Olympians and Paralympians Association Coordinator, with the United States Olympic Committee. The fact that his employer supports employees efforts to bike commute to work makes a world of difference in terms of bike friendly amenities once he is at work.
“We have 2 bike rooms, we have showers and a full gym,” says Steve. “It’s great to know they support those types of activities and that lifestyle. If bike commuting is a preferred method for employees they fully support that.”
When it’s time to go home, Steve is aware that while his route is the same – just reversed, there are different safety issues to be aware of.
Steve says, “Leaving at the end of the day and riding home the traffic patterns are a bit different than on my way. I’m aware of that and while my route is the same, I’m more aware of traffic in certain areas.”
Tomorrow is your chance to be like Steve and bike to work. Today is the last day to officially register for Bike to Work Day. Weather you register or not, you can take advantage of the many sponsor stations set up in Colorado Springs where you can pick up free breakfast on your ride, including the KOAA station at Popcycle Bridge, as well as the UCHealth station at Willamette & Franklin.
Registration is open now at coloradosprings.gov/biketowork for anyone who wants to participate.