Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Boulder Winter Bike To Work Day

I signed up to participate in three events/programs this winter to promote, de-mystify, and enjoy cold weather cycling.

  1. BikeDenver's Winter Solstice ride, the successful completion of which is three years in the telling.
  2. Salvagetti's winter Commuter Team, which is a on-going commitment.
  3. And the city of Boulder's Winter Bike To Work Day, for which I was able to register despite the fact that I don't live or work in Boulder.

There are few things better than a good ol' BTWD to get people, who otherwise would not be riding, onto their bikes and onto the road. The inciting qualities of a BTWD are these.
  1. It's a holiday with a clearly defined means of celebration/definition of success. On Halloween you dress up and eat candy, and you win. On New Years Eve, you dress up and drink champagne, and you win. On BTWD, you dress up and ride your bike, and you win.
  2. Breakfast stations. Handouts range from water to Starbucks, and from a banana to breakfast burritos, but it's all free and it's all good.
  3. Other freebies. I've gotten water bottles, blinkie lights, stickers/decals, and cinch sacks.
  4. Group ride! The main attraction of BTWD might be the promise of riding with a large group of people. Denver even organized pelotons, with ride leaders and everything, that struck out at strategic times along strategic commute routes.

A good BTWD in June might bolster enough confidence for me to commute through the rest of the summer and into the fall. But perhaps not enough to carry me through the winter.

The obvious solution? A winter BTWD! An opportunity to talk with other cyclists about routes, maintenance, and clothing. And an opportunity to get out on the roads and realize, hey, this ain't so bad. I might could do this.

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