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Molly McKinley

Bringing Bicycle-Friendly Driver courses to western Colorado

Since last October, Bicycle Colorado educators have taught more than 60 Bicycle-Friendly Driver or Auto-Friendly Bicyclist courses in 28 communities across Colorado. In May alone, I made two trips out to western Colorado, where I enjoyed getting to know local bicycle advocates in both Glenwood Springs and Grand Junction.

The first weekend in May I visited Glenwood Springs with Mo, our education program manager, to teach a League of American Bicyclists Smart Cycling course and a Bicycle-Friendly Driver course. We got to know bicyclists of all levels and learned about the work that Glenwood Springs Bicycle Advocates is doing. The group’s leader, Steve Smith, says that his favorite part of bicycling in the area is the “combination of good bicycling networks, enthusiastic cyclists, courteous and supportive drivers, and mild weather.” I have to agree with Steve; it was tough to leave!

Steve also shared some of their success stories, all of which come back to relationships. The advocates in Glenwood Springs have built relationships with both city and state transportation staff, allowing them to identify issues, communicate recommended solutions and work together to make safer places to ride.

A few weeks later we hosted a Bicycle-Friendly Driver course in Grand Junction in partnership with the Grand Junction Urban Trails Committee and members of the Mesa County Bicycling Alliance. Afterward, I caught up with local advocates John Hodge and David Lehmann (over a local beer, of course). It was exciting to hear about the variety of work they’re doing–from advocating for safer on-street infrastructure to developing and updating maps that make it easier to navigate many of the scenic places there are to ride in the area.

Getting to know folks doing work at the local level across the state has been a highlight of this work. I look forward to meeting more folks like Steve, John and David across Colorado.

If we haven’t taught a Bicycle-Friendly Driver course in your community and you’re interested in partnering with us to offer one, let me know–I’d love to get to out to your part of Colorado!

Molly McKinley

About the Author: Molly McKinley

Molly implements our Bicycle-Friendly Driver and Auto-Friendly Bicyclist programming around the state. She joined the team from North Carolina, where she has served in outreach and advocacy roles with North Carolina Conservation Network and Oaks and Spokes, a local bike advocacy group. Molly is enthusiastic about active and public transportation and making safe, accessible options for people of all ages and abilities in our communities.

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