Arvada rides show people the city on two wheels
I’m often in the community talking to bicycle advocacy groups. A couple of months ago, I heard about a cool program in Arvada that is helping to increase awareness of bicycling in the community and get more (and new people) out on bikes.
The Arvada Transportation Advisory Committee is a bicycle advocacy group that kicked off community group rides last year, and they’re continuing them this year. I chatted with Tim McAndrews, a committee member and ride leader, and he told me that fun, adventure, exercise are all part of the mix to welcome more members into the bicycling fold, and he also mentioned that you don’t have to live or work in Arvada to get in on the fun.
The rides will happen every-other week from April through September. You can choose between 10 to 12-mile recreational rides, which mostly follow off-street paths or multi-use trails, and 20+ mile sport rides that mostly use on-street bike lanes.
Rides reintroduce people to their bikes, community
Tim told me that they had about 25 people on a ride last year, and that included a handful from the same family ranging in age from 5 to 70.
He said, “It was really cool. With these rides, we want to reintroduce people to their bikes and give them a safe, non-intimidating way to get out on the great trails and dedicated bike lanes in our city.”
Another ride leader and committee member, Linda Wheeler, said, “(The rides are) adventurous in that they introduce folks to places, trails or facilities in the community that they normally wouldn’t experience, especially if they are just starting out with bicycling.”
Rides are good for business, upgrades and fixes
Participants stop at local businesses for snacks or lunch on every ride, showing local merchants that bike riders are patrons and bicycling is good for business. Also, if the group goes to a business that lacks adequate bike parking, they will kindly let the owners know that if they were to add more racks, more people on bikes would be inclined to stop in and spend.
The rides also give participants a chance to identify and to tell city staff about gaps, constraints, and hazards on roads or paths. They use the Ask Arvada website to post observations.
Tim told me that the city is great about getting back to the committee and usually addressing the issues. He said this was very much the case after the flooding last year when the Ralston Creek trail was seriously damaged.
So, I hope this has inspired you to come out and enjoy a ride in Arvada within the next six months or to perhaps even start a fun, social group ride in your own community. Enjoy!