Bike to Work – or Run

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If you need any better excuse than the mild temperatures of June to get on your bike, Boulder and Denver have dedicated the entire month as Walk and Bike Month.

DRCOG Bike Month poster

Both cities have offered classes, workshops and free events to walkers, cyclists even runners. The events will culminate with the annual Bike to Work Day on Wednesday, June 22nd.

Cycling to work on that day is really fun as you can visit a variety of breakfast stations along your way to work. Stop by and get everything from coffee, bagels, juice, breakfast burritos to a full breakfast at the many sponsored stops. Some stations even offer quick bike tune ups for you to make sure your ride is safe and smooth.

Check out the breakfast stations in Boulder, and Denver.

I started working again in Denver two years ago and started riding my bike due to serious running injuries. I always enjoyed riding to work when I could when working in Boulder, but Denver posed a bit more of a commitment. I initially followed my friend Kevin’s route who commuted from Boulder to Denver almost every day for two years before selling his company. And after a few times riding the route, staring at the map for other safer roads, I finally came up with what I think was a pretty good option.

On Wednesday, BoulderPage has organized an Epic Bike to Work Day group ride from Boulder to Denver starting at 5:30am at the Chase Bank parking lot on Table Mesa and Broadway. Details are on Facebook.

Cycling is a great way to complete all or part of your commute, but that’s not the only alternate to driving.

One Boulderite has chosen his feet as his transportation means. Nico Brooks, an avid trail runner commutes daily to Denver’s LoDo where he is a partner in a small digital marketing agency TwoOctobers.com.

“So far the other partner has been pretty flexible regarding our dress code.”

According to Nico he commutes via running shoes: “Pretty much every day. I don’t own a car, so I have to mooch a ride if I’m not running.”

“My wife has a car, which we share use of on weekends. I also use carshare.org, which is a great option if I have a meeting I need to get to in the middle of the day.”

He gets in between 5 – 10 miles, depending on the route he chooses in the evening and says he gets about 35-40 commuting miles in per week.

What’s your typical route?
I run about 2.5 miles in the morning from my house in Boulder to the Table Mesa PnR. From there I take the bus to Denver. Sometimes I run the same way back in the evening, or I run across Marshall Mesa and the Bluestem Trail, which is about 7.5 miles. I don’t have a shower at work, so it’s better to keep the morning commute shorter. It’s mostly downhill, so my busmates don’t have to put up with too much stink.

Commute along Marshall Mesa

I have the best commute in the whole world! #running Marshall Mesa

moon rolling down Bear Peak this morning on Twitpic

Moon rolling down Bear Peak

You listen to books on tape mostly. Any favorites?
I’ve recently been listening to a lot of historical fiction. I like learning stuff, but straight non-fiction can get a little boring on long runs. I just finished Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follet, which was fantastic. I’m listening to the Australia Trilogy by Bryce Courtenay right now, which is very good as well. I’m also a big fan of NPR podcasts – Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me and This American Life in particular.

What are the benefits for you?
Not having to deal with a car is a huge benefit, both in terms of cost and stress. And I love to run.

As I make my way across the mesa with the Flatirons as a backdrop, I often think to myself that I have the best commute in the world.

Carrying a bunch of stuff to work can be cumbersome, what kind of pack do you wear and what do you take with you?
Right now I’m using a Black Diamond Octane pack, which I’m very happy with. The swiveling hip belt makes it great for running with weight. I carry clothes, a laptop and a water bottle. I’d guess that the weight is around 12-14 lbs, but I haven’t weighed it.

Wednesday June 22nd is Bike to Work Day. Will you stop at any breakfast stations?
If it occurs to me.

Anything else you care to share?
Commuting on foot and bus works for me, but walking, biking and public transportation are all great alternatives to driving. When I talk to people about my commute, they often have some explanation for why they absolutely must drive a car to work. Nine times out of ten I don’t buy it. I’ll grant that cars are a tough habit to kick, but the alternatives are cheaper, less stressful, healthier and better for the environment. I also have to give props to RTD bus drivers – that’s a hard job, and they do it well.

Connect with Nico at http://www.dailymile.com/people/nicobrx & http://twitter.com/nicobrx

Check out the options for June’s Walk and Bike Month at these websites:
http://www3.drcog.org/biketowork
http://communitycycles.org/bike-month.html

Share your stories of Bike to Work day or on alternate ways you take to work.

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