Opinion: Creating a community on two wheels | Opinion

June is Bike Month, a time to showcase and celebrate cycling infrastructure and the impact it can have on community, economic development, transportation and the environment. During Bike Month 2022, we salute the bike-related developments, events, and opportunities that support Southeast Colorado Springs.

To access: Community groups and dedicated volunteers have worked hard to improve cycling accessibility in the Southeast Corridor. Kids on Bikes, a local non-profit organization, has worked with local schools as well as community centers to create bicycle libraries to provide students, families and community groups with the opportunity to “borrow” a bike to be able to experience organized community rides. Additionally, libraries provide access to helmets and tools. Bicycle libraries are available at Deerfield Hills Community Center, Atlas Preparatory Academy, Roosevelt Charter Academy and Adams Elementary School as well as the Southeast Armed Forces YMCA. Visit www.kidsonbikes.net to learn how bike libraries work.

Four years ago, RISE | Southeast has partnered with the Trails and Open Space Coalition and Kids on Bikes to create regular “Southeast Colorado Springs Community Cruise” rides to bring together riders of all ages and abilities to explore the ever-expanding Sand Creek Trail. . Like the popular “Popcycle Ride” on the Legacy Loop near downtown Colorado Springs, the cruises offer a fun and easy, family-friendly 4-mile ride along the Sand Creek Trail and featuring kid-friendly Otter Pops at halfway through Wildflower Park. These rides are a great way to try cycling with experienced riders and guides who can help with safety, route finding and technical riding tips.

Infrastructure: The City of Colorado Springs has expanded its commitment to cycling infrastructure in the Southeast. Dating back to 2018, a study by the Urban Land Institute indicated that safe trail crossings were a critical need for cycling infrastructure in the Southeast Corridor. In 2021, a pedestrian traffic light was installed at the Sand Creek Trail crossing in Chelton. A second activated crosswalk where the Sand Creek Trail crosses the Hancock Freeway will be constructed within the next year. This upgrade will connect the Sand Creek Trail in southeast Colorado Springs to safer crossings and connections between the Pikes Peak Greenway and Powers (East Fork) and Airport Road (main trail). The city has also offered bike lanes on the Hancock Expressway and Chelton between the Sand Creek Trail and Powers Blvd (more on Community Connects in April).

Events: On June 12, Mayor John Suthers will join Southeast residents and cyclists of all skill levels on the Mayor’s Ride. This ride is sponsored by a partnership between the City of Colorado Springs, Bike Colorado Springs, RISE | Southeast, Kids on Bikes, TOSC and PikeRide. For more details, see coloradosprings.gov/mayorsride.

One of the highlights of Bike Month is Bike to Work Day! This is a Colorado-wide event, encouraging community members to try bicycling as a mode of transportation for a single day on the fourth Wednesday in June.

This year, Bike to Work Day COS takes place on Wednesday, June 22 and features nearly 40 FREE breakfast stations across the city to help you get around! There are more breakfast stations in the Southeast than ever! Visit coloradosprings.gov/biketowork to view a map of locations and choose one or more on your route!

As more residents move to the area and downtown density increases, alternative modes of transportation are helping to make cycling a comfortable, convenient, and accepted mode of transportation in our region and across the south. -east of Colorado Springs. Bike Month activities help create opportunities to explore our community on two wheels and potentially rethink transportation options in our area.

Sign up to play with us! It’s a day. It’s great for your mental and physical health. And given today’s gas prices, it’s also good for your financial well-being! Register on coloradosprings.gov/biketowork.