With not an inch of snow on the ground and sunny skies in the forecast, Boulder residents found it was a great morning to get on their bikes and ride.

With 1,600 people registered for this morning's Fifth Annual Winter Bike to Work Day as of Tuesday afternoon, the event eclipsed its goal of 1,400 registrants and almost doubled its previous record of about 1,000, said Sue Prant, event director.

"The forecast helped," she said. "But in Boulder, biking to work is a year-round option."

A free hot meal never hurts, and 11 local businesses set up breakfast stations for all those who registered. Some grabbed an apple and then went on their way, but others sat down for some eggs and got their bicycles tuned up before heading into the office.

Tommy Lorden laughs with his daughters Maura, 8, and Bridget 6, at right as they eat breakfast together at Ideal Market in Boulder on Bike to Work Day on
Tommy Lorden laughs with his daughters Maura, 8, and Bridget 6, at right as they eat breakfast together at Ideal Market in Boulder on Bike to Work Day on Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2013. (Paul Aiken / Daily Camera)

"First off, it's a free breakfast and work on your bike," said Carrie Simon, who stopped by Alfalfa's breakfast station on her way to work at the University of Colorado.

Simon said she donated her car to the Lyons Fire Department four years ago and has ridden her bike or the bus to work every day since, and hopes this event will encourage other people to consider joining her.

"It's more awareness, and it's about trying to change habits," she said. "If we continue to do this three, then four times a year in the future we won't have to do this because we will change people's thought process."

James George, who works in a bike shop, also was lending his expertise at Alfalfa's, helping to tighten brakes or adjust seats for those who stopped by.

"I think it's good having a get-together that gets people riding more," he said. "It's about getting them on another mode of transportation besides cars."

Craig Brunelle said he hopes the event can gain more publicity so more people choose to bicycle and "break away from the pump."

"They need to let the community know and encourage them to try to be healthier and reduce our dependence on fossil fuels," he said.

But Bike to Work Day appears to have converted at least one person.

Tara Hawk said she never rides her bicycle to work, but after seeing the forecast she decided to join the event.

"I heard about it and thought, 'Why not?'" she said. "It's been nice, I haven't been stopped at one light."

When asked if her experience today might encourage her to make her four-mile commute to work on a bike more often, Hawk replied, "Yeah, definitely."