Biking to work is not exactly a new experience for Boulderites. But nevertheless, every year on Bike to Work Day experienced cyclists and even those new to the two-wheeled commute get to enjoy a little free food and camaraderie.
Today is the 37th Annual Bike to Work Day, and organizers estimated about 5,000 people across the Denver-metro area got out of their cars and pedaled to work. In Boulder, businesses opened up a record 51 breakfast stations for cyclists to grab some free grub on their way into work.
Austin Hanson said he bikes into work about half the time and but signed up for his first-ever Bike to Work this year.
"It's great, it's nice to see lots of people out," Hanson said while eating breakfast at the Whole Foods breakfast station on Pearl Street.
For others, Bike to Work Day is a long tradition. Betsy Maguire has been participating for eight years now. She doesn't get to bike to work as often since she works in Denver now, but happened to be working in town today.
"We bike in on weekends some too," she said.
Rob Leary and his wife Maria Toscana typically bike to work at the University of Colorado, but since they moved closer to work from south Boulder, they said they get to stop by more breakfast stations and check out the free samples.
"We can hit a couple of stations between here and work, so it's pretty exciting," Leary said.
Added Toscana, "There is a lot of food samples, a lot of stuff I may not buy if I didn't try them."
But it's not just the free stuff that keeps Toscana on her bike. She said the ease of biking in Boulder and the excercise it gives her have always kept her cycling.
"I feel stiff if I don't ride, so it helps keep me in shape," she said.
While most people at the event were biking to work, some were biking to their job searches. Rich Montgomery said he loves to bike so much he is trying to limit his job search to places that will let him ride there.
"It's my dream to be able to bike or walk to work," he said. "I really love to get out every day and bike."
But for at least a few minutes, Montgomery got to unwind from the job search with some food and other people who love biking as much as he does.
"Just getting a break from the search, taking advantage of the social opportunity," he said.