Find your groove
CU Cylcing Club: colorado.edu/recreation/club-sports/listing/cycling
Boulder Cruisers: facebook.com/HappyThursdayCruiserRide
Valmont Bike Park:bouldercolorado.gov/parks-rec/valmont-bike-park
Boulder's status as a bicycling Mecca is both long-running and legendary.
It's considered one of the top places in the country for residents to commute, get to class and run errands around town on two wheels. World-renowned professional riders, such as Taylor Phinney, live and train in town. And an informal, weekly Thursday night Cruiser Ride often draws hundreds of cyclists in the warm-weather months where participants decorate their bikes, wear costumes and bar hop for the themed social rides.
If you want to get involved with other cyclists in Boulder or enjoy the miles of paved trails, you don't even need to own your own bike. Head to any B-Cycle station in town and rent one of the red bikes for $8 per half hour. An annual pass is $70, which includes an unlimited number of rides up to 60 minutes each in the first months of the year. B-Cycle officials have a new "Casual Cruiser" pass, too, which allows riders to sign up for free and then pay to use bikes at a flat rate of $3 per half hour.
"All of these changes are being made to reach an even larger group of Boulderites, including students," said Kevin Bell, a Boulder B-Cycle spokesman.
Near campus, the Broadway and Euclid Avenue B-Cycle station is the most popular with students, Bell said. The station at Pearl and 15th streets is the most popular overall — mainly for regional visitors who want to cruise the Boulder Creek Path, Bell said. While there are no formal statistics about the number of tourists who ride the B-Cycle bikes, you'll see them on the path and around the Pearl Street Mall on warm weekends.
The Boulder Creek Path is a paved lane that runs mainly from 55th Street through Boulder along the creek all the way into Boulder Canyon, to the west. To the east, it connects with a mostly off-road path that runs all the way to Longmont.
On campus, students who are into serious cycling can join the CU Cycling Club. Coaches and staff work with both road bike riders and mountain bike riders.
When it comes to getting around town, an estimated 10 percent of residents commute to work by bike — 20 times more bicycle commuters than the national average, according to a survey done in 2009. Only residents in Davis, Calif., commute by bike more often than Boulderites, according to Ray Keener, executive director of the Bicycle Product Suppliers Association in Boulder.
"Boulder is a bicycle magnet in a lot of ways. Once you get magnetized and stuck here, it's hard to leave," Keener said.
At least 95 percent of city streets are open to cyclists, most with dedicated, striped bike lanes.
Keener's favorite, one-hour bicycle fitness ride is great for students, since it starts at CU's off-campus dorms, Williams Village, at Baseline Road and 30th Street:
Head east on Baseline Road, either to 55th Street or to the Bobolink trailhead. Take the Bobolink path south all the way to Marshall Road. From there, follow the path as it swings around to the west, ending up on the frontage road and sidewalk on the east side of Broadway. Pedal back to Table Mesa Drive, which links to the Bear Creek Path, which winds back to Williams Village.
While that loop and other dedicated bike corridors around town are good for road bikes, mountain bike riders will love the features at the Valmont Bike Park on the northeast corner of Airport and Valmont roads. The park includes single-track trails, jumps and bicycle climbing features. The park is so good that it was chosen to play host to the 2014 Cyclocross National Championships
Bicycle rider Kerry Kruempelstaedter said she tries to do most of her commuting by bike, "because it's more fun, and it feels better physically and emotionally."
"It's more fun," Kruempelstaedter said. "It doesn't feel like anything in Boulder is very far from anything else."