Let’s face it. There are plenty of enjoyable things to spend your limited funds on, like going out with friends, pizza, movies, a new smartphone, styling duds, iTunes, and lots more. So many things are more fun to spend money on than a car. Yet, if you own a car and park it in Boulder, you know you spend a whole lot of cash on it. In fact, according to AAA, the average American spends almost $8,000 a year on a car. That buys an awful lot of beers and pizza.
How would you get around without a car? That is the easy part. As part of tuition, most CU students receive a bus pass, so getting around by bus is covered. In Boulder, the bus goes almost everywhere, and many bus routes run every 10 minutes. Companies and even neighborhoods in Boulder also offer EcoPasses.
Don’t want to wait for a bus? Join the thousands of other folks in Boulder who get around by bike. Boulder is a great place to bike, with miles and miles of bike paths, bike lanes and bike-friendly streets. The League of American Bicyclists named Boulder one of just three platinum-level (the highest ranking) cities in North America for being bike friendly. You can even easily combine bike and bus transportation.
Don’t have a bike? We can help. Community Cycles is a local nonprofit that gathers used bikes, refurbishes them to excellent working condition, and sells them for low fees to help pay for shop costs. We also have a great program called Earn-A-Bike, where you can join a class, work on a bike, and ride it off at no cost if you complete the class. Our philosophy: teach you how to work on a bike, and you are more likely to keep it running, freeing up our limited road space for low-impact transportation. And if you are looking for a brand new bike, Boulder is home to some of the best bike shops in the country.
In need of a car for work or something else? Again, no problem. There are programs like eGo Carshare for the occasional car trip. Carshare programs allow you an annual membership or pay-as-you-go options.
For people who want to try an alternative to a car, June is an outstanding month as it is Boulder Walk and Bike Month. Community Cycles coordinates Walk and Bike Month, which includes a diverse list of more than 70 events and activities — fun road rides, mountain bike rides, how-to clinics on fixing your bike, commuting and training, runs, walks, social events, the New Belgium Clips of Faith and Beer film fest on June 24 — all with a biking and walking theme. Bike to Work Day happens on June 22, with 40 free breakfast stations across the city open from 6 to 9 a.m. To register for Bike to Work Day and see the events taking place all month, go to communitycyles.org.
As an organization dedicated to educating and advocating for more bike usage, helping coordinate these activities fits our mission at Community Cycles perfectly. June is a special time to celebrate biking in Boulder, but we work on these issues all year long. And, we are always looking for more people to get involved. Check us out at communitycyles.org or stop by the shop. You meet some great people who love bikes, and you’ll find out how you can get more out of biking in Boulder — even if that just means more cash for pizza.
Rich Points in Executive Director of Community Cycles, a nonprofit that educates and advocates for the safe use of bicycles as a means of transportation and personal enjoyment.