Colorado's Bike-to-Work Day is on Wednesday, June 27th – which means you've got a little under a month to prepare! For those participating, there are freebies, pancakes, burritos, yogurt, bacon, and MORE! There have even been rumors of mimosas being handed out... Did we mention this is all free?! With more than 250 breakfast stations around the region dedicated to fueling your ride from 6:30–9am, you’ll probably want to spend some time mapping out your commute to hit the best spots. But the fun doesn’t stop there! Bike Home Parties include discounted food, beers, and other giveaways to snag on your ride home.
Interested? Here's how you can join in on the sustainable fun:
1. Find a Bike.
This goes without saying, but you’ll need a bike. Your wallet can rest assured, you don’t need a new shiny set of wheels for your first several trips. Is your bike buried behind some boxes in the garage? Pull it out, dust it off, and take it to your local mechanic. Chances are they can get your bike in good working condition with a few minor adjustments. If you don’t have a bike, or need a new one, check out used deals at local bike shops, browse Craigslist, or tell your friends that you’re looking—they may have a decent set of wheels they’d be willing to sell or loan you.
If you’re lucky enough to live near one of many bike share options, you may want to experiment with bike commuting by taking advantage of this low-cost alternative before investing in a bike of your own.
2. Get Proper Safety Equipment.
After you make sure your bike is in good working condition, familiarize yourself with the rules of the road. Cyclists have the same rights and responsibilities as cars when on the street. Learn hand signals for turning and make sure you have front and rear lights. Wear bright colors to help drivers notice your presence, and be predictable when riding. And don’t forget that helmet!
3. Tell Your Friends.
Find a friend or coworker to try bike commuting with you. You’ll have a built-in support system to keep you motivated, and someone to check out all those breakfast stations with. If you don’t have a friend who’s using a similar route, consider joining a group ride—this is a fun way to connect with other commuters, get advice, and meet people in your community.
4. Take a Test Ride.
Use a weekend day to test ride your route when there’s no pressure to arrive on time. Apps like Waze and Google Maps are improving, but don’t always provide the best route for biking. Avoid delays and surprises by working out where to connect to bike paths or see what streets are the most bike friendly.
5. Don't Stress About Gear.
Don’t be intimidated by all those bike commuters with fancy clothes and tons of gear. Chances are you can make the commute in your work clothes, but a change of clothes may be needed for longer commutes. A simple backpack, front basket, or rear rack should give you ample space to carry items you may need. As you continue bike commuting, you’ll find what works for you and be able to adjust accordingly.
6. Win Prizes.
Just by registering to ride, you’ll be eligible to win some pretty rockin’ prizes—Way to Go is giving away an e-bike, an all-expenses paid cycling trip to Iceland, several concert tickets, and more!
7. Stay Motivated.
We all need a little motivation when trying something new or changing our habits, and the benefits of bike commuting are manifold! For one, biking burns exponentially more calories than sitting in traffic, and it's probably faster to bike if you live within 5 miles of your office. Additionally, you get to experience your community in a whole new way by taking smaller, more bike-friendly side streets to find hidden gems. Support these local businesses with your newfound savings from bike commuting—less gas, maintenance, and repairs to your car add up quickly! Lastly, of course, bike commuting is a more sustainable form of transportation, meaning cleaner air and healthier communities for all of us.
Head over to check out Way To Go's official site for more information about Bike-to-Work-Day!