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Friday, July 17, 2009
  Colorado county seeks bike ban from public roads
By Yokota Fritz 
PAPER'S PLEASE!

Liberty hating communist commissioners of Jefferson County Colorado want to steal your freedom and your right to travel! In a hearing, the county commissioners talked about having their lobbyist talk to Colorado state legislators about a law that would permit counties to ban bicycles from Colorado county roads.

The commissioners claim they're doing this in the name of safety. There is no move, however, to restrict the real safety hazard on mountain roads -- automobiles.

Since the commissioners claim they are responding to the emailed complaints of Jefferson County Road users, it's time for cyclists to email the Jefferson County Commission and, more importantly, show up at Jeffco Commission Meetings. MAKE YOUR VOICE HEARD, CYCLISTS! You can also call them at +1 (303) 271-8525; and send snail mail to 100 Jefferson County Parkway, Golden, CO, 80419.

Jefferson County Attorney Ellen Wakeman is drafting the legislation. Her office's phone number is +1 (303) 271-8900; her administrative assitant's email address is [email protected]. Keep them busy!

More:

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Wednesday, January 14, 2009
  Denver bike share coming
By Yokota Fritz 
Some 500 bikes will be available this summer at 30 to 40 stations around Denver. The Denver B-Cycle program got initial funding from a $1 million donation from the Denver 2008 Convention Host Committee. "We are confident Denver B-Cycle will prove equally popular while improving our fitness levels and our environment," said Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper. "Our 358 miles of bike routes and trails combined with our 300 days of sunshine make Denver the perfect city in which to launch this citywide bike sharing system."
Read more in the Denver Post.

See also Bike Denver B-Cycle launch event invitation.

See also -- Denver transportation to focus on people, not cars: "A fundamental premise of the STP is that Denver must continue its growing trend towards relying on many modes of transportation, including walking, biking and using public transit in order to meet the transportation demands of the future."

While I'm focusing on bicycling in Colorado:
  • Go Boulder is the city of Boulder transportation department resource site, where they proudly say, "In some places, people talk about the importance of using transportation options. Here, we walk the talk. Or bike it. Or bus it."

  • Colorado Springs Cycling Club.

  • Bicycle Colorado is Colorado's statewide bike advocacy group. They're doing wonderful work with Safe Routes to School programs throughout the state. Bicycle Colorado reminds cyclists that you can dial *CSP from your cell phone to report road rage to the Colorado State Police.

  • Bike Fort Collins is the bike advocacy group in Fort Collins. The city of Fort Collins is pushing to go Platinum as a Bicycle Friendly Community.

  • I cut my teeth on bicycle advocacy with Bicycle Longmont. Good people there!

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Saturday, January 03, 2009
  Boulder's indoor velodrome on TV news
By Yokota Fritz 
Welcome to Colorado's only indoor velodrome.

The facility, called Boulder Indoor Cycling, was created to give riders the chance to train on a wooden track in a controlled environment.




Read more and watch the video. Via. See also Boulder Indoor Cycling, which has an open house today from noon to 6 PM.

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Friday, November 07, 2008
  Boulder Velodrome grand opening December 1
By Yokota Fritz 
The long awaited Boulder Colorado Velodrome plans a grand opening party and open house on Sunday, November 30th, 2008. This new velodrome is located in a former warehouse building at 3550 Frontier Avenue, near where Pearl Street crosses Foothills Highway (Hwy 157).

Via Ultra Rob.

While we're in Boulder, let's also visit Community Cycles, a group of bicycle enthusiasts whose mission is to educate and advocate for the safe use of bicycles as an affordable, viable and sustainable means of transportation and personal enjoyment. The Boulder Daily Comrade just posted a nice Community Spotlight on them. Community Cycles is located conveniently on the Goose Creek bike path and (literally) just across the tracks from the Boulder Velodrome.

Elsewhere, I've been busy posting stuff to Commute By Bike... Have a wonderful weekend, all.

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Monday, September 22, 2008
  Tim DeFrisco Denver bike messenger photos
By Yokota Fritz 
Tim DeFrisco is a photographer in Denver who apparently specializes in sports and "lifestyle" photography, including bike stuff, though he also has some killer portraits on his website.

Denver bike messenger by Tom DeSilva
His latest project has been a series of Denver bike messenger photos that will be displayed at Interbike during the Urban Legend Fashion and Art Show on Thursday evening, beginning at 5:00PM in the Venetian Ballroom G.

See more of Tom DeSilva's work at his blog and his website.

Via Gwadzilla.

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Wednesday, August 27, 2008
  Free bicycles in Denver video
By Yokota Fritz 
One interesting factoid I didn't know about -- several sharrows were apparently placed specifically in anticipation and for bike riders visiting Denver for the DNC!

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Friday, August 22, 2008
  Denver police: REI is a terrorist den
By Yokota Fritz 
According to Denver Police, the REI flagship store near downtown Denver, Colorado is a haven for violent terrorist protesters who plan to camp out and disrupt the Democratic National Convention next week.

In a recently disclosed "Special Bulletin," the Denver Police Department are asking all area police, sheriff, fire and ambulance personnel to be on the lookout for items that can be used by terrorists. The items listed on their special bulletin include: Bicycles (they can block streets and sidewalks and stop emergency response vehicles), Bike helmets (because this is what terrorists wear, according to Denver police), Maps, and Camping information, especially when they're stored inside old buildings.

I've done my part to protect the American Way by informing the Denver Police of a very large stockpile of these items at old Denver Tramway building at 1416 Platte Street near downtown.

Seriously, what's especially offensive is the idea that bikes and bike helmets might seem "out of place" to police officers in downtown Denver. This bulletin is just the permission cops like Michael Cordova need to harass cyclists who just want to get around. I don't see any kind of motor vehicle on the list of suspicious items distributed by Denver police, yet cars and trucks are more capable at blocking sidewalks and streets and blockading emergency response than any group of cyclists. Cyclists can be physically lifted and removed.

In 2002, it was found that Denver Police kept records that labeled local citizens as "criminal extremists" in spite of a lack of any criminal record. This intelligence gathering started in 1953; the Denver Spy Files had information on over 3000 individuals and 200 organizations. The ACLU filed suit in 2002 and settled with Denver in 2003. Though Denver was supposed to have changed its spy gathering policies with the 2003 settlement, this document seems to indicate the same old stuff from them.

Bicycle helmets are used by violent protesters

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Monday, August 18, 2008
  Bicycle excise tax pays for trail network
By Yokota Fritz 
The city of Colorado Springs, CO, charges a $4 excise tax on new bicycles. In 2007, retailers in Colorado Springs sold 32,853 new bicycles, compared against 23,512 cars and trucks sold at car dealerships in all of El Paso County.

This bicycle tax was created 20 years ago to fund construction of bike facilities and has generated about $2 million in income since it started in 1988. According to Colorado Springs transportation planners, the current network of bike paths would not exist today without this tax.

Read more about this excise tax in the Colorado Springs Gazette.

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Thursday, June 26, 2008
  Colorado cyclist hits bear
By Yokota Fritz 
More cycling news from Colorado:
A cyclist in Boulder County was injured after a run-in, literally, with a bear.

Tim Egan, 53, was riding on Old Stage Road Tuesday afternoon when suddenly a bear appeared in front of him. Egan hit the bear and ended up skidding across the road.

"This bear looked at me with a look of terror on his face and sort of made a noise," said Egan. "I looked at him with a look of terror and we went, 'aaaahhhhh.'"
Old Stage Road is along a popular road cycling route off of Lefthand Canyon Drive in the foothills just north of Boulder, Colorado. Read more in the Rocky Mountain News. There's some interesting elaboration in this earlier Daily Comrade article:
While the man and bear collided, a buck wandered into the scene playing out on the road. The bear turned its attention to the animal and roared, scaring the deer off before running off itself.
Mentioned also in this 9 News article with the usual stupid comments from psuedonymous cowards.

I've had to stop for herds of mule deer and elk while cycling in the Colorado Rockies, and once blundered headlong into a herd of moose(!) but I've never encountered a bear on the road while cycling.

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  Colorado legislatures attack cycling on Bike To Work Day
By Yokota Fritz 
Wednesday was Bike To Work Day in Colorado.

I have much more to write about Highlands Ranch in Douglas County, Colorado in particular, but for now I'll just reprint the press release from the Colorado state legislature and let it speak for itself. I have additional commentary about Highlands Ranch in this map I uploaded to Flickr this morning. For those not familiar with the area, Highlands Ranch is the poster child for suburban cul de sac traffic hell. Aerial photos of Highlands Ranch are used to illustrate articles on the evils of sprawl. It's a shame that these bozos want to turn bicycling into a partisan issue.




“You’ve got to be kidding!”

That was the reaction today from Colorado State Senator Josh Penry, R-Grand Junction, and State Representative Frank McNulty, R-Highlands Ranch, when they heard that Democrats are proposing “long bike ride(s)” as a solution to rising gas prices.

“Colorado families are struggling at the pump and the answer we are getting from Colorado Democrats is shut down oil and gas production in Colorado and ride your bike: Unbelievable,” said McNulty. “I’d like to see how they expect a mother of three in my district to get her kids to school and to buy groceries for her family using a bicycle.”

The press announcement that Democrats sent out yesterday states: “As gas prices continue to spiral toward $5 a gallon, many are taking a stand – or in some cases, a long bike ride.”

McNulty and Penry said they are supportive of celebrating “Bike to Work Day” today, but said that it’s not realistic for Democrats to hold bicycling up as a way to address skyrocketing gas prices.

“Bill Ritter's "New Energy Economy" now has a mascot: it is the bicycling politician who thinks we can peddle our way to energy independence,” Penry said. “This is the most absurd, ridiculous and totally convincing explanation of why Colorado Democrats are clueless when it comes to addressing our energy crisis.”

Penry and McNulty have supported many of the governor’s renewable energy initiatives, but say that it is only part of the solution. They have both been critical of Gov. Ritter’s approach to stunting energy development in Colorado, an approach they say will lead to even higher energy prices for Colorado consumers.

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Tuesday, June 24, 2008
  Colorado bike to work day
By Yokota Fritz 
Wednesday, June 25 is Bike To Work Day in Colorado. GO Boulder appeals to all Boulder cyclists to register yourself for Bike To Work Day with DRCOG. According to Boulder transportation planner Marni Ratzel, "We use Bike to Work day numbers to show the potential for biking in Boulder. If we could show that it is possible to get thousands of people on bikes in Boulder, we will make Boulder the biking capital of the world."

According to Ratzel, even if you don't work or work from home, any trip you take by bike will count for registration.

If you register you get entered to win all sorts of prizes, including a Yeti bike,a fully load commuter bike, messenger bags and other great stuff.

This registration with DRCOG is for all Denver and Boulder region commuters and is used to gauge the effectiveness of bike promotion efforts. Make your ride count and register yourself now.

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Friday, June 13, 2008
  Colorado bike haiku
By Yokota Fritz 
Carl ran a bike club for students at Columbine Elementary School in Longmont, Colorado. The bike club was for the Walk Or Wheels ("WOW") program at the school, which encourages students to walk or bike to school and which has an astounding participation rate of over 90%. Carl started the club as an additional impetus to get the kids out of their parents' cars and to teach them to ride safely.

He assigned some homework to the children, asking them to write some "bike haiku" or baiku. Read the student's baiku here.

Enjoy the weekend, all!

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Friday, April 25, 2008
  Bicycle education material in Spanish
By Yokota Fritz 
To better serve families and communities throughout the state, Bicycle Colorado's education team is translating key Safe Routes to School materials into Spanish. More than 70,000 school-age students speak primarily Spanish in Colorado, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

"Providing our handouts and education materials in both English and Spanish allows us to effectively reach out to more students and families within our communities with bicycle and pedestrian safety messages," said Maggie Thompson, Bicycle Colorado education director.

Bicycle Colorado wants all bicyclists in the state to have access to safety information and the rules of the road. After all, when more people ride bikes more often, everyone benefits.

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Wednesday, March 19, 2008
  Colorado teacher continuing education
By Yokota Fritz 
One of the goals of the State’s Safe Routes program is to reach children statewide with bicycle and pedestrian safety education. Bicycle Colorado educators are traveling around the state bringing Safe Routes to Durango, Buena Vista, Yuma, La Junta, and Steamboat Springs to train teachers and administrators to implement Safe Routes programs in their areas by teaching students, parents, and teachers safe bicycling and walking practices. Teachers leave the training with classroom toolkits, including complete lesson plans and worksheets.

Upcoming training sessions in these areas:
    Yuma - Friday, March 21st, 9am-5pm
    Buena Vista - Friday, April 4th, 9am-5pm
    La Junta - Thursday, April 24th, 9am-5pm
    Steamboat Springs - Friday, May 2nd, 9-5

These bicycle education courses are accredited through Adams State College, providing participating teachers with continuing education credits required by the state.

For online registration for these classes and more information about the Safe Routes to School program in Colorado, visit the Bicycle Colorado Safe Routes page.

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Tuesday, February 12, 2008
  9% of Boulder commuters commute by bike
By Yokota Fritz 
From 2006 U.S. Census data, as reported at Go Bike Boulder.

Boulder transportation mode share

In a survey of larger cities, Portland, OR had the highest percentage of bike commuters at 3.5 percent. Nationwide, the share of commuters biking to work in 2006 was 0.4%.

In the chart, "SOV" means Single Occupant Vehicle.

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Thursday, September 13, 2007
  Good life cyclist
By Yokota Fritz 
Mike the cyclist commutes 24 miles from Centennial, Colorado to Lakewood. He recently started spreading the good word about cycling on Good Life Cyclist, where he shares all things good about riding a bicycle in Colorado.

Mike enjoys mountain biking in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. "I call the foothills my backyard playground," he writes. "From my house I can ride 20 to 30 minutes and explore Green Mountain, Red Rocks Park, Mount Falcon and Lair Of The Bear. I loop these all together for a 40 mile training ride."

Regarding his commute, Mike writes, "I love it - this is my main way to get in the training hours while still doing something I have to anyway (get to work) and saves gas, wear and tear on the car. However the money I have been spending on bicycle gear might balance out the gas savings."

What is he training for?
My main cycling goal right now is to train, prepare and finish the Great Divide Race in 2008. The Great Divide Mountain Bike Route (aka GDMBR) was put together by Adventure Cycling and is the longest off-pavement bike route in the world. It crosses the continental divide a total of 27 times. Its total length is 2,490 miles starting in Montana at the Canadian border and finishing in New Mexico at the Mexican border.

The route is the longest and most challenging off road bicycle tour in the world. It is the Holy Grail of the mountain bike world. My goal is to complete it in under 20 days. The record is 15 days 4 hours and 18 minutes. Only 5 people have ever completed this in under 20 days.
Mike, as a television commercial producer, plans to record his experience of the Great Divide Race 2008 and produce a documentary. Check out Good Life Cyclist.

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Friday, September 07, 2007
  Denver 16th Street Pedestrian Mall
By Yokota Fritz 
I feel like ranting today.

Yield To Mall Shuttles

What's wrong with this picture?

The 16th Street Pedestrian Mall is a 16-block long pedestrian mall running through downtown Denver. 16th Street is closed to absolutely all vehicular traffic -- including bicycles -- EXCEPT for the free mall shuttle buses that circulate regularly up and down 16th Street.

I didn't think to take a photo of it while I was there, but this pedestrian mall is completely devoid of (wait for it...) pedestrian traffic! Actually, there are plenty of pedestrians, but they're all jammed onto the ridiculously narrow sidewalks, just like anywhere else in downtown Denver. The street portion is given completely to the mall shuttles, and in fact jaywalking is illegal. Did I mention you can't bike on 16th? Not only that, pedestrian traffic is so heavy that walking a bike through the sidewalks is impractical.

When I crossed mid-block before taking this photo, a shuttle bus driver actually accelerated and came within inches of running me down! Shortly after taking this photo, I was standing at the edge of the sidewalk -- a bus pulled along side me skimming the curb and the side mirror would have hit my head if I didn't move away at the last minute! One woman on the crosswalk near this sign screamed when the bus driver didn't slow for her until the very last second.

These shuttle drivers on the pedestrian mall are belligerent to the pedestrians who are in "their" street. I wrote a letter to my RTD representative about this, who ignored it just like the previous two letters I've written to him.

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Tuesday, August 14, 2007
  Wiens vs Flandis @ Leadville 100
By Yokota Fritz 
UltraRob has posted several photos of the battle between Dave Wiens and Floyd Landis at the 2007 Leadville 100. He promises a writeup of the epic race later.

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Wednesday, July 18, 2007
  Tom Danielson at the Mount Evans Hillclimb
By Yokota Fritz 
Discovery Team cyclist Tom Danielson, who is recovering from an intestinal illness, plans to race the Mount Evans Hillclimb this weekend in Colorado. The race begins at 7000 feet above sea level and climbs for 28 miles to the top of the highest paved road in the United States at over 14,000 feet. Danielson is the current course record holder on the climb which he accomplished in 2004 while riding for the Italian Fassa Bortolo team.

Danielson will be up against 6-time winner of the event, Scott Moninger of the BMC cycling team as well as climbing specialist, Drew Miller and other top professionals.

For more info about the Bob Cook Memorial Mount Evans Hillclimb, visit bicyclerace.com. Mount Evans is one of three Colorado "fourteeners" I've been to the summit of. I'd like to do it by bike some day.

Hat tip to Pete in Colorado for this news.

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Friday, July 13, 2007
  Bicycle lending library
By Yokota Fritz 

Fort Collins aims to increase bicycles for transportation

The city of Fort Collins, Colorado, received a federal grant to pay for a new bicycle lending program. According to city bike coordinator Dave Kemp, "We are encouraging daily trips around Fort Collins by a bicycle instead of a car. We're trying to make it easy to bike instead of use a car. We want a clean city to live in."

The Fort Collins Bicycle Library, scheduled to begin in early 2008, will make 50 bikes available for free use from various locations around town. The program, a joint effort between FC Bikes and Bike Fort Collins, will offer road bikes for the business person who wants to bike the commute rather than drive, cargo bikes for anyone who needs to deliver packages or take items with them and cruisers for those who are looking for a recreational trip.

Read more in the Coloradoan. See also this profile on Dave "DK" Kemp.

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Wednesday, July 11, 2007
  Rumor Mill: Lance Armstrong in Leadville
By Yokota Fritz 
Do you remember when Lance Armstrong talked about participating in the Leadville 100 then backed out, claiming a scheduling conflict shortly after Floyd Landis said he'd do the same race?

Well, Armstrong has recently been seen in Leadville, mountain biking with his old trainer Chris Carmichael.

Will Armstrong race in the Leadville 100 in 2007? Carmichael reports on his blog: "I don’t know, yet. He liked what he saw and was impressed by how hard some of the climbs are, but his schedule is pretty packed. He originally had to cancel his plans to do Leadville because of a schedule conflict, and it remains to be seen whether he’d be able to squeeze it in somehow. I’ll keep you posted."

Reported also at Go Clipless. Thank you to UltraRob for the heads up. His website looks interesting.

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Wednesday, June 27, 2007
  Colorado Bike to Work Day news
By Yokota Fritz 
My old friends in Colorado report tremendous participation in the 2007 Bike To Work Day in the Centennial State. In the Denver region, a record 23,000 cyclists rode their bikes to work today, an increase of 12% over last year. "It was exhilarating to see so many riders out today," said Denver County Judge Ray Satter, a hardcore bike commuter who rides to work year-round, even in the rain, snow or ice. Colorado Governor Bill Ritter is a enthusiastic recreational cyclist; he also participated in the event.

CBS4 Video: Thousands pedal to work in Front Range featuring Denver Mayor Hickenlooper and Governor Ritter.

Longmont Times-Call: Bikes, pancakes abound. "As of 8 a.m., about 100 people had stopped by for a bite to eat, said city associate civil engineer Len Marques. “I can tell by the number of sausages, actually,” said Marques, who helped organize city efforts to mark the alternative transportation day. (Len is a personal friend of mine and fantastic guy).

Boulder Daily Camera: Fitness, free food fuel ride to work features profiles of a wide range of bike commuters in Boulder.

Fort Collins Coloradoan: Biking, breakfast highlight Bike To Work Day.

9 News Video: Thousands participate with video of morning anchor Susie Wargin's 28 mile commute. I seem to recall another 9News reporter who's a hard core cyclist who was fired after she appeared nude in a magazine or website somewhere... What was her name?

Shame on the news sources in Pueblo, Colorado Springs, and Grand Junction who make no mention of Bike To Work festivities in those cities! Even the Greeley Tribune in Weld County at least publicized Bike To Work Day in a positive way.

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Thursday, May 31, 2007
  Bicycle Colorado jerseys
By Yokota Fritz 


Order the Bicycle Colorado Jersey and show your support for bicycling in Colorado. $49 for Bicycle Colorado members, $55 for non-members. Jerseys will be shipped beginning in July. Order from Bicycle Colorado.

Remember, June is Colorado Bike Month; Bike To Work Day is Wednesday, June 27, 2007.

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Wednesday, April 25, 2007
  Denver Boulder Bike To Work Day 2007
By Yokota Fritz 
Bike To Work Day in the Boulder / Denver area will take place on June 27, 2007. Visit DRCOG's BTWD site to register for the event, order t-shirts, view breakfast station maps, and see the sponsors who support Bike To Work Day in Denver and Boulder.


Of the 50 breakfast stations in Boulder County (population 290,000), 35 are in the city of Boulder (population 100,000). In some parts of Boulder there are two or three breakfast stations per block, and it's a tremendous opportunity to pick up lots of schwag and fill your larder with fruit, bagels, energy bars, and sports drinks. It's all great fun.

Downtown Denver will also be thick with bike-to-work breakfast stations, with more breakfast stations scattered around Broomfield, Thornton, Westminster, Thornton, Golden, Wheat Ridge, Lakewood, Glendale, Aurora, Englewood, Littleton, Highlands Ranch, and all the way in Parker.

If you register, you're entered in a drawing for some fantastic prizes: Two round trip tickets from Frontier Airlines, high value gift certificates to Dick's Sporting Goods, two Westword concert tickets, and more.

More Denver Boulder area Bike To Work Day resources

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Saturday, March 03, 2007
  Colorado Consumer’s Choice Bicycle Shop
By Yokota Fritz 
Buzz teaches LAB Road 1 Class in LongmontBuzz Feldman, owner of High Gear Cyclery and a League Certified Instructor, teaches the Road 1 class to his staff at High Gear Cyclery in Longmont, Colorado.
Buzz Feldman, the owner of High Gear Cyclery in Longmont, Colorado, is a personal friend of mine and I'm glad he's received this recognition. He and his staff are all first class, and Buzz has personally put in thousands of hours of his time and plenty of his money into promoting cycling for transportation in Boulder County.

High Gear Cyclery has been identified as one of the top 12 bike shops in the nation, as ranked by members of the League of American Bicyclists. During the past summer, the Gluskin – Townley Group, LLC, conducted a survey of League members. Members were asked the name and city of their one favorite bike shop. Among the reasons given were: A commitment to customer service; Support for local bicycling activities and programs; The attitude of the shop owner and staff. As a result, the League recognized High Gear Cyclery as the Consumer’s Choice Bicycle Shop in Colorado. High Gear Cyclery is located at 504 Main Street, Longmont, Colorado.

High Gear Cyclery website.

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Thursday, February 15, 2007
  Bike shop manager Bill Houghton
By Yokota Fritz 
In April 2003, Bruce McGrew opened Pro Cycling in Colorado Springs, Colorado. McGrew needed a manager, so he hired William Reeese Houghton to manage his store.

Houghton was an experienced bike store manager, starting at age 17 at online retailer Colorado Cyclist as a warehouse stocker. He worked his way up to become General Manager before leaving Colorado Cyclist in 2002.

In 2003, McGrew lost $400,000. He lost $280,000 in 2004 and $110,000 in 2005, so McGrew hired a consultant to figure out where the money was going.

It turns out Houghton was fired in 2002 from Colorado Cyclist for stealing from that store. At Pro Cycling, Houghton listed shop inventory on eBay, used the shop's FedEx account to ship the merchandise, and pocketed the revenue. Houghton stole $375,000 from McGrew, and made $147,605 in his venture.

"Bike theft suspect racking up charges." - January 28, 2006.

"Bike shop thief aggrees to deal." - February 14, 2007.

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Tuesday, February 06, 2007
  Dan's guide to cycling advocacy
By Yokota Fritz 
Dan Grunig on the road Dan Grunig, Executive Director of Bicycle Colorado, bicycles through the streets of Denver, Colorado.
Dan Grunig has a passion for promoting bicycling for transportation, recreation and fitness. He is the Executive Director of Bicycle Colorado, he's a League Certified Instructor (LCI), and he's on the board of directors for the Thunderhead Alliance for which he also chairs the Complete Streets Committee.

Under Dan's direction, Bicycle Colorado has grown to have a four-person staff with a $300,000 budget. Dan has a graduate degee from the non-profit business program at the University of Wisconsin. To successfully allow a bicycle advocacy organization to thrive, Dan tells me that it's necessary to understand fundraising, finance, management, marketing, and boards.

Beyond that, however, Dan is motivated by the mission of Bicycle Colorado. To that end, Bicycle Colorado works with local groups in Colorado to get a group connected and rolling. Many groups have started this way in Douglas County, Fort Collins, Grand Junction, Winter Park, Jefferson County and elsewhere.

I asked Dan what people can do in their cities to promote cycling. He answered,
One of the most often overlooked (and underrated) is being an ambassador for bicycling every time you ride. Knowing and following the rules of the road and trail project a positive image of bicycling to the public and our opponents.

People promoting rights for vehicles other than bicycles love to point to examples of discourteous or dangerous behavior by bicyclists. We have total control to nullify this argument by simply following the rules. By following the rules you are far less likely to be in a crash and in the rare chance that you are, you will have better protection in the legal system.

The other is way to make a difference is definitely cliché, but our governmental decision making process is dominated by people who show up. It is much easier for a transportation official to overlook the rights of bicyclists when there is no bicyclist in the room.

Transportation decisions are happening every day in every community in Colorado. Many of the decisions made today won’t be implemented for five to thirty years so the sooner we “show up,” the sooner things start getting better.

I know coming out of college, politics was a turn off for me and I felt like I couldn’t have any influence on the system. What I have learned since is exactly opposite! I want bicyclists to know we most definitely can have tremendous influence and the system can work in our favor. But it won’t happen on its own. We each need to add just a little time, energy, and money and the gains will be substantial.

So my advice is to get connected with your local advocacy group and send a check to each of your local, state, and national bicycle advocacy groups. For less than the cost of a tank of gas, you can add horsepower to the bicycle movement.

What if a city has an active and effective advocacy group? Should others try to be involved?
I would challenge an uninvolved bicyclist to ask themselves some important questions: Are you pleased with how bicyclists are treated in your community? Are there bike lanes and paths along your favorite routes? Are motorists respectful and courteous? Do you feel safe on your bike? Is your business or school accommodating to bicyclists? Do local businesses welcome customers who ride bikes? Is your community reducing pollution? Are residents healthy and active?

A community with a fairly active bicycle advocacy community is probably making some nice progress, but transportation change is slow by nature. The more people we have working for improvements, the sooner they will happen. Sitting on the sidelines and letting other people do the work and pay the bills won’t produce substantial change in the near future.

We need to be impatient. We need to understand the time to make time is now.

I believe the way to get involved is through your local bicycle advocacy group. By coordinating efforts and working on specific campaigns, we can accomplish tremendous things.

What about the area where there is no cycling advocacy? How can the cyclist begin to make changes?
I think this probably the most exciting scenario a bicyclist can be in. Since nothing is happening right now, this is a situation where they have potential to make tremendous gains.

The first thing to understand is that you are not alone. Hundreds of bicycle advocacy groups across the nation have started in the exact same situation. Thunderhead Alliance is the collection of those experiences. Getting plugged into their knowledge base and training system is a “fast forward” to success.

My message is that it takes a group to really affect change. Building an organization builds power and credibility. It also provides more people help share the load.

Bicycle Colorado’s mission keeps our efforts focused on statewide decisions and programs. Our intention is to improve the actions of the state’s transportation department so that communities who look to the state for leadership will also adopt bicycle friendly policies.

The real power at the local level comes from the community’s citizens. A group made up of outsiders doesn’t carry as much weight as one made up of people who live there. Bicyclists in individual communities have to take the first step. They have to stand up and begin asking why bicyclists’ rights are being pushed aside. When they begin to take action, everything changes.

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