Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Vern, God of the Equinox

The Vernal Equinox
2013 March 20, 5:02 AM MDT (11:02 Zulu Time)

And this is what we have to enjoy on the first day of Spring in Durango, Colorado.

Photography by Lisa Bourey

Monday, March 18, 2013

Bicycle Friendly Colorado

Colorado Ranks Fourth in 2012 Bicycle-Friendly State Rankings
League of American Bicyclists move Colorado from 22nd to 4th Place!

Colorado ranked 4th this year, joining the top states for the first time since the rankings began in 2008. Colorado climbed from 22th place to where we sit now in just a few short years! The rankings are based on a number of key indicators, including infrastructure and funding that provide on-the-ground bicycle facilities; education and encouragement programs that promote cycling; and passage and enforcement of bicycle-friendly laws that make it safe and comfortable for people of all ages to ride.

The League's release stated, “Colorado exemplifies many of the qualities the League looks for in a bicycle friendly state, including a bicycle commuter mode share that’s more than double the national average, a bike-friendly department of transportation, and a top-notch statewide advocacy group.”

Bicycle Colorado and our members are honored to be highlighted as a factor in making Colorado a great place to ride! Praise also extends to the Colorado Department of Transportation and our Colorado Legislature for actions that have resulted in improved bicycling.

Read more at Bicycle Colorado:

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Some Good Advice

Courtesy of
Bicycle Urbanism for Modern Cities. Since 2007.

40 years ago Copenhagen was just as car-clogged as anywhere else but now 36% of the population arriving at work or education do so on bicycles, from all over the Metro area. 50% of Copenhageners themselves use bicycles each day. They all use over 1000km of bicycle lanes in Greater Copenhagen for their journeys. Copenhagenizing is possible anywhere. started in 2007, highlighting the cycling life in Copenhagen.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

The Little Crocus That Could

First Flower, First day of March 2013

Photograph by Lisa Bourey

Winter Warriors

Zen and the art of winter bike commuting
Celebration draws 103 hardy commuters
By Jim Haug 
From the Durango Herald - February 28, 2013

Charles Shaw’s family bikes to ski, carrying their skis on racks, at Chapman Hill from their home in the Smiley Building downtown. Their trips to the grocery store are by bicycle, too, packing a grocery-cartload of food into four panniers. Charles and Lisa Shaw’s 3-year-old son, Raleigh, named for the bicycle brand, has been riding on two wheels since he was 2. “It’s good for our son. When we’re going somewhere, he goes to get his bike. He doesn’t think about it. He’s grown up that way,” said Charles Shaw, developer and manager of the Smiley Building, an office and arts space converted from a former junior high school.

On Thursday, the city celebrated its third annual Winter Bike to Work Day to get more people into the habit of cycling every day, frigid temperatures or not. People were hopping in place and gulping Italian roast outside Durango Coffee Co. to stay warm in temperatures that ranged from 14 to 20 degrees, but all agreed cycling to work is the way to go. “I can’t see driving my car two miles (to go to work). It just drives me nuts,” Alan Morris said. “Once I started commuting (by bicycle), I can’t stand getting in my car in the morning.” Morris teaches second grade at Needham Elementary School. His colleague and fellow bicycle commuter, Nora Stafford, a first-grade teacher, said she has not driven to work in six years. “The kids think we’re crazy,” Stafford said. “I started doing this as a challenge. I told the kids, ‘I’m going to see if I can do this.’ It’s to save gas, for future generations. Then it became such an easy thing. We talk about the eagles we see in the morning, the muskrats.”

Stafford, who takes the Animas River Trail from her home on Riverview Drive, said her commute is her “moment of Zen.” The cold does not seem to bother them. When they start pedaling, their bodies warm up. “I’m from South Dakota. It’s not cold here. I just bundle up,” Stafford said.

John Gadbois, an economics professor at Fort Lewis College, said, “The coldest I have ever ridden is minus 22, and that was fun. You just plug along.” Gadbois bundles up in Gore-Tex and wears snow pants for his ride uphill to FLC. He thinks riding in the summer is more of a challenge “because you get sweaty.” The economics of bicycling is far from a dismal science. “It cracks me up every time I see on the news, ‘The average family spends $3,000 a year in gas.’ I spend $40,” Gadbois said. “So I can take that $3,000 and do some pretty cool stuff. That’s the way I look at it.”

Anna Hendricks commutes four miles one way to her job at the Southwest Conservation Corps in the Commons near Albertsons. “I used to be an outdoor person, but now I sit at a desk,” Hendricks said. “So (commuting by bicycle is) a great opportunity to make sure I get up and move every single day.”
Hendricks would encourage anyone to take the plunge. “Durango is really a bike-friendly town. So they should just get out and do it,” she said. “It’s a little bit intimidating at first, but compared to big cities, it’s a great place to ride your bike. The drivers are really aware of the bikers.”

Durango is a gold-rated bicycle city by the League of American Bicyclists. According to the U.S. Census, 7 percent of all Durango workers commute by bicycle, which is 11 times more than the national average of 0.6 percent.

The third annual Winter Bike to Work Day attracted 103 area cyclists Thursday. Amber Blake, the city’s  multi-modal director, said she hopes more people think about commuting by bicycle year-round.
The longest commute reported was 26 miles from Ignacio. Altogether, the cyclists said they commuted a total of 347 miles. If conditions are bad, cyclists said they put studs on their tires, take mountain bikes or walk to work. They might take their cars if the roads are especially slick, but it’s a decision they often regret. “When it’s cold, you jump in your car, (then) you see somebody riding their bike. (You think) ‘I knew it, I should have ridden my bike today.’ Now I feel lazy,” Hendricks said. “Once you get into the habit, it feels inadequate to travel any other way.”

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