In September, Governor John Hickenlooper took a well-known fact—that cycling is good for people and good for the economy—and made it official by rolling out a four-year, $100-million plan to make Colorado the best state in the nation for riding a bike.
Biking’s boost to Colorado’s coffers is no surprise. According to a 2000 Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) study, the total annual economic benefit of bicycling in the state exceeded $1 billion. Today, that number is likely much higher, given the number of bike-related businesses and world-class races and events held in the state.
In the new plan, about $10 million of the proposed budget will go toward sustaining and growing the state’s Safe Routes to School program, and $60 million will be used to develop bike and pedestrian infrastructure. An additional $30 million will come from Great Outdoors Colorado’s new push for trail connectivity.
Tim Blumenthal, president of Boulder-based PeopleForBikes, believes this edict from the statehouse has the power to change Coloradans’ access to safe cycling in a new and bold way. “We can’t rest on our laurels here and expect that everything will be fine because we’ve got a beautiful state with active people,” he says. “We have to plan, invest and promote, and that is just what the governor is doing.”
—By Betsy WelchCycle of Pain
Cycle of Pain
When winter weather keeps you from cycling outdoors, APEX Coaching Studio at RallySport Health & Fitness in Boulder has a solution: the Sufferfest indoor cycle program. Its seriously hard-core workouts, set to footage from races like the Tour de France or the UCI World Championships, let you “suffer” with your favorite professional cyclists as they inspire you to pedal along with them. www.rallysportboulder.com.
—By Emma Smith