It was a gray and cloudy 13 degree morning for the annual, Fort Collins’ winter bike to work day. I left home around 7:15 to catch the first of two busses I take to get to work. On super cold days, like today, I try to conserve energy and stay out of the elements as much as possible.
To my surprise, the MAX, Fort Collins’ Bus Rapid Transit line, was almost empty the entire way downtown. Typically, once the bus hits the near central stations, ridership picks up significantly as CSU staff, students and faculty pile on.
I arrived downtown to a noticeable flurry of more bike commuters than I typically see and assumed many of them were host-station hopping. Today, over 20 area businesses agreed to “host” us hearty, all-season bike commuters by serving breakfast, coffee, and giving away a treasure trove of t-shirts, trinkets and bike bling.
The Oak Street Plaza was the closest host to my workplace so a coworker and I met up there to check out the vittles and hopefully, be one of the first 100 to show up for some super special prizes. By 8:15, they were cleaned out! This is a great sign because it meant that 100 people had already shown up supporting the possibility and viability of being a bike commuter in winter.
One of the most enjoyable things about the morning, other than the super tasty serrano pepper burritos from the Rio Grand Restaurant and dark roast coffee, was the chance to meet year-round commuters and check out their cool bikes! Check out the ride below ~ a custom built appreciation gift for OtterBox employees. This one, Bike #43.
My ride home from work ended as it began. With a 13 degree, two bus ride jaunt almost twelve hours later. What might surprise people about days like today is that despite the time, temp and length of my trip to and from work, I stay warm, comfortable, and relaxed yet energized from the short bike commute I actually have. Fort Collins is an incredibly easy town to be a bike commuter in and the support and encouragement I’ve received has been fantastic! Thanks FoCo!