By US Daily Review Staff.
During the summer of 2012, Denver cements its reputation as one of the nation’s best bike cities, thanks to a Tour de France-style pro-cycling event, a pioneering bike-sharing program, and 850 miles of bike trails.
In honor of May’s National Bike Month, here are the top 10 reasons why Denver is one of the best cities to ride a bike:
1) Denver B-cycle
Introduced in April 2010, Denver’s B-cycle is the first large-scale, citywide bike-sharing program in the nation. It’s easy, cheap, and fun. More than 500 shiny red bikes are available at 50-plus stations around town. Swipe a credit card for the $8 daily pass and hop on board to start exploring Denver’s 850 miles of paved, off-street bike trails. All rides under 30 minutes are free; rides of one hour are just a dollar. Pick up a bike at one station and drop it at another – stations are conveniently located throughout the city near hotels and attractions. Check out some great B-cycle rides.
2) USA Pro Challenge
Aug. 20 – 26, Final stage in Denver Aug. 26
Hold on to your handlebars! The second annual USA Pro Challenge will be even bigger and better in 2012. “America’s Race” will visit a total of 12 official host cities over the course of the seven-day race, kicking off in Durango and once again finishing near the Colorado State Capitol Building in Downtown Denver. For seven consecutive days, 135 of the world’s top cyclists will speed across 518 miles in the majestic Rockies on a challenging course through some of America’s most beautiful scenery. Last year, more than one million spectators viewed the race from the road while 161 countries and territories broadcasted the race on television making the USA Pro Challenge one of the largest cycling events in U.S. history.
- New this year: Once again, the race will finish in Denver, but this year, the final day will be an individual time trial, which will keep fans holding their breath as cyclists race to an overall victory. Fans in Denver will have multiple opportunities to cheer for any given rider with the benefit of both start line access along the traditional team “pit row” and the thrilling finish line excitement.
3) Denver Cruiser Ride
Wednesdays, May 16-Sept. 26
The irreverent Denver Cruiser Ride is a free, weekly ride that meets every Wednesday to cycle safely through the streets ofDenver. A mid-week Mile High City tradition since 2005, each ride boasts a different theme – often involving zany costumes. This year, the Civic Center Conservancy and Denver Cruisers are hosting several free “Bike-In” movies at Civic Center Park, beginning in mid-July. These Sunday night shows will feature a state-of-the-art 40-foot screen and a festive atmosphere – including gourmet food trucks – before each show.
4) Mountain Biking Adventures
The nearby foothills and Rocky Mountains offer countless opportunities for pulse-pounding, two-wheel adventures. Red Rocks Amphitheatre and Park, best known for its stellar summer concert series, is also a prime mountain biking destination. The Red Rocks Trail, which starts at the lower north lot, is a particularly popular ride, with dramatic views of 300-foot-tall red sandstone monoliths and the Denver skyline.
5) Denver Beer Company’s Incredible Pedal IPA
Hop on, burn calories, and brew beer! The Denver Beer Company (DBC) has teamed up with BikeDenver to create a new brew, the Incredible Pedal IPA. The beer is made using a new bicycle-powered mill—designed by Denver’s Salvagetti Bike Shop—that grinds malted barley while cyclists pedal.
6) Denver Bike Tours
Denver Bike Tours was started by four friends with the objective of providing memorable outdoor experiences. There are a variety of tours and activities including mountain bike tours, city bike tours, lessons, custom rides, family fun rides, and bike maintenance classes.
7) Denver Century Ride
Sunday, June 17
Father’s Day in Denver is the ideal time to spend a fun and healthy day outdoors with family, friends, and fellow riders. The Denver Century Ride is perfect for novice, intermediate, and avid cyclists. $10 of every registration for the long distance 100 mile, 85 mile, and 62 mile courses will be donated to BikeDenver to help continue efforts to improve cycling access throughout the Metro area.
8) Moonlight Classic
Saturday, July 14
Celebrating 20 years of nighttime riding, the InnovAge Moonlight Classic presented by Kaiser Permanente takes riders on a leisurely 10-mile ride through Denver from 8:30 p.m. to 2:00 a.m. The ride begins and ends at the Colorado State Capitol, taking cyclists through the city’s historic neighborhoods, including the business district, Lower Downtown, Congress Park, andCherry Creek North. This year, there will be games, music and entertainment at the new Pajama Party and Cycling Expo following the ride. The ride benefits the InnovAge Foundation and Kaiser Permanente to increase awareness and support to programs that allow aging individuals to live independently and with dignity in their own homes and communities.
9) Urban Assault Ride
Sunday, July 22
The Urban Assault Ride™ is the biggest Bicycle Obstacle Event series in the nation! Here’s how it works: Teammates set out on a citywide quest for “checkpoints” on their bikes. At each checkpoint, teams drop their bikes and complete an adventurous obstacle course, then hit the streets for more. The goal is to complete all the checkpoints in the shortest amount of time. Participants choose their own route and checkpoint order. This means that the cleverest are often the victors.
10) Tour De Fat
Saturday, Sept. 8
A freewheeling day full of beer, bikes, live music, and sustainability in Denver’s City Park, New Belgium Brewing Co.’s Tour de Fat kicks off with a head-turning costumed bike parade and, encouraging responsible consumption, concludes with one person handing over the keys to his or her car in exchange for a bicycle. Tour de Fat is free, and beer and merchandise proceeds go to local Denver cycling non-profits.
For more information and to see bike-specific itineraries, please go to the VISIT DENVER website.