tmbt: bike & walk to work Boulder
So, I live in Boulder, land of runners, bikers, climbers, and skiers, eat just about all organic, am a newly-recommitted vegetarian, shop used goods first, skip disposable cups & bags when I don’t bubble-head it and leavie my re-usables somewhere silly, work an uber-cool media and communications job for a kickass sustainability firm, and hang with some of the coolest eco hipsters in town (when the collective “I’m so eco-hip-cool-hot-fab, I’m beyond you and you and… yesss, you, too” posturing doesn’t get on my very last nerve, of course). But I have a few less-than-environmental vices that I’m in need of a good breaking of. Top of my list to remedy: driving.
Now, I drive a little used 2000 manual tranny Jetta with nearly 140,000 miles on it that is 100% carbon offset and serviced at Green Garage, but still… fuel is fuel is money out my hand and into the pocket of serious assholes like BP, and of course a personal contribution to climate change that can certainly be substantially reduced if not eliminated.
This is where the Boulder & Denver Bike & Walk to Work Day (and month, actually) comes in so handy! It’s a great event organized by City of Boulder & Boulder’s Community Cycle to get people using alternative transportation.
Though in Boulder we have tons of amazing bike trails and my bike commutes-of-past are pretty, easy-ish ones, my back injury (go Pilates!) has kept me mostly off my bike this year so far. So, I drive. Logical right? Thing is, there’s a perfectly awesome bus system here, too, and there’s a bus stop five minutes walk away from my apartment for the RTD 208 – a bus line that all but delivers me to the very door of my office building in East Boulder. And the timing? It’s about a ten minute ride. So, I joyfully took the opportunity on this special regional anti-car holiday to flex my bus pass muscle (my company Renewable Choice Energy provides us all passes as one of our many employee benefits).
Here’s a recap of my morning alternative commute in sunny, friendly, easy-to-navigate Boulder, Colorado:
I did my best to customize and cute-a-fy the Bike to Work Month t-shirt (Renewable Choice team version, of course). What do you think?
I happened upon one of the breakfast stations on my favorite neighborhood pub, Murphy’s – they even made me a special breakfast burrito with no cheese (how sweet). (Kudos to the funny old guy who laughed at my veg burrito request: “You know what they used to call vegetarians?” No, what? “Bad hunters”. hehe.)
It took a couple tries, but I found the right bus stop, checked my routes, got out my handy dandy aforementioned bus pass for a pic with the girls (the Flatirons, that is) and got on this here bus: the RTD 208.
Enjoyed some yummy-looking local reading material from Edible Front Range during the easy breezy ride.
Met a cool group of bus commuters that had lots of good things to say about why they ride the bus including: economics, ease of the ride, peacefullness, etc. and I added “and meeting new people, right?” *smile* Sadly, I forgot to take my bus driver’s photo. (Sorry Ed, and sorry for the blur gentlemen.)
I arrived to my destination bus stop in 9.5 minutes and popped over to our neighbor Webroot for a little more breakfast station action and comradery. Renewable Choice Resource Development Associate (he works with the wind developers) Kevin Maddaford is among this cool biking crew (striped blue and brown shirt).
Made it before 9 am (no small feat even when I drive!).
Took note of the spaciousness of the parking lot (yea everyone!)…
…and fullness of the bike areas.
Coworker and friend John E. celebrated by bringing his sustainably-raised front yard strawberry patch bounty for the team.
Wrangled (almost) everyone for a team pic (sorry Sully & John E. we tried to Photoshop you in, but it was just really too weird and hard) – here is most of the Renewable Choice team who went (or continued to go) eco this fine day…
Pictured left to right back row: Erty. Ryan, Jereriah, Rusty, Kevin; middle row: Rebecca, Justin, Kelley, Tom, Aran, Caroline; Kneeling: Brian, Steve, Heather (that’s me!)
In conclusion, I’d like to say thank you to the organizers of this even for accomplishing a key objective, at least with me, and that was to show me how easy an alternative commute can be so that I’ll do it more often. Every step of my trip was a beautiful, fun one, and I’m looking forward to riding the 208 often (and getting back on that bike path when my back is up to it!).
Did you participate in the event in Boulder, Denver or elsewhere in the country or are you an eco-friendly commuter regulary? Tell me about it in the comments!