Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Other Bikes in Other Places

This is the fourth post from Liz. Her posts discuss neighborhoods this blog would otherwise ignore and bikes our readers generally don't ride.

So, in celebration of the other, we now turn to Liz's recent visit to Fort Collins, Colorado.

According to my brother, who has lived in the Fort Collins area for quite a while now, Colorado is a place for personal transportation lovers. There are as many Harley Davidson riders as there are Fat Tire riders. I love this picture below because I just happened to photograph this pimped-out car as I was purposefully documenting the plethora of parked mountain bikes.

modes of transport

From the few days I was there it was certainly clear that men and women in certain parts of town love to wear leather chaps as much as the CSU students love not wearing shoes.

The main square of "Old Town" Fort Collins has this bike rental program- Bike Library- that functions much like a book library does. The bikes are even free.

rent a bike

Driving north from the airport my sister-in-law was pulled over for speeding. She wasn't so happy about the ordeal but the strange thing about the whole process was how nice the police officer was. It was like he pulled us over to serve dinner and a movie. He was so polite, explained what he was doing and why; even wished us well. My sister-in-law said she felt like she needed to thank him for pulling us over. With this event in mind, I was walking the next day around the downtown and I noticed how bike centered and friendly the police station appears. The police bikes are hanging in the windows and positive bike safety posters are in the opposite display window.

police <3 bikes

If you appreciate domestic, quality beer you probably have had a Fort Collins-made beer somewhere, sometime. Fort Collins is home to the New Belgium Brewing Company. It's a brewery with a smart bike logo and smart bike advocacy program called Team Wonderbike. From their website:

"Currently more than 10,000 strong, we on Team Wonderbike have pledged to bike - not drive - better than 8 million miles in the coming year. But that's just the beginning. We need you (and your family and friends too) to take the pledge and commit to biking whenever you can.

Team members can upload stories and images and check in with other Wonderbikers at We're building an online community with regional chapters and a national voice for sensible transportation alternatives."
This is one of the many New Belgium Brewery bikes you'll spot around town:

fat tire

There was more than adequate bike parking in the downtown area, people also seemed to like these kid mobiles:

bike parking

Fort Collins is impressively bike friendly, and I'm not even counting the downtown area and the brewery. There are bike lanes everywhere, riders flow safely and smoothly with traffic, and the lanes appear to be well used during the night and day. The city's pro-bike stance is probably not news to everyone but nonetheless Fort Collins is a breath of fresh air to me.

green light


Shek said...

I have thought about dropping in my resume with New Belgium Brewing. That is a cool company and their philosophies about sustainability completely align with mine.

I am spoiled with the Florida winter weather though!

Overall, it looks like a cool city for bicycle commuters. Just makes me feel worse about being stuck in Jacksonville.

Charlotte said...

Having grown up in Boulder, just south of Ft. Collins, I can't tell you how much I miss that courtesy everywhere. People don't move as quickly as they do on the East Coast, but they sure are nice about it.

This post makes me homesick.

m e l i g r o s a said...

pledge: check.
such a cool things they got going! I so heart fat tire and their fantastic bike world
new belgium is awesome. this year the tour here in SF had crappy weather, but I recently found a video from their tour. so much fun.

Indra said...

Thanks for dropping by ye little blog the other day :) I love my bike so very's been one of the best parts of moving to Denmark by far. I wish I had the stomach for biking in NYC. You are a brave bunch.