Bike to Work breakfast in Steamboat a success |

Bike to Work breakfast in Steamboat a success

Mike Lawrence

Six-year-old Liesel Wilkinson, daughter of Jen Wilkinson, has breakfast Wednesday morning after a bike ride in front of the Routt County Courthouse. Honey Stinger and Big Agnes sponsored the free breakfast event as part of Bike to Work Week.

— The clutter of bicycles strewn across the Routt County Court­house lawn Wednesday morning illustrated one of Diane Mitsch Bush's favorite benefits of bicycle commuting.

"You can always find a parking place," joked Mitsch Bush, a Routt County commissioner and avid cyclist.

She was right — there was no shortage of two-wheel parking Wednesday, despite the crowd of cyclists that rose early to gather on the lawn in downtown Steamboat Springs and celebrate Bike to Work Day. The event, sponsored by Honey Stinger and Big Agnes, included free coffee, breakfast foods and camaraderie from 7 to 9 a.m. and is a growing annual tradition during Bike to Work Week.

The breakfast was going strong by 7:30 a.m. and grew as the sunny, clear morning progressed. Although the event partly was intended to encourage new bicycle commuters, many of the people in attendance had long since made a morning ride a habit.

"At least a few days out of the week, I'll ride" to work, said Bob Keenan, of the city's Planning and Community De­­vel­­opment Department.

Keenan lives near Walton Creek Road and said much of his cycling commute is along the Yampa River Core Trail.

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"It's a great way to wake up in the morning — riding by the river," he said. "Then I'll have my coffee when I get to work."

Local attorney Bob Weiss said he took "a slight detour" on the way to his office Wednesday. He and at least one friend hit the pedals at 6:30 a.m. for a ride on Emerald Mountain, in the quarry area.

"We do that at least once a week," Weiss said.

Old Town resident Chad Eskins also attended the morning breakfast. But telling Eskins about cycle commuting is preaching to the choir — Eskins builds bikes for Kent Eriksen Cycles off Yampa Street and pedals to work pretty much every day, year-round.

"The only day I miss it is when I have to take the recycling" to Waste Management, Eskins said.

The Bike to Work Day breakfast brought more than hard-core, snow-or-shine riders to the courthouse lawn, though. Wednesday morning's crowd included casual commuters, children, families, old and young, enjoying the sunshine and morning exercise together.

"It's awesome," Keenan said about the turnout. "It's a great community event."

Bike to Work Week events began Monday and continue through Saturday.

Ski and Bike Kare will put on a skills clinic at 5:30 p.m. today at Howelsen Hill. There's a Ski Haus Poker Ride starting at 5 p.m. Friday. On Saturday, a bike rally sponsored by Wheels Bike Shop is from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m., also starting on the Routt County Courthouse lawn.

Bike to Work Week

Today: Biking skills clinic at 5:30 p.m. at the base of Howelsen Hill

Friday: Poker Ride, starting at 5 p.m. at Ski Haus

Saturday: Bicycle Rally from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m., starting at the Routt County Courthouse.

Buzz for bikers: Free coffee is available to all bike commuters this week from Lil’ House, Starbucks, Amante, Creekside, Winona’s, Freshies and Zoom Coffee Shop. The Steamboat Springs Chamber Resort Association is offering free cookies and beverages for bike commuters at the Visitors Center at 125 Anglers Drive.