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Avenue Flashes

Bicycling around Golden is easier than ever


I write a lot of promotional stuff for bands and events and often times I talk about bikes and bikers. But in this area I have to really make it a point to differentiate between events for bicycles and motorcycles because we have an abundance of both, especially here in Golden. Events for either of those are drastically different from one another, so it’s kind of important that folks know what kind of bike event I’m talking about.

Today I’m going to be writing about bicycles. In case you hadn’t noticed, we have an abundant supply of bicycle shops within the Golden city limits which means we also have enough customers to support them all. We also have a pretty hardy group of bicyclists around here. Whether they are riding 100 miles a day down a roadway or heading up a single track trail to scale a mountain, there are plenty of hard core riders in this area.

There’s an old joke about how to spot a native Coloradoan. It’s the guy with a $5,000 mountain bike perched on top of a $500 car. While that may be a bit of an exaggeration, it kind of captures the spirit of our attitude towards pedal pushing. There are some truly amazing bicycles cruising around town and our bike shops are some of the best on the planet.

Now, that being said, you don’t have to get a second mortgage on your house to enjoy bicycling here in Golden. In fact, you don’t even need to own a bicycle or spend a dime to ride one here during the warm weather months. Do you know why? Because we actually have a place where you can borrow a bike for free.

It’s the Golden Bicycle Library, and much like one that has books, you can check out a bicycle there and take it on a free spin for a couple of hours.

What? Check out a bike for free? Where is this place?… Well, it’s located in a little shack right next to the Golden Visitors Center at 1010 Washington Avenue. That’s right on the Clear Creek bike path. It will be opening today, April 19 and stay open through October. Bikes are available to check out Thursdays through Sundays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and the first two hours are free. If you want to check one out for an entire day, you can do that too, it’s just $10 per day.

They have adult bikes and kids bikes, all equipped with a basket on the handlebars so you can do a little shopping or carry a lunch or purse or whatever along for the ride. Each bike also comes with a lock so you can stop places downtown and the bike will still be there when you come back. It also enables you to keep the bike after 4 p.m. and return it later in the evening, just lock it up to the rack back at the shack and use the key drop box to return the key. Pretty nifty, huh?

All riders are required to sign a waiver and young riders under 18 are required to have a parent’s signature. That means your kids can’t just run over there and grab a bike for a couple of hours without you there too. Plus you will need a valid ID and a credit card just in case your two hour cruise turns into you getting shipwrecked at one of our fine dining establishments or stranded on a desert mountain for a few hours. Please note, Ginger and Mary Ann are not included in the bike rental and not a valid excuse for running a little late with your return.

A couple of extra incentives are that each bike rental includes a reusable water bottle and a Golden Ticket that can be redeemed for stuff at our local business. Helmets are encouraged, but you will need to provide your own if you want to wear one.

As I mentioned earlier, a lot of us here in Golden have our own snazzy bicycles, but this is a great thing to remember when you have friends or family visiting during the summer. If you need more information, give them a call at the Golden Visitor’s Center at (303) 279-2282.

John Akal is a well-known jazz artist/drummer and leader of the 20-piece Ultraphonic Jazz Orchestra. He also is president of John Akal Imaging, professional commercial photography and multi-media production. He can be reached at jaimaging@aol.com


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