Pedaling for Charity: Colorado's Bike Scene Offers Plenty of Opportunities to Give Back

March 18, 2015

A few days ago, I paused to think about how bicycling is one sport that transcends any age limitations.  It begins with the wobbly first attempt as a child and can extend far into our golden years.

Ah, the feel of warm summer air gliding past your face as you cruise along – at whatever speed – on your bike.

Colorado offers some of the country’s finest opportunities for bicycling in the country.  We are blessed with magnificent scenery, bike friendly cities and towns, and a relatively bike-aware population willing to share the road. Bicycling magazine recently named Denver, Colorado Springs and Boulder three of the top bike-friendly towns in the country.

Participation in a charity ride can take the exercise motivation for many to jump on a bike to a new experience level.

Name your charitable interest and there is probably an event that will make you grab your cleats or clip-in shoes and a water bottle and jump on the saddle and start cranking.

Name your cause and pick your event

Twenty-five charity rides are currently listed on the Pedaldancer.com website for 2015 Colorado ride locations on the plains to our highest mountain pass elevations.  Whether you want to pedal on the eastern plains or in Silverton or Telluride, there’s an event for you.  The charities supported by the events range from a Lions Club KidSight Program in Montrose, Bike MS Ft Collins Loop, or the Douglas County Crisis Center Tour de Ladies.

The real appeal of these events is the fundraising goal.  Comraderie and physicality aside, those feelings of accomplishment are magnified by the money per mile you can raise from those who are encouraging you to participate.  Cyclist rode nearly 5 million miles for MS in 2014 and more than 55,000 cyclists participated in the American Diabetes Association Tour de Cure rides, raising more than $18 million in 2011.

More casual riders may want to check out TrailLink for opportunities to ease into riding if you haven’t trained or know if a more rigorous ride is in your future.

Know your rules and rights 

If you are a less experienced rider, a note of caution is in order.  Bicycling these days, even in the most bike friendly locations, demands a great deal of knowledge about how to protect yourself and avoid dangers.

Coloradobikelaw.com is a terrific resource for reviewing your rights and responsibilities as a rider in Colorado.  Take a moment, be conscientious, and be safe.  Several state agencies and municipalities (Colorado Department of Transportation, City of Ft Collins, City of Boulder, and, the City and County of Denver), have guides for cyclists.

Are thinking about taking part in a charity ride this year? Which one?