Bike to work day celebrated in Eagle County |

Bike to work day celebrated in Eagle County

A bike to work day participant takes on a hill on the Gore Valley Trail in Vail on Wednesday, June 26, 2019.
John LaConte |

Bike to work day is always better when we get a little help with some warm, summer weather.

The annual event has been taking place for decades in the United States, and has taken off in Eagle County in recent years with participation from local towns and businesses.

At Mayor’s Park in Vail, about 45 people visited, and the Sonnenalp provided burritos, pastries, fruit, coffee and tea. Volunteers were stationed there as well as public locations in Minturn, Dowd Junction, Avon, Eagle and Gypsum. In Edwards, The Kind Bikes and Skis converted their shop to a rest stop in Edwards.

“Eco Trails did an amazing job of organizing bike to work day, as they always do,” said Town of Vail Environmental Sustainability Coordinator Beth Markham.

Part of a larger effort

In Eagle County, bike to work day highlights an effort that is taking place countywide, Markham said, to get more people out of their cars when possible.

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Eagle County and Walking Mountains Science Center’s Climate Action Collaborative, which was founded in part by the towns of Vail, Avon, Edwards, Minturn, Red Cliff, Eagle and Basalt, has identified passenger vehicles as the major generator of greenhouse gas emissions coming from the transportation and mobility sector, which generates about 30% of the of the total greenhouse gas emissions in Eagle County.

Markham said in addition to greenhouse gas reduction, general waste reduction is also a major goal of the town of Vail.

“We’re working to encourage more recycling and producing less trash, and getting people into the composting programs available here,” Markham said.

Sole Power

Markham said the town is also actively recruiting people to join the Sole Power challenge, which makes bike to work day an every day event for many who participate. Sole Power is a locally based initiative which seeks to reduce carbon emissions across the county.

“You can choose a team to participate with, or you can be an individual,” Markham said. “You log your miles each time you ride to work, while you’re running errands, while you are doing social engagements, anything that’s not purely recreational will count. You can walk, run, skateboard, rollerblade, unicycle, bike, any method that is not a motorized vehicle will count towards those miles, and you win free prizes throughout the challenge, which starts Memorial Day each year and runs through Columbus Day.”

Since 2011, if those logging miles on Sole Power would have used an average car over human powered transportation, it they would have used 8,406 gallons of gas, put 165,093.84 pounds of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere and spent more than $27,000 in doing so, Stephen Beane with Walking Mountains Science Center recently reported.

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