Denver is known for its perfect balance of granola and urban lifestyle, making it an urban biking epicenter. With government supported bike plans, laws and rules Colorado plans to expand its bikeability into the future—as biking has grown into a billion dollar industry for the Centennial State. How do you join the two-wheeled street herds of the streets? There has been a 57 percent increase in citizens biking to work since 2005, according to the Colorado Citizen. Denver’s bustling city and large parks are not as intimidating as they may seem and by following a few basic tips and guidelines, you’ll be confidently hitting the popular trails of the north in no time.

Make Safety Your First Step

With 239 bike-accidents in Denver last year, its important to maintain awareness and adhere to safety when taking on the concrete jungle of the city. And bicyclists have the same rights and responsibilities as drivers on the road so stay driver minded while cycling on the streets. Always ride on paved shoulders and designated bike lanes and stay to the right unless hazards or unique situations like passing another driver or turning left prevent you to do so. Do not ride against traffic and use hand traffic signals to communicate your actions to drivers and fellow cyclists. At night use a white headlight, and a red taillight. Drivers typically aren’t looking for bikes so never assume that they see you. Be aware that in a city construction and events are happening all of the time and in the city its common for road blocks, traffic cones and bollards from Traffic Guard to sprout up over night. Study the city map and know your routes to prevent you from getting lost in the case of a road block.

Mile High Riding

Colorado is among the highest ranked states for commute by bike. The state has a “Complete Streets Policy,” a rule that requires drivers to keep three feet between their vehicles and cyclists while passing and allows bicyclists to ride two-wide on streets. The 2012 Benchmarking Report, as seen on The Urban Eye blog, reported that the city of Denver has “71 miles of on-street bike lanes, 85 miles of multi-use paths, 258 miles of signed bicycle routes, 2,700 miles of sidewalk, and is planning for 162 miles of new bicycle facilities and 54 miles of pedestrian facilities.” Bicycle Colorado hosts an educational annual statewide bicycle conference to educate drivers and bikers on the rules of the road.

En Route

People love Denver for its mix of city living and outdoors recreation. The bike routes and trails in Denver offer the rare opportunity to explore a big city and forest simultaneously. The Greenway Trail along the South Platte River is a historic 20 mile path starting at Grant Frontier Park passing the Overland Golf Course and eventually making its way to landmarks like the Elitch Gardens Theme Park, Downtown Aquarium, and Centennial Gardens.The trial goes through Denver’s founding place, Confluence Park offers recreational activities while My Brother’s Bar, a historic bar once visited by Beat Generation legends like Jack Kerouac, is not far away. The trail continues through many smaller parks and ponds, ending at Riverside Cemetery, home to many historic grave sites. Cherry Creek Bike Path starts in Cherry Creek State Park and follows the 83 north to the 225, follows that west taking Cherry Creek Trail north to the Cherry Creek Shopping District, with boutiques, galleries and cafes.

Earthgarage – Greener Car. Fatter Wallet.