DENVER — Thomas Porter lives and works in downtown Denver, so it makes sense that he’d forego a car and ride a bike during his commute.
But what makes him different from the average bike commuter is that he rides those red, three-speed bikes you see at stations around the city. In fact, he’s one of the top corporate riders for the B-cycle program, having checked out a bike 227 times last year.
“I don’t have a car, so this helps maintain an active lifestyle so you’re more efficient,” Porter said. The 26-year-old St. Louis transplant works at Anadarko, which pays for his membership, but says he would likely be a B-cycle rider even if they didn’t.
Porter said if he had a car, he’d basically be paying expensive downtown parking fees to store it. And since he lives in such a central location, he said he hasn’t had a problem with only checking out a bike for 30 minutes.
Something else might help with the whole process …
“I must admit, I’m also a cycling instructor,” Porter said.
While Porter was one of the top corporate riders, another rider named Rick Strandlof took away the prize for using the B-cycle service the most. He took 1,393 rides in 2018 – nearly four a day on average. Two other men also topped more than 1,200 rides.
But that doesn’t answer the question: why ride a B-cycle instead of your own bike?
“One, I don’t have to worry: ‘do I have my bike with me?’” Porter said. “I also don’t have to worry about theft, and the locations are so conveniently-placed it makes it really, really easy to spend the time to find a place to buy your bike, a lock to tie it in.”
He recommends that people using B-cycles bring a helmet first and foremost, and do their planning regarding where stops are located.
“I think sometimes people can get over-consumed with the logistics of it, and I think B-cycle has done some of that heavy lifting for us,” Porter said.
The city of Denver has heightened its push for people to use the B-cycle service by offering up 5,280 free passes. Part of that involves getting those into the hands of lower-income residents.
There are 89 B-cycle stations in Denver and more than 700 bicycles.
For more information, head to: https://www.denverbcycle.com/5280