Now that June’s Bike Month is over, Colorado Springs Senior Bicycle Planner Kate Brady can let her heartbeat get back to resting rate — but not for long.
“We want to continue the momentum through summer and into fall,” Brady said.
One of the highlights of Bike Month was the 25th Annual Bike to Work Day and Corporate Challenge on June 27.
Mayor John Suthers, who kicked off Bike Month by leading a community bike ride June 2, announced the winners of the Corporate Challenge on Monday, July 9.
Bike to Work Day drew a record turnout of 1,355 registered riders; 586 of those riders participated in the Corporate Challenge.
The Business Journal was a sponsor of the Challenge, which was designed to encourage employees to try commuting to work by bicycle as part of a commitment to wellness in the workplace.
Employers competed to see who could recruit the largest number of riders. Participants enjoyed breakfast stops at 28 stations set up along the Legacy Loop trail network and in city parks.
Brady was pleased with the turnout.
“Forty-five businesses participated,” she said. “We were aiming for 25.”
That level of participation indicates that the well-being of employees and their families — and the cost of health insurance — are important to businesses, Brady said.
”Businesses in general want their employees to be healthy,” she said. “That’s one element. Another is that surveys have shown that younger professionals tend to choose places to live that have choices in how people get around. We’re building a city where people want to live. That makes it easier for businesses to recruit and retain the workforce they need.”
Besides Bike to Work Day and the Corporate Challenge, highlights of Bike Month included the launch of PikeRide, the city’s bike share program, which stationed 208 rental bicycles at 26 locations around the city; and the opening of new bike lanes on Pikes Peak Avenue.
Next up for Brady is completing a project that’s already under way: the installation of wayfinding signs that give information about navigating around the community by bicycle.
“We’ve put up signs in the downtown area that are a taste of what’s to come, Brady said. “We have a survey out asking where people want to go on bikes. We will be evaluating that and expanding the system outside of downtown.”
Suthers recognized the winners of the Corporate Challenge on Monday at Trail’s End Taproom. Participating organizations competed in classes by number of employees. First-place winners for each class received a special award and donated prize.
The winners were:
Class A: 1-29 employees
Honest Accurate Auto Service
Prize: Tour and tasting at Goat Patch Brewery
Class B: 30-99 employees
Prize: Two-hour party at Whirlyball
Class C: 100-299 employees
United States Olympic Committee
Prize: Luxury suite at a SkySox Baseball game
Class D: 300-1,000+ employees
Prize: Two-hour chair massage group session
In three head-to-head competitions, held for the first time this year:
- Centura Health topped UCHealth in the Health Care challenge.
- The city of Colorado Springs beat Colorado Springs Utilities in the local government and utility challenge.
- The Colorado Springs Police Department outperformed the Colorado Springs Fire Department in the public safety challenge.
Winners for each head-to-head received a trophy.
Bike to Work Day participants voted on four awards for breakfast stations:
People’s Choice: El Paso County Public Health
Best Giveaways: SRAM
Best Entertainment: KOAA News5/Olympic City USA
Most Creative: The Lincoln Center
Suthers also presented two special awards to individuals. Jeff Steinhoff received the 2018 Colorado Springs Commuter of the Year award. A Heart and Soul Award went to Sara Vaas, assistant director of the Council of Neighbors and Organizations. Vaas was selected by the organizing committee for her efforts to go above and beyond to ensure that the breakfast station at Acacia Park was vibrant and hopping.