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Nonprofit helping cyclists learn how to ride bikes safely in urban areas

Move comes as COVID-19 changes how many commute
Nonprofit helping cyclists learn how to ride bikes safely in urban areas
Posted at 9:02 AM, Sep 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-16 11:02:20-04

The old expression “just like riding a bike” doesn’t apply to everyone.

After 12 years of driving his car, Gavin Burgo is getting back on a bicycle and he’s having a tough time picking up where he last left off.

“Driving downtown is fairly dangerous,” he said. “Especially with Segways ruling the roads for a while."

Helping Burgo relearn the rules of the road are neighborhood navigators from Bicycle Colorado, a nonprofit organization supporting the interests of bicycle riders worldwide.

“We know that COVID has definitely impacted how people are getting around,” said James Waddell, mobility program director with Bicycle Colorado.

Waddell’s team recently received a grant from the Federal Highway Administration, which is being used to help teach people how to ride bikes safely in downtown areas.

“We’ll take you on a 10-minute city spin loop, teach you a few urban bike dance moves and get your bike confidence up,” he said.

An increase in confidence as more people are now riding bikes and driving less across America.

New numbers from the American Automobile Association show many major metropolitan areas saw traffic drop nearly 60% during the early parts of the pandemic.

While many commuters are now shifting gears, with AAA shows traffic has rebounded to nearly 90% of pre-COVID numbers. Bicycle Colorado hopes this program can inspire change country-wide.

“If Denver can get it right, we can help New York get it right,” Waddell said. “I think just across the country, we’ll start to see how we use our streets a little bit more with people in mind.”

Waddell says these services and are available every day from 1:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at Larimer Square in downtown Denver.

As for Burgo, these lessons have helped him become more cycle savvy in urban areas.

Knowing the rules of the road become second nature, just like riding a bike.