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Monday March 27th 2023

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The Power of One


Every June, the City of Boulder hosts Walk & Bike Month, a celebration of walking and biking. The month kicked off on Sunday, June 2 with the Circle Boulder by Bicycle Tour, a uniquely Boulder event where more than 700 cyclists of all ages pedaled our city’s greenways system. Along the way, cyclists discovered new routes and wonders of Boulder’s paths. Both routes started and ended at Scott Carpenter Park, where a post-ride celebration was held. And it was all free.

This year’s Circle Boulder by Bicycle Tour was a celebration of very special person—Leslie Bohm—a longtime Boulderite who committed his life to cycling and advocacy.

Leslie Bohm (photo courtesy Lynn Guissinger)

Leslie loved bikes and wanted others to have opportunities to enjoy cycling as much as he did. But he did not think small. In 1999, with a coalition of bicycle retailers and suppliers, he helped to create Bikes Belong, a powerful, innovative and successful national bike organization dedicated to putting more people on bikes more often.

As we celebrate Leslie’s accomplishments, I am reminded of the power of one to make change. I think about something Leslie once said to me: “Sue, thank you for making my town a better place.” Can one of us, by our own single actions, make our town a better place? Of course we can. And we can do it with walking and biking.

When you leave your house and make the choice to drive or bike or walk or take the bus, you are making a decision with many ramifications. Whatever mode of transport you choose will probably affect the next time you make this same decision. Behavior is habit. If your habit is to always drive, you will drive everywhere without thinking of other options, even if it’s just a quarter mile to the gym or grocery store.

If you choose to take the bus, know that your bus trip supports our transit system. Buses track rider numbers, so by traveling via bus, you are showing your support of a form of transit that, for many people, is the only option to get around.

If you get in the habit of walking or biking often, it’s likely that either (or both) of these modes will naturally become part of your daily routine. Along with being extremely pleasant, walking and biking are good exercise and are good for the environment as your carbon footprint is nil. This is the essence of what Bike to Work Day is about.

This year’s Bike to Work Day, one of the main events during Walk and Bike Month, is set for Wednesday, June 26, with 51 breakfast stations around Boulder. It’s a wonderful event that inspires individuals to get in the habit of choosing to bike when they have someplace to go. Every person’s decision to bike or walk instead of getting in a car adds up and forces great change. As more individuals choose to bike, our city builds more bike lanes and more bike paths so that more people can bike in more places safely.

Small choices are great, and everyone’s small choice can add up to change in our world. But what about the individuals like Leslie who chose to do more? If biking is your passion, there are countless ways you can choose to make our town a better place. Currently, the city is working on its Transportation Master Plan update—citizen involvement is a key to this process. Get involved and help shape the future of Boulder’s transportation planning by visiting and sharing your ideas and opinions.

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