Ride Story by Michael DeHerrera, PeopleForBikes digital content creator | Photos by Natalie Starr, Photographer
As part of our One Ride at a Time campaign, we joined up with individuals who replace car trips with bike rides whenever possible. By choosing to go by bike for short trips around town, you’re helping mitigate the effects of climate change and creating a better tomorrow for everyone. Let’s join Ann for a ride to her local grocery store.
Ann first ditched her car 10 years ago after moving to Washington, D.C. from Atlanta, GA. She wanted to continue commuting by foot and public transportation once she moved to Denver. Within a few days of living in a new city, someone passed down their bicycle to Ann and she never looked back. Ann currently works as a landscape architect and planner and uses her bike as her main mode of transportation.
Packing up and getting ready for the commute.
Before Ann hits the road, she makes a mental checklist of everything she may need that day. Reusable totes, outerwear, a bike lock and her helmet are among some of the necessities.
We asked Ann what her advice would be for people considering making the transition to biking for their commuting needs.
"When you ditch your car, you don't really have to worry in the 21st century. There's Lyft and Uber and other options for accessing a car you can take advantage of. There are some sacrifices you make, and you have to prepare for every ride a little bit, but you’ll start to learn what you need. There's a learning curve, but when you ditch your car don't panic, you still have options when a car is needed.”
Check out her gorgeous secret-gardenesque backyard 😍 Complete with an apple tree and grape vines! What a way to exit for a ride!
After we left Ann's house, we started our route along the park that heads across Speer Blvd. in Denver, CO. With dedicated bike lanes free from street traffic, the Cherry Creek bike path takes you along the river and features some beautiful murals.
Views from along the Cherry Creek bike path.
There's no resisting the charm of Denver's oldest block, Larimer Square.
Ann arrives at Sakura Square, home to The Pacific Mercantile Company.
As we shopped with Ann, we talked about the initial decision to make the lifestyle transition to relying on a bike for transportation. Aside from a positive impact on the environment, the decision also came with the benefits of more financial freedom.
Ann taking advantage of dedicated bike lanes in lower downtown Denver.
How does it make you feel knowing you’re contributing to a greater good and positive change by biking everywhere?
"It makes me feel great. I'm going to do it as long as I can and I have a personal goal of adding on to that every year. So I bike every day, all season, any time of day, it doesn't matter. I also try to do certain things like cutting down on consumption and creating waste. Public transportation and how you commute is really important.”
Zipping by Union Station to make our way to the Cherry Creek bike path where we started.
Once back to Ann's, we wrapped up our route and I posed a final question: Why do you ride?
"It brings me freedom. I'm free of the restrictions a car can add to your life, such as parking and additional financial costs... and you can't bike without smiling! You just see the city differently on a bicycle because you’re going at a different pace, it’s a totally different vibe. You connect with the world around you."
I told her we totally agree and the world is better on a bike! "It is better on a bike!" she said, and we ended our day with vibes of #BetterOnABike.
You can’t bike without smiling!