Hello. My name is Meg and I ride a bike. I also walk, scooter, and drive a car. I believe that all of these are valid means of getting from one place to another. My goal in writing this blog is to provide a forum and a resource for people to learn more about active forms of transportation in Fort Collins and Northern Colorado. I will be advocating for equivalent facilities for getting around town (whether you’re using a bicycle, skateboard, or your feet), promoting safety and awareness, and writing educational articles aimed at all residents, whatever their primary form of transportation might be.

There are already many bicycling resources in the city, but most of them are geared towards recreational cyclists. Scooters, skateboards, and caster boards all tend to be treated as kids toys despite the fact that they can be handy ways to get around. And walking is simply taken for granted, meaning there are almost no resources available for the person that uses their feet for everyday transportation. My intention is for Pedal Fort Collins (which is what Urban Fort Collins was originally called) to fill the gap by providing information for, and building a community around, alternative forms of transportation (with a pretty darn heavy emphasis on bicycles as they’re sort of the workhorse in the alternative transportation department).

In a city that is becoming increasingly dense, the heavy reliance upon cars, SUVs, and trucks is problematic — made most glaringly evident by increased traffic times and reduced parking availability in certain parts of town. Growth is happening. And that’s a good thing. But we can’t just keep growing the way we have been. As anyone who has gotten caught at what seems like every single freakin’ light along College Avenue can attest, something needs to be done. And one of the cheapest, most healthy, most environmentally conscious, most sustainable changes that we can make as a community is to encourage active forms of transportation by building better infrastructure for it, providing better and more comprehensive education regarding these alternative forms, and creating a culture that supports and embraces people-powered energy sources for getting from one place to another. (Transfort is another good solution for reducing congestion and one that I may hit upon occasionally as well.)

Pedal Fort Collins is one of the newest members of the Scoop Blog Network, a hyper-local blogging network that covers local dining, outdoor adventures, entertainment, farming, raising kids, and history. (I write the history blog as well. And I know I’m obviously biased, but I think you should check it out because our local history is incredibly interesting.)

If you use an alternative form of transportation around town, I’d love to hear from you! What got you started in using alternative forms of transportation? What are your concerns? What are some of the highlights that you’ve experienced while actively getting yourself about the city?

I’m only just getting started, but we know that there’s a need for more information and discussion around this topic. Please spread the word about this new blog, and consider joining us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram as well.

What to expect each week:

This schedule might change over time as I settle into the bicycle blogging role, but my plan for the time being is to publish an informational post every Monday. It will cover such things as local infrastructure changes (such as the greening of Remington Street), safety issues, rules of the road, bicycle/driving etiquette, cycling with kids, safe routes for kids/elderly/at risk, and so on.

Wednesdays will be a chance for us to better get to know our alternative transport community. We’ll alternate between “Under the Helmet” posts in which a local commuter is introduced and “Bike Friendly Business Highlight”s in which we’ll learn about each of the businesses that are currently on the League of American Bicyclists Bike Friendly Business list for northern Colorado. (If you would like yourself or your business to be featured for any of these Wednesday posts, just let me know at Meg(at)urbanfortcollins.com)

Friday’s posts will include upcoming bike events as well as road and trail closure information and hopefully also timelines for new infrastructure projects that are underway or soon to be started. (Though I may include local rides in this list on occasion, this blog isn’t geared towards bicycle racing nor long recreational rides. Though they can be fun, they’re almost as different from transportational biking as car racing or joy riding is to a daily commute. And there’s a great local blog that already covers recreational bicycling.) Friday’s posts may also include links to recent biking articles from around the world.