See how Denver grew to have the second biggest Bike to Work Day

staff photo
A biker in Cheesman Park. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

A biker in Cheesman Park. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

It’s here, the day when you can get pancakes just for riding your bike to work.

Of course, if you want the pancakes that will be in Skyline Park, courtesy of the Downtown Denver Partnership, you better get there fast. (You could also just go to one of the other 87 stations for refreshments.) The Denver Regional Council of Governments expects that roughly 30,000 people will participate in this year’s Bike to Work Day.

Let’s take a closer look at those Bike to Work Day numbers. 

Data from DRCOG shows that the event grew pretty steadily from 2010 to 2015. But in 2015, the participation peaks.

Still, nearly 30,000 people is pretty good, and good enough to be the second biggest in the country, according to DRCOG. So how many more people do we have to get in order to be number one? Just 70,000 more.

That’s right, San Francisco will be pretty hard to beat for a while. This year, organizer counted “nearly 100,000 people.”

With 23 Bike to Work Days and counting, they’ve had lots of time to build it up. Still, DRCOG first started working on their event around the same part of the mid 1990s.

But whether you’re interested in unseating San Francisco or just using your bike, the numbers of Bike to Work Day are important. DRCOG uses participant registration data to gauge how much people care about bike commuting. Down the line, that impacts decisions on infrastructure projects like bike paths and bike lanes.

And maybe that’s a better goal than trying to unseat San Francisco. If DRCOG manages to add the 3,000 or so participants they’re aiming for, it’ll still be quite a climb to beat San Francisco at that pace. Still, it seems Denver’s event is poised for growth.

“Last year, 37 percent of riders were first-timers and 38 percent of all participants said they were motivated to continue cycling after the event,” said Steve Erickson, DRCOG Communications and Marketing Director.