Sunday, April 10, 2011

B-cycle mini adventure

Denver B-cycle number 365, checked out from the Cherry Creek station, was my ride for part of the afternoon.
While the ladies of our family were attending the birthday party of a newly minted five year old, not being much of a party-goer, I instead took the opportunity to make an inspection of the Denver B-cycle stations in the vicinity of Cherry Creek. Included in my circuit were the B-stations at Cherry Creek Mall, Ellsworth and Madison, 3rd and Milwaukee and 250 Columbine. I also rolled the station at the Denver Botanic Gardens into the mix, although it isn't really in Cherry Creek. I hadn't been to the B-stations in the Cherry Creek area since I rode the Tour de B-cycle in December. I'm a frequent rider of Denver B-cycle, but almost exclusively on the weekdays. I was curious as to how the system worked during the weekends, so I made some observations.
An empty station greeted me at the Denver Botanic Gardens.
Two of the five stations that I visited were empty during my early Sunday afternoon circuit. It would appear as though the B-stations at the Botanic Gardens and at Ellsworth and Madison are popular departure points, as both stations were empty. The Botanic Gardens is a focal point of the surrounding neighborhood with a lot of weekend activity. The Ellsworth and Madison station is adjacent to a large upscale apartment complex and within a residential portion of the Cherry Creek neighborhood. I was a bit surprised that the bikes were all checked out at these stations, as the day was not exceedingly warm. Perhaps the stations had been emptied Saturday or even Friday, when the weather was nicer, and had yet to be restocked.
Only one open stall at 250 Columbine.
The Cherry Creek Mall station was about half full, as was the 3rd and Milwaukee station. The 250 Columbine station was almost entirely full, with only one stall unoccupied by a bike. There didn't appear to be much in the way of appealing weekend afternoon destinations around 250 Columbine. However, there are several bars nearby, notably the Cherry Cricket. It could be that the bikes at this station might have been deposited during the previous night's entertainment hours.
It's always reassuring to see cheery daffodils in the Spring.
Plenty of people were out on bikes in the area this afternoon. I saw a number of others on B-cycles while I was riding one myself. There were plenty of weekend warriors on expensive looking road bikes, mostly along the Cherry Creek trail. I also saw quite a few people on townie bikes equipped with baskets, racks or trailers. Several were carrying some combination of groceries, small dogs or children. I would consider all of the above bicycling activities to be good signs for the city.
I caught up to this daddy/daughter combo on my way back to Cherry Creek. The little girl appeared to know the rules of the road well, and attentively followed her father's instructions. The 7th Avenue parkway is a pleasant urban bike route for families.
After the party finished, we had to burn off a little excess energy acquired from birthday cupcakes. We walked a bit, then the girls and I poked around at a B-cycle station for a little while. In all, not a bad way to spend an afternoon.
More than willing to take on a bike that outweighs her by several pounds, she falls 11 years short of the minimum age for being an eligible rider.
Mommy did a loop around the station, grinning the whole way.
We engaged in a little nautical nonsense with the apparently accident prone Captain Lefty McFiberglass.


  1. I've been looking for an excuse to use the B-cycles. Of course, having perfectly functional bikes of our own that are within easy striking distance of the entire metro area leave the opportunities slim. Perhaps when family comes in for a visit this summer...

  2. Different people seem to use B-cycle for different things. I, too, have no shortage of bikes, but often I don't have one with me or don't want to bring one with me, yet I still would like to use a bike at some point in a given day. For this, B-cycle is perfect. Extra wheels for visitors from out of town is a great use for B-cycle.