Boulder has been named bike capital of the world more than once: Back in the day, we boasted the Red Zinger Classic bike race, which was a major event that pro cyclists would make sure to add to their race tour schedules, especially when it got huge in the ‘80s and became the Coors Classic.
The Coors Classic got so big, Boulder and even Colorado couldn’t hold it, though the most challenging and crazy fun stages of the race remained in Colorado. And Boulder has stayed a bicyclist’s Mecca in the decades to follow, even though the Colorado Classic and the US Pro Cycling Tour have taken its place. Boulder remains the center of where plenty of star cyclists first made their name.
June is Bike (and walk) to Work Month, and though for many (if not most) Boulderites, every day is Bike to Work Day, officially in 2019 it’s June 26th. On that auspicious day, breakfast stations all over Boulder and Boulder County will be supplying all bicycle commuters with healthy and yummy bites, beverages, and even swag like helmets, water bottles, and raffles for more fancy stuff. There are usually bike repair pit stops at these stations, too, in case you need them, depending on how far your bike commute is. But that’s not till the end of Bike to Work Month–there are plenty of activities and incentives for bicycle and other healthy commutes all month, starting with the first weekend in June: Sunday the 2nd is the 21st annual B-360 ride, otherwise known as the Circle Boulder by Bicycle Ride.
Boulder has been touted as the fittest town in the US: everybody’s fit here, and even though professional athletes of all stripes still flock here (including thousands for last weekend’s Bolder Boulder) it’s also a practice that everyone preaches. Unlike the famous events mentioned above, you don’t have to be a pro to join the B-360–is isn’t actually a race, but an event for everyone.
Amazing non profit group Community Cycles has partnered with the B-360 to create this year’s event, and it’s easy to see the connection between this group that makes bikes and bike repair available to everyone throughout Boulder, and this all-inclusive, fun, community-building event.
Here are some things to expect from the B-360:
Not a Race
The B-360 is in its 21st year. It’s a leisurely, self-guided (with your map of course), non-race ride on a sort-of circumference around Boulder. The track of the course is comprised of the many bike paths that spread, web-like, throughout Boulder: the ones that are paved and dedicated to bikes, all the way to the lanes in the streets and unpaved trails. It’s not a race, as I’ve said before–it’s a fun way to spend your day at any age or ability.
The B-360 begins and ends at the Valmont Bike Park: this is a lovely park dedicated to bikes that have graced our east Boulder community for a few years now–if you want a good place for short and easy trails to practice on as well as playgrounds, picnic areas, multi-use paths, and an adjacent dog park. But be advised: no dogs are allowed at the B-360.
What’s the Route?
There are actually two rides going on this Sunday. Because this event is for everyone regardless of age and ability, there are two circuits you can choose from, depending on what you’re feeling you (and whatever friends or family you’re enjoying this event with) can accomplish that day. Check out the B-360 official page for the map of the circuit, which shows both the B-360 and the B-180.
The B-360 is a full irregular circumference around all of Boulder proper. The full track runs 22 miles and includes neighborhood roads, bike paths, unpaved trails, and bike lanes in streets (so you can include all the stellar bike paths Boulder has to offer). The officials of the ride encourage those who are planning on doing the full 360 track to begin their ride in waves, starting between 10:30-11am. The alternative to the full B-360 is the B-180. This is a loop that’s literally half the distance: it spans only 11 miles and is a similarly irregular circle spanning half of Boulder, but still affording beautiful views from all the types of bike paths Boulder has to offer. Either track is a heck of a lot of fun, and both begin and end at the Valmont Bike Park. Those wanting the B-180 experience are encouraged to begin their waves of starting lines between 10:45 and 11:15.
Walk 360 has a few different options for your walking around Boulder pleasure: there are four different partial circles (do we call them wedges?), the first of which will be happening with the Bike Around Boulder event on June 2nd. The other partial segments you can walk are happening on June 9th, 16th, and 23rd. THEN! If you’re up for the challenge, you can walk the whole gosh darned circuit on June 29th. This, like the bicycle event, is totally free, but you do need to register for the walking event. It’s called the Slow Marathon–isn’t that adorable? And it’s nothing to sneeze at–don’t get me wrong…
Sponsors and Celebrations
The B-360 Circle Boulder By Bicycle Ride is hosted by the City of Boulder and all its facilities, as well as GoBoulder–those stellar organizations plus the partnership with Community Cycles all are on board with this ride in order to support Boulder’s sustainability, as well as the many transportation master plan goals Boulder has going on all burners. It’s the kickoff event of bike to work month, after all, and what could be more fun than to circumscribe the city and get your cardio as you do?
After whatever Boulder circle you choose is complete (the B-360 or the B-180), when you loop on back around to the beginning of your ride, a big celebration awaits you at the Valmont Bike Park with refreshments and all kinds of fun.
What a quintessential Boulder flavored event this is, am I right? and what better way to enjoy the city and be a Boulderite than to marvel at the extent of Boulder’s beauty, while having fun and getting fit into the bargain.