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Bonedale Bike Week is well-rounded fun for all

By Lynn Burton
Sopris Sun Staff Writer

Let’s unofficially roll out the ninth annual Bonedale Bike Week, coming up May 20-25, with some bicycle trivia, courtesy “Bicycle: The History” by David Herlihy and “The World Almanac Book of Records: First, Feats, Facts & Phenomena” by Mark Young.

• The term “bicycle” was not introduced until the 1860s, when it was coined in France to describe a new kind of two-wheeler with a mechanical drive.

• Fred A. Birchmore, 25, circled the globe on a bike in 1935. The entire trip, through Europe, Asia, and the United States, covered 40,000. He pedaled about 25,000 miles. He traveled the rest by boat.

• There are more than 500 million bicycles in China.

• Over the past the past 30 years, bicycle delivery services have developed into an important industry, especially in cities, where the couriers have earned a reputation for their high speed and traffic-weaving skills.

• Americans use their bicycles for less than 1 percent of all urban trips. In Italy, 5 percent of all trips are on bicycle; it’s 30 percent in the Netherlands, where seven out of eight people over age 15 own a bike.

On the Carbondale bicycle front:

• The League of American Bicyclists recognizes the Town of Carbondale as a Gold Level bicycle friendly community, one of approximately 325 other such designated towns, according to the Carbondale website (carbondalegov.org).

• Bonedale Bike Week was started nine years ago by Tracy Wilson, and Jessica (Blong) and Dave Downing. The Downings have since moved away, according to Wilson, but Morgan Williams (a teacher at Two Rivers charter school in Glenwood) has stepped in to help organize the event for the past few years.

Wilson told The Sopris Sun she brought the idea of a bike week to Carbondale from Boise, Idaho, 11 years ago. She started that town’s bike week 18 years ago.

“Carbondale has such a great biking community, it made (starting Bonedale Bike Week) easy,” she said.

Carbondale Recreation Director Eric Brendlinger calls the Bonedale Bike Week (BBW) organizers sort of an “ad hoc” group that largely remains faceless. Bonedale Bike Week is not sponsored by the town, or the town’s Bike, Pedestrians & Trails commission, but does organize two events: the kids’ bicycle safety rodeo (May 22, 4 to 6:30 p.m. at the recreation center), and Bike Jam (May 20, 9:30 a.m. at the North Face Bike Park). Wilson said the Bike Jam is for all ages, and events include freestyle. “They do some pretty amazing tricks.” The Bikes/Pedestrians/Trails commission started Bike Jam three years ago as a free-standing event, but this year it is being rolled in to BBW.

The team photo scavenger hunt, now in its eighth year, is one of Bonedale Bike Week’s signature events. This one is sponsored by Aloha Mountain Cyclery and takes place from 5 to 8 p.m. on May 25. For this one, teams of two to six riders score points for costumes, time and “stoke,” and can also earn “extra-credit points.” An actual scavenger hunt is at the crux of the event. Teams are given a list of items to find in Carbondale and when they do, they shoot a photo of it with team members. Past items and assignments include:

• Find a “no outlet “ yellow sign (between the bike path and Colorado Street and between Fourth and 11th streets);

• The A.S. Helms headstone in Evergreen Cemetery;

• Your choice of farm equipment at the Mt. Sopris Historical Society museum;

• Dalton’s tile at the Sopris Park bathroom.

For all you scavengers out there, remember: helmets are required.

The spoken word limerick poetry slam at Carbondale Beer Works (May 23 from 7 to 9 p.m.) is in its fourth year. “It’s amazing what people come up with,” Wilson said. For potential entrants in this event, a limerick is “a humorous, frequently bawdy, verse of three long and two short lines rhyming aabba, popularized by Edward Lear,” according to Wikipedia. For example, one bicycle related limerick, by John Whitehead and found on the Internet, says:

“You’ve bicycled thousands of miles

While your junk mail has stacked up

in piles

Amidst this big mess

Don’t forget I R S

Mail it soon, lest they look through your files.”

This year’s film (May 24, 8 p.m. at the Third Street Center) is the 90-minute “Turbo Kid.” Wilson said this film is not suitable for younger audience members. According to IMDB, this film is set in a post-apocalyptic wasteland in 1997; a comic book fan adopts the persona of his favorite hero to save his friend and fight a tyrannical overlord.

The free coffee/tea and breakfast snacks at Fourth and Main streets is probably the most high-profile event at Bonedale Bike Week. From May 22-25, pull in yourself and your bike to partake. About 80 cyclists typically roll through to grab a drink and snack. Wilson said she can still use some volunteers to help out. For details, call 710-1083 or go Bonedale Bike Week’s Facebook page.

The sponsors are: Alpine Bank, town. restaurant, Aloha! Mountain Cyclery, Phat Thai and Umbrella Roofing.

On a related note, the League of American Bicyclists Bike to Work week is May 15-19, with the specific Bike to Work Day on May 19, according to the group’s website.

Admission to all events of Bonedale Bike Week are free, according to Wilson.