The snow was picking up, making it difficult to see, much less drive, as we entered the outskirts of Boulder. The streets had suddenly become that much more icy, as the slush began to accumulate in between the lanes. Out of the corner of my eye, some brightly colored lights caught my eye. I glanced onto a side street that paralleled Broadway, one of the main drags running north-south through Boulder, Colorado. What I saw made me chuckle, thinking only in Boulder…
It didn’t take long after we moved to Boulder County, Colorado to realize we had arrived in an uber-athletic, competitive environment, where everyone seems to engage in the business of staying fit 24/7. Among the activities that rank high on every Boulderite’s list is bicycling, all forms of bicycling — from road biking to mountain biking. In ordinary cities and towns across America, bicycling is considered a warm-weather sport, something to engage in, when the temperature is north of 50 degrees at a minimum.
But not in Boulder. Even during the coldest, windiest, and yes even snowiest days, the stalwart bikers are still riding across town. Still the sight that caught my eyes the other evening rivaled what I expected. Not only were two cyclists making their way down the street in the middle of a snowstorm with temperatures in the 20s. There were two children strapped on the back of the bicycles — yes, it was an entire family riding around in the dark during a snowstorm. Not to be outdone, they had decorated their bicycles with colored lights. I don’t know if this was for safety purposes or to just celebrate the sheer audacity or lunacy of the act.
Biking in snow is not just for the streets of Boulder, but also for the snowy trails in the mountains too. As Bryon and I went cross-country skiing in the nearby Indian Peaks Wilderness the other weekend, we encountered something we had never seen before — ultra-fat tire bikes careening down the snowy trails deep within the pine forest. Apparently, a new form of snow biking has taken hold and is becoming ever more popular.
As I encounter the sights during the depth of winter’s cold, I can’t help but shake my head and laugh. Only in Boulder….