Growing up in Park Hill and later inheriting his childhood home, Darrell West definitely knows the streets of Denver. But he wasn’t always a biking enthusiast. When faced with high blood pressure and high cholesterol, Darrell started biking to work and soon enough his health improved. He says part of his successful bike-infused lifestyle was inspired by his coworker at the Pauline Robinson Library, Chris Brown, an already avid cyclist.
While working at the library, Darrell stumbled upon a children’s book about Marshall “Major” Taylor – the first African-American athlete to achieve the level of world champion after winning the 1 mile track cycling championship in 1899. A “forgotten hero”, Taylor made a huge impact in Darrell’s life, leading him, Chris, and other library coworkers to jump start a Major Taylor Cycling Club located in Stapleton. After following the national association rules, the club was up and running in April of last year. The club has since joined forces with The Hub at Stapleton – a partnership of the Stapleton Transportation Management Association, Denver Police Department Cop Shop, and now Major Taylor Cycling Club. The Hub offers services such as bicycle seminars, repairs, rentals, tours, and information about alternate means of transportations.
But back to the club: Major Taylor was always focused on inspiring kids, and subsequently youth involvement is a huge factor in the club’s activities today. Darrell says one of the club’s main goals is to “break down the barriers to cycling”. Now they fix and donate bikes to youths in the community and help encourage biking in all age groups by offering free programs like a Five Points community ride. The club has also participated in community events such as Viva Streets and the Sand Creek Clean Up. And in June this year they’ll have a booth at the Denver Century Ride; the club even routed the path for the Family Ride!
BikeDenver would love to thank Darrell for his dedication to improving biking in the Denver community!
[Submitted by Courtney Burkett]
Bike Hero of the Month Awards highlight different people each month, and help encourage other people to bike by telling the Hero’s personal story. The goal of the Bike Hero Awards Program is to showcase the diversity of citizen-cyclists and the people who support them in Denver.
BikeDenver’s Executive Director Piep van Heuven says: “We introduced the Bike Hero awards because we want to encourage a friendly environment for and public image of bicyclists in Denver. One of the ways we can do this is to showcase the different faces of and great stories about people in our community, like Chris, who ride bikes or help others get out there and ride. Through the Bike Hero awards, BikeDenver honors bicyclists of all ages and walks of life, from the first time bicyclist to the rain or shine bicyclist! We all know people (our neighbors, co-workers, family members or community leaders) who inspire us to reach for the handlebars instead of the car keys. Take a moment to look around you and help BikeDenver recognize the people in our community who are making a difference for Denver, one ride at a time!”
To nominate a Bike Hero, please send a photo and a brief description of why you think they should be recognized (100 words or less) to info(at)bikedenver.org.
We started naming Bike Heroes in 2010; meet them here!
BikeDenver is Denver’s bicycle advocacy organization. BikeDenver promotes and encourages bicycling in and around Denver and works to make Denver a better place to ride your bike for fun, recreation and transportation. Why? Because it’s healthy for you, and healthy for Denver. www.bikedenver.org
Bicycle Village has been a Colorado owned and operated business for more than 30 years. From modest beginnings in an 1800 square ft. building in West Denver, Bicycle Village has grown into the largest bicycle retailer in the Rockies. www.bicyclevillage.com
You can help make Denver’s streets safer for people like Chris by becoming a BikeDenver member:Join BikeDenver!