Meet the organizers of the Highlands 4th of July Kids Bike Parade, our July Bike Heroes of the Month! Parade History: The parade began in 2008 with 650 participants, and continued last year with over 1,000. Yael, Paul, Mary and Erin got it started because they wanted to create a parade for their kids on their decorated bikes. This year’s parade started at 32nd Ave and Zuni, and traveled down to Hirshorn Park where everyone enjoyed a free BBQ, live music, a pie baking contest and a 60 ft ice cream sundae. See the CBS4 video here: Pint Sized Parade.
BikeDenver’s 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. (Pictured below from left to right: Yael Nyholm, Paul Tamburello, Mary Groner (seated) and Erin Weber).
Erin says: “The parade is an amazing event for bike riders. I love the event because the children of Highland look forward to it every year. It is their chance to decorate their bikes and shine as the parade leaders and for the whole community to gather and have a great time.”
Paul says: “The impetus for me to help get the parade started was my experience as a child and having a 4th of July parade in my neighborhood. In many ways it is also what created a great desire for me to cycle. As a child I couldn’t wait to be like the big kids in the parade with their bike all decorated up! I remember kids would keep their decorations on as long as they could after the parade. I will never forget the first time I rode in the parade it was like I landed on the moon and jammed the flag in the ground to claim it as my own!”
Yael says: “My whole family has always been passionate about bicycling (after college my husband bicycled from his home in Indiana on his way to Portland, and stopped in Boulder to visit some friends and never left). Similar to Paul I have great memories of decorating my bike and riding around the neighborhood. When my daughter was 4 and doing really well on her bike, I went looking for a parade for her to participate in, and I couldn’t find one. So I did the next logical thing, I made one for her. My husband showed up with my son in the Charriot and my daughter behind them on the tag along-it was awesome! The community embraced the event and now it has become an integral part of the NW Denver Summer events. My son rode his own bike last year in the parade for the first time (he was 3), it was one of his main motivations and he was so proud of himself for making it. The parade celebrates the wonderful things about summer in Denver, bikes, food and community!”
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 Yael, Paul, Mary and Erin, 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 January, 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 Sherry by becoming a BikeDenver member: Join BikeDenver!