BikeDenver is pleased to introduce you to Paul Brekus, our May choice for Bike Hero of the Month! BikeDenver’s Bike Hero of the Month Awards highlight one person 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.
Meet Paul Brekus: Paul has been a bike commuter for about 19 years, the last 10 on Penny Farthings. He is a fixture in Denver, and almost everyone you talk to who rides the Cherry Creek bike path has looked up to see and greet Paul peddling along. Last year Paul logged over 6000 miles, and 2200 so far this year. He lives near Berkeley Park, and commutes to the Wellington E. Webb Municipal Building (the “Wellie”) near Civic Center Park where he works as a Technologies Systems Administrator. Paul’s commute is about 12 miles round trip, and he rides as long as the roads are not slick. He can regularly be spotted on 47th, Tejon, the pedestrian bridge on 16th that crosses I-25, the Cherry Creek bike Path, Larimer, 14th, and 15th Streets.
Many of us wonder, “How does he get up onto that thing?” Paul says he starts next to it with a slow run, steps up in the peg, gets seated and pedals away. Check out his technique at left! We’ve also wondered how he fixes a flat – it turns out those tires are solid and don’t ever go flat, but they do wear down and have to be replaced every 7,000 miles (once a year for Paul)!
Why Paul rides: Paul says: ”I ride for health and the environment”. When people ask him why he rides a Penny Farthing, Paul just says: “I’m Nuts”. Actually, Paul is both a collector of antiques, as well as an avid cyclist. About 10 years ago, the two merged. Now, Paul owns two Penny Farthings. The one he rides the most is a 10-year-old copy of the 1885 Victor bicycle with a 58” front wheel. He also owns an 1882 Columbia Expert (56” front wheel), riding it only on special occasions due to its age and fragility. Check him out (left) riding out of a meeting room (and ducking his head) at the Denver Convention Center as the 1st participant in the Denver Green Festival’s Bicycle Fashion Show!
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 Paul, who ride bikes and 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 Paul by becoming a BikeDenver member: Join BikeDenver!