(by Gabby Robinson) Did you know that the YMCA is a 135-year-old organization? The YMCA in Downtown Denver, at the east end of the 16th Street Mall, has resided at their historic location for 106 years. To have such staying power, the Y has to constantly change with the times. A major change came ten years ago when the Colorado Coalition for the Homeless purchased the Y’s building and renovated it. The building upgrade provided the perfect opportunity for the Downtown Denver YMCA to foster a growing trend in Denver…bicycling! They installed bike racks in the foyer in front of the lobby, but they didn’t stop there. Some racks were still located outside the building, and were a target for bike thieves. Instead of ignoring complaints and telling members that stolen bikes were not the Y’s responsibility, they eliminated the outdoor racks and installed more bike parking right inside the lobby! With two indoor bike parking areas, The Downtown Denver YMCA really does their part to take care of bicyclists.
The YMCA is also quite a social scene for people who like to bike. Mike, the executive director, explains that Y members who work downtown often park their bikes at the Y (since it’s a safe haven) and gather for a lunchtime or after-work ride. The Y staff envisions expanding on this social theme in the future, possibly creating a bike shop/café space to occupy unused square footage in the lobby. People could drop their bike off for maintenance, work out, and pick it up afterwards, or they could work on their bike themselves. Something else they think could use a little expansion is – you guessed it – bike parking! From snowy weather to 105-degree summer days, the indoor racks fill up fast.
For those who use transportation other than a bike, the Y offers options to get your bicycling fix. With three indoor cycling classes a day, beginners through pros can get their training on! All the instructors offer a different approach: some provide a workout, while others focus on racing technique.
Mike estimates more than fifty members and YMCA employees a day bring their bikes through the Y.Obviously, they attract plenty of bicycles and bike owners, and know how to keep them happy! That’s what we look for in a Bike-Friendly Business of the Month…thanks, Downtown Denver YMCA, for supporting bicycling in Denver!
– – – -
BikeDenver’s Bicycle-Friendly Business (BFB) of the Month Award highlights organizations that are making standout contributions and offering great success stories from among BikeDenver’s Bicycle-Friendly Business (BFB) Program members. The BFB program, with more than 140 honorees to date, recognizes businesses, organizations and workplaces that are leading the way to make bicycling an easy and accepted form of transportation in Denver. Nominate a workplace as a Bicycle-Friendly Business here.
BikeDenver is Denver’s bicycle advocacy organization. BikeDenver promotes and encourages bicycling in Denver and works to make Denver a better place to ride your bike. Why? Because more bicycling has great benefits for you, and for Denver! www.bikedenver.org
Clif Bar & Company started on a bike ride. Founder Gary took a bite of another energy bar and thought he could make a better bar. Today, Clif Bar is a leading maker of all-natural and organic energy and nutrition foods and drinks.www.clifbar.com
Bicycle Friendly Business of the Month Awards: Since partnering in July of 2009 to launch the monthly awards program, Clif Bar and BikeDenver have recognized over 35 work places for their bicycle friendly practices.
- – – – -