Here at BikeDenver, we choose bike heroes from all walks of life. They are policy advocates, cycling instructors, pedalers peddling dumplings, moms who fearlessly tow their children every day…and then there’s Chen-Pin Hu. Unlike most of our heroes, Chen-Pin came to us first, via Facebook, with an inquiry about some infrastructure in the Highlands. On her daily commute to REI she noticed an odd piece of infrastructure: a sign on Central St. indicated that bicycles must cross the street on the right, while pedestrians must cross on the left, which of course is incorrect. Because of her keen eye, BikeDenver alerted Denver Public Works who promptly corrected the mistake. We were impressed that Chen-Pin took action and we knew we had to find out more about her!
“When I’m on my bike I feel like I am an advocate for all bicyclists,” says Chen-Pin, who moved to Denver during the Democratic National Convention four years ago. Since then, she has enjoyed watching bicycling surge in the city while growing with the trend herself – she gave up her car a year ago! Her reasons for becoming increasingly bike-dependent? “Bicycling embodies transportation, fitness, and reduces the impact on our energy crisis.” When she’s not on her bike, she walks or rides public transit to her destination, or uses her car share membership.
Coming from San Francisco, a city notorious for its many bicycle riders, Chen-Pin acknowledges that Denver has some catching-up to do. Her main concern is education: bikes and cars need to learn how to share the road! She first learned how to safely bike on the road through a program with San Francisco Bicycle Coalition, and ideally she would love for people to understand the bike-car relationship and how we share our roads before obtaining a driver’s license. As far as her personal goals, Chen-Pin wants to learn more about working on her own bikes and do more touring. She aspires to tour the U.S. and maybe the world on her SOMA Double Cross!
So where does Chen-Pin fit in our bike hero lineup? She shares so many qualities with the rest of our heroes. However, her story is unique in that it imparts a message: you have a voice, and you can make a change. Even something as small as requesting a new sign shows our hard-working advocates and elected officials that people really do care about bicycling here. The more you care, the more improvements are made, and ultimately, Denver becomes a more bike-friendly city! Thanks, Chen-Pin, for doing your part, and if you see her at REI Customer Service or volunteering her time at Denver Urban Gardens, give her a big “congrats” for being a bike hero!
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 past honorees here:
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
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