Building A Better Longmont, One Bike Ride At A Time
Three years ago, Longmont was designated a “Bicycle Friendly Community.” Cruisers are now putting that designation to good use.
You’ve seen them right? Groups of people on bikes – sometimes dressed in costumes – cruisin’ the streets on two wheels.
If you haven’t seen them, they’re out every Wednesday night in the summer. They're part of Bicycle Longmont and their numbers sometimes grow into the hundreds.
The nonprofit Bicycle Longmont’s mission is to ‘get more people on a bike, more often.’ Bike Night is just part of the mix. (Disclosure: KUNC is a sponsor of Bicycle Longmont’s annual G’Knight Ride.)
Ryan Kragerud is president and hosts the family friendly cruiser ride. “I like that it resonates with people for a variety of reasons,” said Kragerud. He notes that many people are new to the city, their neighborhood or in a new job.
“Hey, you know what? I want to make new friends and not just hang out with my co-workers all the time,” Kragerud muses.
For rider Megan Rossman the cruises encourage people to get out of their homes and create a community within Longmont. She says it’s a chance to get out and say hello, exchanges names, catch up with a neighbor – or even meet a new one.
“I think every town needs one of these,” says Rossman, “cause it promotes biking, healthy lifestyles, and community.”
Many participants say they think Bike Night is a great way to meet other people in the community in a different setting and encourages families to get out together in the evening. It’s not a bar, it’s a level playing field and a way to meet new people in a different environment.
On a bike it’s a completely different experience, a chance to see people in a new light.
"I don’t think anyone comes to Bike Night saying 'oh yeah, I’m totally going to meet my wife, I’m totally going to meet my partner, I’m totally gonna make new connections in the community…'" said Kragerud. For him, a meeting someone isn’t the reason - it’s a byproduct of participating in social rides.
Kragerud says he isn’t that into biking. He’s into people.
“I am a community person,” said Kragerud. “I’m a guy who likes community, fellowship and getting people together to just exchange stories, talk about stuff and to ride bikes.”
Editor's Note: This story comes to us from our Community Voices Project, it was recorded and submitted by Ryan Kragerud of Bicycle Longmont.