by Rachel Moore, Social Media and Digital Strategist at Colorado HealthOP
Ride a bike on dark Denver streets with surrounded by glow sticks and lights? Yes, please!
Last Saturday night I participated in my first ever Moonlight Classic in Denver. My husband is an avid cyclist (his term = “hybridder”), and he’s ridden the Classic for the last few years. Since Bike to Work Day, I’ve been cycling more myself — commuting to and from work on two wheels instead of one a couple of times each week. So this year, riding in the Classic seemed like something I could handle.
Additionally, Colorado HealthOP — the organization for which I manage social media, email and our lovely blog — focuses on health and wellness for all Coloradans, including the staff. I put a feeler out somewhat late in the game to see if any of my colleagues would be interested in joining me for this late-night cycling endeavor. A few came forward and we made plans to congregate near the Denver Capitol building before the race began.
David Napoli, our Director of Strategic Analytics, registered with his son (who would try his first year of the Classic on his own two wheels). His dad is also quite the cyclist, so he’s got great genes on his side already. Barbara Sohnen, Colorado HealthOP’s Compliance Specialist, also signed up; she’s prepping for Pedal the Plains this year, so getting in the 10-mile ride of the Classic would be a great chance to train. Victoria Francies, our Clinical Innovations and Population Health Specialist, also joined the ride.
I don’t know if you typically cycle the streets of Denver, but usually it’s in very close proximity to motor vehicles. Imagine how enjoyable and even rebellious it feels to be given free reign to cruise up and down some of Denver’s main thoroughfares (17th Avenue, 1st Avenue by Cherry Creek, Speer Blvd, and even Broadway)! It was invigorating to breeze past some of Denver’s most popular hot spots & points of interest while cars were held at bay for us to pass.
There were a few points along the way when, from the summit of a slight incline, I could see before me almost a mile of cyclists glowing or lit up from their apparel for this evening ride. We even saw a few Denver residents who were also exercising… their right to express anger at the road closures, that is. But for the most part, those we passed seemed excited to see a cool event cruising through.
I can’t express enough how thankful I am to work with people who are so ready to jump in and get well with each other! Whether it’s a team for the Undy 5000 or a few souls cycling in the Classic, we’re always game to get our healthy on as a group.