SHERIDAN — Friday morning’s Bike to Breakfast event was a welcome sight for archeologist Jonathan Walker.
A recent transplant from Fort Collins, Colo., Walker was among about a dozen people congregating in Whitney Plaza at around 7:45 a.m. eating breakfast before they headed to work.
While bike commuting is a part of daily life for many Fort Collins residents, Sheridan’s foray into the commuter bicycling scene is only beginning to take off.
As a longtime biker, Walker said he was pleased to see such a strong turnout for the event.
In addition to encouraging Sheridan residents to consider biking as an alternative to driving, he said the event might also prompt drivers to be more aware of cyclists they encounter on city and county roads.
That’s an important step given Sheridan’s existing commuter infrastructure.
“There’s a lot of traffic here for a small town,” he said.
A citywide event intended to promote physical wellness and support a budding bicycle culture, Friday’s event was hosted by several groups including the Downtown Sheridan Association, the Sheridan Wellness Council and the Sheridan Recreation District.
Held from 7-9 a.m. today, DSA Executive Director Stacie Coe said she hoped the event would encourage more Sheridan residents to consider taking advantage of Sheridan’s pathway system.
Volunteers manned five stations located at various points along Sheridan’s 14 miles of paths.
“It’s basically (about) embracing wellness,” Coe said.
By 7:45 a.m., about 40 people had already stopped by her station in Whitney Commons.
Meanwhile at Thorne-Rider Park, Sheridan Parks Supervisor Steve Gage was busy setting up a station filled with fruit, orange juice and other breakfast foods for hungry bikers that happened to pass by.
Though she had already stopped at an earlier station, VA Hospital employee Jenny Heuck stopped to thank Gage for what she considered an excellent initiative.
As a regular bike commuter, Heuck said she was pleased to see such an organized push for cycling in Sheridan.
“It’s a great event,” she said. “It really is.”
Back at Whitney Commons, Tom Balding and Desirae Barkan of Tom Balding Bits and Spurs joined a team of about 10 cyclists from Emit Technologies to take advantage of the day’s activities.
For his part, Balding said he’s considering formalizing a bicycle program at his business in order to encourage healthy lifestyles and bonding among coworkers.
Recently, Balding took several employees to a ride in Buffalo and said the event further encouraged him to get serious about bike commuting.
“It just really builds the team,” he said.
This morning’s events were part of a weeklong series aimed at encouraging Sheridan residents to build upon the area’s existing bike culture.
The series coincides with National Bike Month and similar events around the country.