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City officials take part in 'Bike to Work Day'

Bike To Work Day Safety

Instead they grabbed their helmets and took to the streets to see and experience the ride for themselves.

Overall, Colorado Springs is quite safe for cyclists. In fact, out of 9,000 car accidents last year, only 81 of them involved cyclists.

But there are still some problem areas.

On Tuesday, there was a crash downtown between a cyclist and a car.

Wednesday is officially "Bike to Work Day in Colorado but many in Colorado Springs didn't need that excuse.

John Norton is one of many, who cycles miles every day both to and from work.

Norton says it's usually a good experience but admits he has some haunting memories.

"I've had everything from fast food trash thrown at me. People coming up and honking the horns, barking out the windows. It's scary. You're focused on your ride. Any loud noise, it's scary," said Norton. 

Norton has been hit by cars twice in his life.

"It was a very painful experience. I didn't break any bones but I got head injuries both times. I was horrible freaked out. I still carry it with me. I recovered pretty well from the first one, but then getting hit again, it really scared me. It's generally a very good experience. The trail networks have improved greatly. But there's still many areas where you have to be on the road to complete your commute," Norton.

To fix that problem, the city is currently adding 16 miles of bike lanes to connect those gaps.

"We have trails and lanes that just stop. There's no connectivity," said Brian Shevock,  the bike coordinator of Colorado Springs.

The city is also getting advice from national bike safety specialist, Steve Clark.

"We're visiting 100 cities a year to help them become more bicycle friendly. We get an estimate crash rate for how many people are cycling. It's a little higher than what we want to see for a city of this size," said Clark, with the League of American Bicyclists.

On Wednesday Clark and city officials took a 20 mile ride throughout Colorado Springs to see both the good and the bad for themselves.

"This bike tour is going to give him the good and the bad we want him to see problems that we're facing, 24 Ridge Road, I-25 Tejon," said Shevock.

"Bicycling benefits everybody so if we can make conditions better it can actually improve the quality of life in Colorado Springs," said Clark.

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