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Thousands of cyclists hit the road for annual Bike to Work Day

DENVER -- Thousands of cyclists will hit the streets in the Denver metro area on Wednesday for Bike to Work Day.

Breakfast stations and rest stops will be set up around the city, and a big event will be held at Civic Center Park.

The Denver Police Department estimates 30,000 bicyclists will take to the streets for the annual event.

One of the problems on Denver roads is congestion, which is why the city promotes the event.

"Denver's growing at an alarming rate," Bike Denver executive director James Waddell said. "We believe over the last four years, roughly 1,000 people per month are moving here to Denver. And if you go by the average mode share, that's putting 700 more cars a month on the streets of Denver."

It's also why the city has invested in bicycle infrastructure with bike ways, intersection improvements and better street designs.

Bike to Work Day is also a good day to revisit the rules of the road. Those include wearing a helmet, don't ride on sidewalks and stay in bike lanes.

"Last year in Denver, we had four bike fatalities and 30 serious injury bicycle crashes," police spokesman Robert Rock said.

"With all of the infrastructure changes, some folks might not know they're on a designated bike route or riding along a protected bike lane. And people really need to be aware."

Drivers need to be alert not only on Wednesday but every day by paying attention to blind spots in crosswalks, Rock said.

The Downtown Denver Partnership will host an event at Skyline Park, offering a free hot breakfast of pancakes, sausage, fruit and coffee. There also will be bike tuneups, chair massages and live music by The Wildflowers.

At Civic Center Park from 6:30 a.m. to 9 a.m., there will be a free breakfast from participating vendors.

Several vendors will be offering freebies, including Chipotle Mexican Grill, which will offer a buy-one, get-one-free burrito, bowl, salad or tacos for those who participate.

The offer is from 10:45 a.m. to 9 p.m. and participants need to show a bike helmet or Bike to Work Day flyer.