Aspen eyes bike-friendly initiatives | AspenTimes.com

Aspen eyes bike-friendly initiatives

Aaron Hedge
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado

Mirte Mallory explains to Jim Rudolph how the proposed bike sharing program would work. WE-cycle is currently seeking approvals from the City of Aspen to launch 50 – 75 bikes in the spring of 2011

ASPEN – Aspen can chalk up three more points on the list of new bike-friendly initiatives it is reviewing for approval within the next few years.

The City Council on Monday discussed a preliminary proposal for making Aspen a stop in an international professional race; an effort for new, bike-specific parking in the core; and a bike-sharing program that would allow people to use free bikes downtown.

The race would be part of an inaugural, Quizno’s-sponsored Pro Bike Challenge being pushed by Gov. Bill Ritter and part-time Aspen resident Lance Armstrong as an emulation of the Coors International Bike Classic. That contest ran from 1979 to 1988.

Mayor Mick Ireland said the event would be healthy for Aspen, drawing worldwide attention to the town during the bicycle race.

“Aspen is attractive for a big event because of our international reputation,” he said.

Councilman Steve Skadron, though, said he was concerned about the event’s corporate ties.

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“I want to know how many Quizno’s banners we’re going to put on the historic Wheeler Opera House, and I’m not too excited about that,” he said.

The event, supporters said in the City Council work session Monday night, could take a number of forms, from a circuit race to marathons from Delta to Aspen.

ahedge@aspentimes.com