5 Tips for Biking to the Markets
Boulder County is a well-known destination for cyclists who flock to Boulder and Longmont to enjoy high-altitude training, miles of bike paths, and mountain biking trails. In honor of Bike to Work Day, we’re highlighting how you can pedal to the produce this summer. Many of our market customers prefer their bikes as a convenient transportation method to avoid crowded parking, savor the summer sunshine, limit carbon emissions and transport their market hauls in style.
Tips from our Executive Director, Mackenzie Sehlke
One of the things we love most about our executive director, Mackenzie, is that when it comes to sustainability, she doesn’t only talk the talk, but she walks the walk — literally. Mackenzie can often be spotted walking or pedaling around town, heading to a meeting or to a market. Her personal record is 40lbs of tomatoes in one trip: a terrifying and exhilarating ride, only recommended for those planning to make sauce.
Here are her top tips for getting started with biking to the Boulder and Longmont Farmers Markets:
- Get setup to shop: outfit your bike with baskets, panniers, or racks to make things easier to transport (and encourage buying that extra pound of mushrooms that a backpack won’t hold). Come fruit season, bring some bungee cords for securing that flat of peaches!
- Take a lap: when you arrive at market, do a scouting lap and see what’s on offer this week. Doing a pre-shop walk helps get organized to buy heavy things first and pack your bag and bike wisely.
- Refuel/rehydrate at the market: it’s a perfect pit stop for replenishing after a ride. Ice cream from Best One Yet is an excellent recovery food on hot summer days.
- Load-up smart: heavy and sturdy things like frozen meat, melons, and jars of hot sauce get loaded first to avoid unnecessary smushing. That plume of rainbow chard looks beautiful poking out the top of a basket and protects those fragile greens.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help: Sometimes our hearts are bigger than our stomachs – and our backpacks. If it gets to be too much, you can ask our fruit producers to keep that case of plums behind the stall to pick up later in the day.
How to Get to the Markets
If you’ve ever started your Boulder market stroll from Canyon, you’ve likely seen our bike racks, located right at the south side of the market. We love seeing how full the racks become throughout the day. A special shout out to the bikers who shuffle through the market with their clip-in shoes to get a pastry from Izzio or a coffee from Silver Canyon to make the ride home ten times better.
In Longmont, you’ll find our market right off of the Saint Vrain Greenway. This eight-mile trail spans from Golden Ponds to Sandstone Ranch, with the Boulder County Fairgrounds conveniently near its center.
Biking is not the only way to reach the market without driving a personal car. The downtown Boulder bus terminal is located a short four minute walk from our market. In Longmont, the stop at Bent Way & Hover Rd or the stop at Ken Pratt Blvd & Sunset St are both less than a mile walk from the market. Customers who may live a bit further out from the markets can try out the Bike-n-Ride program through RTD to experience the best of both worlds! So hop on the bus and be sure to tell that jealous fellow bus rider exactly where you got that gorgeous bunch of curly kale.