Business Center

Commuter Highlight: Biking to Work in Region 4 with Bryce Reeves

By: Sydney Lund, Transportation Demand Management Intern

December 6, 2019

Here at the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT), we are working to enhance the quality of life and the environment of the citizens of Colorado by creating an integrated transportation system that focuses on safely moving people and goods by offering convenient linkages among modal choices. Many CDOT employees are serving as role models for their commitment to commuting to work by walking, biking, taking transit, or carpooling.

Here Byrce is standing outside of Region 4 with his bicycle. Photo credits: Thu Tran

This week’s commuter highlight is Bryce Reeves!

Bryce Reeves is a Professional Engineer II who works at the Region 4 headquarters in Greeley. He commutes to work by bike three to five times per week. Read below for an interview with Bryce, in which he talks about commuting by bike on the highway and gives some tips on how to safely ride a bike on high speed streets.

How do you commute to work?

Typically I ride my bike three to five days a week. When I do not ride my bike, I drive my personal vehicle. There are a few reasons why I choose to ride my bike to work. One aspect is for health. I am an engineer and I sit or stand at my desk most of the day, so biking is a way for me to exercise. Another reason is to help with climate change. Riding my bike causes less pollution than driving a personal vehicle. Also, biking can help with my mood, which goes hand in hand with exercise. When I get to work I feel better and I don't get frustrated because there's traffic that's slowing me down, even though biking does take longer than driving. For some reason, the fact that I'm constantly moving and that I can control my own pace is a lot less frustrating for me than being stuck in traffic.

How long does your commute usually take you?

It is about eight miles one way, depending on the route. Sometimes I decide I want to ride a little bit longer, so then it is around 10 miles one way. My biking route is pretty much the same route as when I drive, unless I choose to go on one of the trails, which is where my ride ends up being 10 miles.

How do you get to work in the rain or snow?

When it rains I'll typically still ride, and if it's snowing I’ll still ride depending on how much it snows. Because my route takes me on the highway, if there is enough snow that a snowplow needs to be out, I don’t ride my bike.

Above is a map of the five Engineering Regions of CDOT. Bryce works in Region 4, which is the region encompassing the North Eastern section of Colorado.

Do you have any safety tips to employees regarding riding on the highway?

I would say to be visible in your clothing options and your helmet. I wear a blaze orange helmet. Depending on how cold it is, I have a vest that has reflective bright yellow side panels that I wear in the wintertime. In the summer I have jerseys that I wear that are brightly colored, such as red or yellow, that I wear while riding. Also, another tip is to have lights on while riding. A lot of people don't use lights during the day, but that also helps you to be visible during the day or night.

What obstacles do you face while biking in Region 4 and how have you overcome these obstacles

In CDOT’s Region 4, I think that what limits most people from riding their bikes is that there are not a lot of options to get around without being on a highway or county roads that are high speeds without a shoulder, unless you live and work within Loveland or Fort Collins. For safety, try to make yourself as visible as possible and know the rules of the road.

The only obstacles for me are if I am tired in the morning and I don’t feel like riding my bike. I'm fine with riding on busy roads. I have been riding on highways in Region 4, because there are not too many trail options connecting the different cities/towns. I like to ride up in the mountains, so I'll go from my house and ride up either the canyons or county roads and end up coming back down the canyons where there's narrow shoulders. So I have become used to the busy roads. But I think for most people the obstacles are the lack of infrastructure for bicycles to get from city to city. We don’t have that connectivity yet. Fort Collins, Loveland, and Boulder are part of Region 4, and they have some good bike trails in those cities. I think the main reason that most people don't ride bikes would be lack of infrastructure.

How do you get around on the weekends?

On the weekends, I still ride my bike. I have a three year old son that I take around in a kids’ trailer that attaches to my bike. When I leave for work, I park the trailer at a park near his daycare. After work I pick up the trailer, pick him up, and go home. When I get groceries on the weekend, I'll put him in the trailer. I have panniers on my bike that I load with groceries. When we go to the parks, all of the parks are within walking distance, but sometimes I’ll take my bike and load his toys in the trailer. I try to bike or walk as much as I can.

What are some tips that you have to other CDOT employees in Region 4?

A tip that I have if people are trying to come to work by bike but feel uncomfortable with some of the main highway routes, would be to try to plan your route out a little differently. Use a mapping service and try to find some side streets that would make you feel a little more comfortable. I would say to also give yourself enough time, so you don’t feel rushed, because that can also stress people out. Also, just try it!

Interested in commuting to work by walking, biking, or taking transit? Check out these biking and transit resources designed to help you commute to work.

Check out our past commuter highlight interviews here.

Do you commute to work by means other than driving alone? If so, we would like to highlight you! Send an email to Sydney Lund to be highlighted as a part of our commuter highlights series.