CHEYENNE – Spring has finally arrived in Cheyenne and summer is on its way.

Perhaps nowhere was that more apparent Saturday morning than at the Cheyenne Depot Plaza, where dozens of residents lined up with their decorated bicycles ready to ride through the streets for the May Day Pedal Push.

Saturday’s bike parade also marked the re-launch of the city’s re-ride program. The Downtown Development Authority has purchased more than 20 bright orange bicycles that residents can rent to ride for $1 an hour using an app called Koloni.

The bike share program was scheduled to launch this time last year, but the pandemic dampened the excitement. So, the DDA used Saturday’s bike parade as an opportunity to re-launch the program.

“We revamped our re-ride program. But because of Covid and delayed shipping times, we didn’t actually get the bikes in until mid-to-late summer last year,” Haylee Chenchar, assistant director of the DDA, said. “We didn’t really have a chance to a launch last year. … We’re launching them now that we have a full summer for people to rent them and use them.”

A few people were already using them to participate in Saturday’s May Day Pedal Push. Enthusiastic cyclists came from all over the city, and were encouraged to get festive. Participants did not disappoint, with many dressing their bicycles with ribbons, bells, flowers and other colorful signals of springtime.

Steve and Lisa Reynolds, who recently retired, showed up Saturday after festooning their bicycles with brightly colored artificial flowers.

“It’s just fun,” said Steve Reynolds, who had also attached a shiny pinwheel to the front of his fat-tire bicycle. The thick tires on his bike have allowed him to ride safely despite the inclement weather of the past few months. But Saturday was his wife Lisa’s first time riding her white cruiser – she’s named it “Gwendolyn” – all year.

The ride Saturday was a relatively short, leisurely roll. “This is good because I’m not the greatest biker ever,” Lisa Reynolds said as she geared up to join the other participants.

The DDA organized the event as a fun way to kick off summer and give the many local businesses downtown an opportunity for increased foot traffic.

“We just wanted to celebrate spring, get people outside and celebrate the beautiful weather,” Amber Trevizo, events and special projects coordinator for the DDA, said. “We wanted to have a downtown parade to invite the community to come down and decorate their bikes. … We wanted to make a family-friendly event that kids could enjoy and have fun.”

Several local vendors were selling products inside the depot for the last winter farmer’s market of the season, and a few more set up shop outside on the plaza.

Mayor Patrick Collins, who is also owner of the Bicycle Station, wasn’t selling anything, but rather there to support the event and help anyone who needed a quick repair or pump of air.

“It’s early in the year and people haven’t had their bikes out. They might get them out to go ride and find there’s not enough air in their tires or their brakes don’t work,” he said before he went on the ride. “To have a celebration of summer starting, this is a great event.”

Kathryn Palmer is the Wyoming Tribune Eagle’s education reporter. She can be reached at kpalmer@wyomingnews.com or 307-633-3167. Follow her on Twitter at @kathrynbpalmer.

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