Bike Fort Collins first launched You Know Me. I Ride a Bike. back in 2009, where we featured local residents, for whom riding bikes is big part of their life in a broader awareness campaign. Beginning in 2021, we are excited to reintroduce this bio-series, where we feature one new Fort Collins resident each month here on our news-blog/website, as well as through The Pedal Post eNewsletter and our social channels, highlighting their love for bikes and for riding them. Please join us and read on, as we hear their stories and learn more about these remarkable folks who live and ride right here in our community.
JANUARY 2021: DUANE DAIRE
Fort Collins native, Duane Daire, was born in 1939 and attended Timnath High School. In the fall of 1967, he took a position at the Woodward campus on Drake and Lemay and thus began his life as a dedicated bike commuter. Over the next 50 years, Duane would become quite possibly the most devoted bike commuter our town has known.
During his 26 years at Woodward, Duane first began commuting only during the pleasant weather months. These miles were logged on what Duane affectionately referred to as his “Cadillac”, a 1952 Schwinn cruiser. Realizing that the latency of the winter months was not helping his overall fitness, Duane eventually commuted year-round. He dedicated himself to his round trip commute of 9+miles, rain or shine and in temperatures well below freezing. Much of Duane’s motivator in life seems to be his perpetual positivity.
Duane eventually retired from Woodward and filled a crossing guard vacancy for the Poudre School District. After a few temp positions, Duane (or Mr. Duane as many of us know him) eventually landed at the intersection of Washington Ave. and Mulberry St. as dedicated crossing guard for Dunn Elementary. An old-town resident himself, Duane had no problem adapting to his new location and continued with his daily bike commute. After an unfortunate bike tumble, Duane’s wife, Sylvia, convinced him to purchase an adult trike from Recycled Cycles. This would become his iconic mode of transportation up until Duane’s recent retirement from PSD in September of 2020.
Fair weather or foul, Mr. Duane faithfully commuted by bike to Dunn Elementary and safely sheltered countless children across Mulberry Ave for over two decades. The cold morning air would hang with the happy words, “Thanks, Mr. Duane!”, and seldom was the day he didn’t arrive by bike. As a parent of two Dunn Elementary students, I feel indebted to Duane for his dedication to our childrens’ safety in their daily walk to school. As a bicycle advocate, I am in awe of Duane’s perpetual positivity through all his years of bike commuting at both Woodward and Dunn.
Mr. Duane, you are truly a Fort Collins legend. May your positivity and commitment to active transportation be an example to us all.
Name and age? Duane Daire, age 82
What do you do for a living? Retired from Woodward (26 years), as well as Poudre School District (20+ years)
How long have you lived in Fort Collins? Has lived in the Fort Collins area his whole life
How long have you been riding? Over 50 years
What kind of riding do you do? Commuting
How far do you commute? At one point, commuted 9+ miles per day round-trip
Why do you ride? Primarily for fitness
What kind(s) of bike(s) do you ride? During his commuting days, a 1952 Schwinn Cruiser (aka his “Cadillac”), but now an adult trike (see picture)
What would you like to tell someone who is thinking about starting to ride a bike? Be and stay positive. You can have more influence on people with a positive attitude.
Where is your favorite place to ride? Anywhere where there is a path or trail.
What gets on your bike on a cold, rainy, crummy day? Chopper mittens