Wear Thy Helmet

Within the bike community much has been made of whether or not there should be mandatory helmet laws for bicyclists. Opponents of this sort of law say that it would discourage bike use at a time when bike growth has been steadily rising. While not directly proposing such a law and the necessity of its enactment in the United States, it goes without saying that wearing a helmet while biking can save your life, if not your personality.

Unlike many European cities, Denver doesn’t have an extensive bike trail infrastructure. While this is improving what it means for a daily bike commuter is that they have more interactions with automobiles and, hence, more chances of having an accident involving one. If anything wearing a helmet should encourage bike riding since it does make one less likely to suffer catastrophic injury. But it is easy to see why people don’t wear them. Helmets are not made for their looks or for providing comfort. And for many people, riding a bike while the wind sifts through their hair is the main point of the experience. Yet for someone who is serious about making a bike part of his or her everyday experience a helmet is the first accessory to buy after a bike. If Denver had more “bike only” lanes with concrete barriers extensively built to separate them from motor vehicles and an intricate network of connecting bike trails, riding without a helmet would be much more plausible.

The argument need not go much past this. When a bicyclist is part of automobile traffic they are dealing with situations on a level that has a much higher potential for danger. Wearing a helmet is an easy way to not only provide a protective barrier between a potential tragedy but also as a confidence booster to actually getting on a bike and engaging the pedals.

(Disclaimer: Photo not was taken by or owned by Bikes Together)

Yes, You Can Be A Bike Mechanic!

Do you find the thought of working on your own bike terrifying?

Are you filled with dread whenever you run over glass or those terrible thorny goat heads that litter Denver’s Streets?

Do you stare at a bike and immediately look away in fear that that stare will somehow destroy all the working parts?

I say to you, NO MORE! The time is nigh for your to break down the intimidation factor and pick up a wrench. The bike is one of the few vehicles around where you can see all the moving parts at work. The lack of an outer covering can, for many, make the bicycle an intimidating machine to approach. Even for an everyday bike commuter, the thought of fixing their own bike brings waves of terror and pangs of shame. This is where Bikes Together can step in and teach you everything you need to know about maintaining your two-wheeled steed.

What we offer:

  • Affordable classes! Anything from $10 Mechanic 101 where you fix flats to our famous 6-part, 12 hour Master Mechanics class where you go through and learn everything.
  • Volunteering! Our volunteers get free trainings and classes. They get the opportunity to work on bikes every day they volunteer and we provide an atmosphere where mistakes are okay and questions are encouraged. By submerging yourself within a core group of bike minded individuals you inherently pick up the puzzle pieces that make up all the individual parts on a bike.
  • Fix-Your-Bike! During FYB you get to work on your own bike and receive help from our volunteer mechanics and free use of tools. This is the easiest way to access us and we want you to learn so getting lost, asking questions and taking leaps is all right by us.
  • Available helpful Staff! Our staff are there to serve you. We can answer your questions to the best of our ability without shaming you for not knowing the basics. We want you on a bike and the best way to ensure that is to give you the knowledge you need.

Knowing how to fix and maintain a bike can get you a job, lead to a lifelong career or a rewarding hobby, give you self-confidence and/or enable you to become a teacher to those who lack bike knowledge. Whatever your interest is in learning how to be a better mechanic, Bikes Together is the best place in Denver to gain those skills. And, by tearing down the intimidation wall, you open yourself up to a new world that you can share with others.

(Disclaimer: Photo not was taken by or owned by Bikes Together)

What’s In A Name?

“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose

By any other name would smell as sweet.”

Romeo and Juliet (II, ii, 1-2)

 

For 8 years the Bike Depot has improved the lives of thousands of individuals through bike access, education and community building. The name “Bike Depot” has become synonymous with transportation empowerment, encouraging healthy living modes, inclusive community based learning opportunities and bikes, bikes and more bikes! We pride ourselves in being a bike shop open to all bike minded people which has not only made us popular, allowing us to grow, it also means that when people hear “Bike Depot” they immediately think of positive, community based programs. The name “Bike Depot” makes people happy. And it’s a fun sentence to say; “Bike Depot” rolls of the tongue smoothly while maintaining a nice flow.

But we are changing our name. The name “Bike Depot” no longer matches our future goals as an organization. As great of a name “Bike Depot” is, it lacks a few important things:

  • It isn’t unique: there are bike shops in NC, MI, IN, NY, CA, VA, MN with the name “Bike Depot” in them. This diminishes the singularity of our organization.
  • “Bike Depot” is also the name of an interior bike storage system that can be bought and installed at any desired location.
  • “Bike Depots” are also the name of public bike stations that provide showers, lockers, bicycle parking, and food/beverage options. These are typically along light rail lines or in public transportation buildings. With the new A-Line train to the Denver airport there’s a potential for confusing their bike stations with our name.

Last year we decided we needed to a new name to reflect who we are and to correspond with the opening of our second location in the La Alma/Lincoln neighborhood. Bikes Together is the Bike Depot 2.0: the same amazing staff and volunteer providing the same exciting programs and opportunities but on a higher level:

  • “Bikes Together” better reflects who we are. We all come from different places and have different experiences but the bicycle brings us together and gives us common ground to connect with one another.
  • A second location allows us to bring bicycles to new people and new communities. We believe the bicycle is a wonderful tool for not just transportation but for allowing people to positively affect their lives.
  • “Bikes Together” is a unique name that also brings to it an instant understanding to what we do and how we stand with each other.
  • “Bikes Together” allows us to come at Denver with a fresh face with its goals written all over it. We are not just your average bike shop; we are here to improve lives and inspire healthy transportation changes.

As beloved as the “Bike Depot” was, we are confident that when people say the name “Bikes Together” the positive weight of those words will carry with it the inspiration to join our community and spread the “word” about the power of the bicycle!

Summer Bike Instructor Job Opening!

Howdy! Bikes Together is looking for some summer Bike Camp Instructors for our 2016 Bike Camp season. If you like bikes and leading kids on city adventures, consider applying for this awesome summer experience!

 

Position: Bike Camp Instructor

This is a seasonal full-time position. The dates for this position are May 31  – August 12, Monday-Friday from 8am-4pm. Applicants must be able to commit to the entirety of the position.

Job Description: The Bike Camp Instructor will help in the organization and implementation of Bikes Together’s Bike Camp. The BC Instructor will teach Bike Campers bike safety and maintenance as well as lead group rides and activities.

Essential Duties:

  • Ensure the safety and health of Bike Campers (ages 7-14)
  • Teach Bicycle Safety and Maintenance (training and curriculum provided)
  • Organize group activities and team-building exercises
  • Planning safe-routes for bike rides
  • Provide detailed weekly reports of Camp Activities
  • Complete evaluation for each session

Qualifications:

  • Experience working with youth
  • Strong understanding of safe-biking practices
  • A moderate-level of bicycle maintenance knowledge
  • Must be able to pass a background check
  • Must be CPR certified or attend CPR training prior to start of Camp
  • Must be able to complete bike rides upwards of 20-30 miles (slow pace)

Education/Experience:

  • B.A. or B.S. in related field preferred, or working towards a B.A. or B.S.
  • High school Diploma or GED recommended

Position Status:

  • Full Time (40 hours): May 31 – August 12 2016, Monday-Friday
  • Pay commensurate with experience but starts at $10/hr

To apply, please send a resume and cover letter to sam@bikestogether.org with Bike Camp Instructor in the subject line. Deadline is May 16th.

Women And Bikes At Bikes Together

By Piper Niehaus

Every time I come into Bikes Together, I do a little count: How many women are in the room? It’s not that I don’t like the guys, it’s just that, as a girl, I sometimes feel like a sore thumb. Anecdotally, if 10 people turn up to volunteer at Bikes Together on a Thursday night (when I volunteer), we’re lucky to get two females. Out of 19 volunteer Shop Leads, there are only three women.

This is consistent with the rest of the American cycling community. Men take three times as many bike rides as women. The percentage of female bike mechanics is likely even lower. In 2012 only 20% of attendees at Interbike, the largest bicycle trade show in the US, were women.

I want to see the number of women who work on bikes to grow. Knowing basic maintenance and flat fixes can make women more confident commuters. I certainly feel better about getting on my bike knowing that I’ll be able to deal with whatever problems arise. Plus, wrenching is a great way to practice spatial reasoning and problem solving — there’s a reason that Stanford encourages its engineering students to build bikes.

There are many causes for the shortage of female mechanics and hobbyists. Women tend to be more worried about bike safety than men, and that keeps them from riding. In general, women are also less likely to take on mechanical tasks (For example, only 13% of engineers are female). Once they arrive at a bike shop, women can feel marginalized. “As a girl, you’re typically lumped into the category of ‘doesn’t know a thing,’ ” a female mechanic told the New York Times, “There’s a certain macho attitude that women can get intimidated by.”

In general, I’d like to think that Bikes Together is ahead of the curve. I have seen volunteers and staff go out of their way to make women feel welcome and respected. We lead by example with four female staff members. And, while only 13% of our total volunteer hours for 2015 were given by women, that still accounted for over 1,000 hours. Our community is moving in the right direction.

However, we are determined to do more. A few weeks ago, six women, a mix of staff and volunteers, got together to plan our first-ever Women’s Bike Workshop. That planning meeting was the most females I have ever seen in a bike shop at once!

But let’s blow that record away. Join us for our first ever Women’s Bike Workshop day, Wednesday, April 27 from 7pm-9pm. Fix your own bike, work on donated bikes, learn, socialize and have fun. No mechanical knowledge necessary. Women, transgender and femme welcome.

Denver Spring Bike Adventure Guide

Hey there Superstar! Spring is upon us and in Denver that means bikes, fun, Rocky Mountain sunsets, prancing ponies and ice cream parties. It’s also Adventure Time. Denver offers a plethora of bike related activities to help make your Spring extra springy!

  • Bike Powered Rafts Across Sloan’s Lake

This is your opportunity to reenact jousting tournaments from Game of Thrones. Combining bikes, foam, plastic milk jugs, renaissance fair clothing and face paint in a way that defies the gods and all the things your mother warned you about, strangers and friends come together to create Ugly and risk arrest on the biggest lake in metro Denver.

  • Mount Evans Pink Rabbit Ride

Get lost in the high alpine snows of Mount Evans while wearing a full body pink bunny suit just like Ralphie from Christmas Story. After cleaning out your local costume shop, hop on a bike and start your 60 mile journey with over 9,000 feet of elevation gain. Try not to lose sight of your fellow participants as sudden snow squalls create frozen chaos and hypothermia in the span of 10 minutes.

  • Unicycle Juggling Club

Do you like Tom Selleck’s mustache and one-wheeled travel? Then grow one yourself and grab a unicycle! Meet at Cheesman Park with your pals and make sure to bring your overpriced Whole Foods olives and nutty cheese balls. As you learn the tricks of the trade from famed Quebecois uni-juggle extraordinaire, Remi LeFave, be prepared for thrills, grass stains, club initiations tattoos, errant frisbees and goose doo-doo!

  • No Light Alley Cat Ride Through The North Platte Trail

Nothing says excitement like the unlit, void-like paths of Denver’s North Platte Trail! After you trade in your bushy mustachio for a Fixie and a PBR cycling cap, you and a few Jimmy John’s employees can race towards the uncertainty of North Platte’s sketchy bridge underpasses and chunked and cracked cement bike highways. The winner is the first one to cross the bridge next to Denver’s Poop Factory!

(Disclaimer: Photo not was taken by or owned by Bikes Together)

Bikes Together is Hiring!

2015_1206_DBD_Wrench_A_Thon_02

Want to join an amazing team of Bike Minded people?

Bikes Together has three job openings available as we gear up for the 2016 season. We’re looking for two retail experienced individuals and a skilled mechanic to help our community continue to be successful. These are unique positions in an exciting environment! Job descriptions and application details are below:

 

___________________________________________________________________________

Denver’s Original Non-Profit Bike shop seeks Retail Lead

Are you an experienced retail professional who wants to help change the Denver Community  into a bicycle wonderland?

Bikes Together is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit community bike shop that supports Denver communities with a range of bicycling programs, services and products. We have a full service Bike Shop offering used bikes, parts and accessories and an affordable Service menu. In addition, we provide a Fix-your-Bike program where anyone can work on their bike with our tools and get assistance from our expert corps of volunteer mechanics.  

Bikes Together is seeking an experienced and motivated retail professional to serve as our Retail Lead. Applicants must be able to manage retail sales and inventory, supervise staff and volunteers, and manage retail space upkeep while providing support for our team of paid and volunteer mechanics.

 

Essential Functions

General

  • Provide top-of-the-line customer service to Customers, Volunteers, and Program Participants who come to Bikes Together
  • Maintain the highest level of retail space cleanliness and organization-with GM
  • Manage POS, and train new hires on POS operations and procedures- with GM
  • Answer all inquires and direct to appropriate Staff Members as needed
  • General Employee management/oversight in the retail and shop space
  • Support Service Lead for service inventory management

Retail Operations

  • Run register and sales floor; make sales and provide excellent customer service
  • Train sales staff on retail operations and procedures – with GM
  • Count, complete and report daily sales receipts to GM
  • Manage retail special orders and notify customers when orders arrive
  • Develop and submit purchase orders/returns, and maintain vendor relationships -with GM
  • Check-in and track retail and shop inventory
  • Maintain an up-to-date catalog of bike accessories and gear – with GM
  • Management of quality control and pricing on all retail bikes.

Shop/Office/Admin

  • Inventory management, intake, organization
  • Filing of retail and shop related materials
  • Answer and field calls when necessary

Experience/Education

  • Working knowledge of non-profits and minimum of one year working as or with volunteers.
  • Working knowledge of retail and the Bicycle Industry, demonstrated bike shop experience helpful.
  • Current knowledge of a wide variety of bike types, accessories, tools, etc. is preferred.
  • Minimum of one year formal supervision of staff and/or volunteers.
  • Minimum 3 years customer service and cash handling experience

Knowledge, Skills, Abilities

  • Passion for biking and knowledge of bike types, accessories, tools, etc.
  • Excellent Customer Service Skills
  • Ability to learn new computer programs
  • Demonstrated accounting/inventory control experience helpful
  • Demonstrated organizational skills
  • Solid knowledge of basic office operating systems, and ability to learn new systems.
  • Advanced oral and written communication skills.

Physical Effort Required

  • Regular lifting of 50+ pounds

Schedule

  • Schedule is Tuesday-Thursday 11:30am-7:30pm, Friday and Saturday 10:30-6:30
  • Some flexibility is required

Compensation and Benefits

  • Pay ranges from $12-$14/hr based on qualifications.
  • Benefits include paid time off, employee discounts, and a $225/month health expense stipend.

Bike Depot is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

The Retail Lead is a year-round, full time non-exempt position.

To Apply: Send your resume and two references to jobs@bikestogether.org by Thursday, March 24th. Qualified applicants may be contacted before the deadline, so don’t delay. Apply today!

_____________________________________________________________________________

Denver’s Original Non-Profit Bike Shop is searching for a Part Time Retail Associate

Are you interested in working in an engaging bike shop while promoting the awesomeness of bicycles to an excited community?

Bikes Together is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit community bike shop that supports Denver communities with a range of bicycling programs, services and products. We have a full service Bike Shop offering used bikes, parts and accessories and an affordable Service menu. In addition, we provide a Fix-your-Bike program where anyone can work on their bike with our tools and get assistance from our expert corps of volunteer mechanics.  

Bikes Together is seeking a motivated individual to assist our retail department. Applicants must be able to manage retail sales and inventory, be responsible for working the front desk, helping with office tasks, assisting with program responsibilities, and general shop upkeep.

 

Essential Functions

Retail

  • Greet Customers, Volunteers, and Program Participants
  • Sell bicycles and bike accessories
  • Check-in and track inventory – with Retail Lead
  • Answer and field phone calls; directing inquiries to appropriate staff as needed
  • Run register and sales floor
  • Restock product as needed

Programs

  • Work with and supervise/guide Program Participants
  • Process pertinent paperwork
  • Sign-up individuals for various programs over the phone and in person
  • Assist with program participant check in as needed
  • Ensure that all participants complete all paperwork and requirements of various programs

Shop/Office

  • Inventory checklist, order intake, and organization
  • Filing and organizing
  • Support high demand Service Department with service writing and flat fixes
  • Move and sort bicycles and parts as needed
  • Call volunteers for missed shifts
  • Maintain general cleanliness of retail space

Experience/Education

  • Minimum 3 years customer service and cash handling experience
  • Working knowledge of retail and Bicycle Industry, demonstrated bike shop experience helpful
  • Current knowledge of a wide variety of bike types, accessories, tools, etc. is helpful

Knowledge, Skills, Abilities

  • General Customer Service Skills
  • Ability to learn new computer programs and general bike shop knowledge
  • Demonstrated accounting/inventory control experience helpful
  • Demonstrated organizational skills
  • Solid knowledge of basic office operating systems, and ability to learn new systems
  • Advanced oral and written communication skills
  • Knowledge of bike types, accessories, tools, etc

Physical Effort Required

Regular lifting of 50+ pounds

Schedule

  • Schedule is Tuesday 11:30am-7:30pm, Saturday and Sunday 10:30am-6:00pm
  • Some flexibility is required

Compensation and Benefits

  • Pay ranges from $9-$12/hr based on qualifications.
  • Benefits include employee discounts.

Bike Depot is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

The Retail Associate is a seasonal, part time non-exempt position.

To Apply: Send your resume and two references to jobs@bikestogether.org by Thursday, March 24th. Qualified applicants may be contacted before the deadline, so don’t delay. Apply today!

____________________________________________________________________________________

Denver’s Original Non-Profit Bike Shop is searching for a Part Time,

Experienced Bike Mechanic

Are you interested in a flexible schedule, good pay, and minimal interaction with customers, all while supporting powerful programs that put people on bikes and give them the skills to keep those bikes rolling? If so, Bikes Together/Bike Depot is looking for a skilled, knowledgeable, fast mechanic that’s happy to work on fancy new bikes, old beater bikes, high end vintage road bikes, and everything in between. This position will work varied hours based on need, either in a sequestered work space or while the shop is closed to the public. Hours are expected to range from 8-24 per week. Also, we’re growing fast, so this position could be a stepping stone to full time, year round employment.

Bikes Together is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit community bike shop that supports Denver communities with a range of bicycling programs, services and products. We have a full service Bike Shop offering used bikes, parts and accessories and an affordable Service menu. In addition, we provide a Fix-your-Bike program where anyone can work on their bike with our tools and get assistance from our expert corps of volunteer mechanics.  

Essential Functions

Service

  • Perform impeccable repair work on a wide variety of bikes
  • Track repairs through our work order system
  • Communicate with managers and team mates to improve Service Department systems.

Experience/Education

  • Minimum 3 years bicycle service experience, the more the better
  • Working knowledge of retail and Bicycle Industry, demonstrated retail bike shop experience
  • Current knowledge of a wide variety of bike types, accessories, tools, etc

Knowledge, Skills, Abilities

  • Basic knowledge of basic office operating systems, and ability to learn new systems
  • Basic oral and written communication skills
  • Knowledge of bike types, accessories, tools, etc
  • Trustworthiness, personal responsibility, and respect for others are required.

Physical Effort Required

Regular lifting of 50+ pounds

Schedule

  • Work schedule is flexible and variable, you will work with your manager to develop a flexible schedule that works for all of us.

Compensation and Benefits

  • Pay based on qualifications. A highly skilled, motivated, efficient mechanic that needs little supervision will be well compensated.
  • Benefits include employee discounts.

Bike Depot is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

The Part Time Bike Mechanic is a seasonal, part time non-exempt position.

To Apply: Send your resume and two references to jobs@bikestogether.org by Thursday, March 24th. Qualified applicants may be contacted before the deadline, so don’t delay. Apply today!

Why We Get Kids On Bikes

This last Thursday, March 3rd, we delivered 29 bicycles to Tollgate Elementary to help them start a bike club for 3rd graders. Getting bikes into the hands of these children is one of the most rewarding aspects of Bikes Together. The bicycle can open up an entire new world for kids that can’t be replicated elsewhere. Getting someone to be a dedicated cyclist as an adult can start with planting that seed as a child because the bicycle can be an important tool in development.

 

How Bicycles Can Positively Affect Children

 

  • Strength and Coordination – Riding a bike helps kids develop a sense of balance, working the legs and the core, making strong muscles for future growth.
  • Heart and Lungs – Kids who exercise regularly stay healthy, avoid childhood obesity and set themselves up for health success as an adult.
  • Freedom and Independence – Without a doubt, magic happens when you push your pedals and go forward on a bicycle. Children can develop a strong sense of independence – a hugely important thing to learn – on a bicycle. For the first time they can power themselves to where they want to go. They can make plans to meet friends, bike to parks, explore their neighborhood and gain confidence to face the world.
  • Focus – Bicycles help children focus on the task at hand. By emphasizing the importance of safety while riding, children develop vital cognitive skills. As they ride they are watching out for obstacles on sidewalks, cars and  pedestrians while obeying stop signs and traffic lights. This helps them understand the importance of safety for themselves and others they encounter in their travels.
  • Responsibility – Children riding and owning a bicycle come to understand the importance of maintaining their bicycle. This includes locking it up if they ride it to school, putting air in the tires if they are low and not leaving the bike out in places where it’s susceptible to weather or theft. Bicycles can be a great way for a parent to teach a child the importance of responsibility; a lesson that can sometimes be tough but essential as children navigate into the adult world.
  • Self Reliance – Bicycles impress upon children the importance of self leadership. Children can come to understand that if they want to get to where they need to go then it’s up to them to get there. Bikes are a good, basic way to start that idea.
  • Communication – Communication between parents and children while riding on bicycles is a great way to instill that value. The bicycle creates a natural situation that encourages verbal cues which emphasis safety and responsibility. This also strengthens the bond between parents and children through shared experience.

Mariposa Bike Camp = New Possibilities!

Mariposa Bike Camp is where Kids learn Bike Fun

We are excited to announce an expansion to one of Bikes Together’s most popular programs! In it’s fifth years now, we offered kids, ages 7-14, an opportunity to be safe and responsible bike riders. And we don’t mess around; we take children safely through Denver on urban adventures while providing nurturing feedback and emphasizing teamwork and communication.

In 2016, we are doubling the possibilities with a second location where rides start and end. Mariposa offers a new set of super-duper options:

  • Direct access to the South Platte and Cherry Creek trails means longer rides on bike oriented paths means kids get to see where bicycling can really take them
  • New potential activity partners including the La Alma Rec Center and Bryers Branch public library
  • Access to a pool, increasing the fun factor of alternative activities
  • New bikes routes creating new sets of problem solving opportunities

In addition, Mariposa Bike Camp will still be run based on the format we’ve successfully  established in previous years camps. This includes:

  • 6:1 Camper to Staff ratio
  • Nurturing good decision making
  • Safety, safety, safety!
  • Empowering kids with a sense of fostered independence
  • Inspiring kids to be leaders
  • Giving kids hands-on instruction that encourages collaboration

What an average day looks like:

  • Kids meet with counselors and discuss the day’s battle plan
  • Assign each camper a roll in the group
  • Counselors make sure campers have what they need for the day
  • Mount up, it’s time to ride!
  • Traverse safely to destination using teamwork and responsibility
  • Destination Activity!
  • Lunch!
  • Team plan to get back to start location
  • Traverse urban environment safely to home base
  • Arrive Home!
  • Debrief about day’s events
  • Counselors give constructive feedback
  • Parent or Guardian picks up Camper!
  • (Intermittent mechanic instruction throughout the day!)

Sign up your youngin’ and watch their world grow one pedal at a time!

Pro Cycling Challenge No Bueno

No Pro Tour? No problemo!

By Mike Depot

The USA Pro Challenge has been a boon for bicyclists in Colorado. Along with the success of B-Cycles bike sharing along the Front Range and Gov. Hickenlooper’s proposed 100 million dollar investment in bicycle infrastructure, the Pro Challenge generated an excitement for bicycling we haven’t seen since Lance’s run of Tour de France doping wins. Then comes the news this week that organizers are pulling the plug on this year’s race to properly line up sponsors to guarantee sustainable growth and the future of the Pro Challenge in Colorado.

Whatevs! So no going down the Capital this year to watch the pros dazzle us with displays of speed and agility, no scouting out a spot on Independence Pass to watch these kit-matching warriors defy altitude and steep grades. No Bueno. Or so it seems.

There’s a vacuum here, you see. The energy is still there, waiting to be used and all it needs is either a bit of prodding or an avenue of release. The following is a list of alternative bicycle activities that will help fill the void created by the demise of this year’s Pro Challenge:

  • Dress like a clown and ride to Boulder via the new U.S. 36 Bikeway: Krusty or Bobo don’t got nothin’ on you as you traverse the recently opened bikeway that takes you safely into the confines of what some people call the Berkeley of the Rockies. There’s no bigger challenge than pedaling with unnecessarily large shoes, while your clown pants repeatedly get caught in your drivetrain and white greasy make-up smears into your eyeball leaving you blind and desperate. Once you go clown racing you never go back.
  • Create your own “Tour” in the “Denver Pro Ice Cream Tour” race: Little Man, High Point Creamery, Sweet Action, Liks, Bonnie Brae – there’s a hit list of ice cream parlours awaiting you as you race to burn off the calories only to put them right back on. King of Scoops, Fastest Ice Cream Headache, and the coveted Dairy Stained Yellow Jersey are all up for grabs in this exciting sugary event that will leave you bonking and heaving by the side of road!
  • Wait atop Lookout Mountain on any Sunday morning: As your fellow bike enthusiast chugs up Lookout, you’ll be there along the “racecourse” to throw water down their back while screaming “Allez, poupou! Allez!” directly into their panting face. What’s great about this is, really, any Sunday is a great day to dress up like a red devil, furry chicken or obscene sumo wrestler and yell at complete strangers whose heart rates are completely maxed out.
  • Make “Bike to Work Day” “Race to Free Swag Day”: Instead of encouraging Denverites to bike to work more often, why not instead make May 20th the day you and your friends race station to station snatching up as many free snacks and cheap plastic bottles as possible. The person who collects the most banana halves and cinnamon raisin bagels will earn a trophy made of key chains.
  • Create a Critical Mass event whose main goal is Spandex promotion: Critical Mass is great and all – we want bicycles to be seen as a presence in Denver – but an opportunity to promote spandex as a viable fashion options is equally as important. Imagine a world where every man, woman, child and chihuahua is sporting some tight and grabby poly-blended shorts. No, really, imagine it.
  • Reenact bike scene from Great Muppet Caper movie: Summer is a fine time to dress up like a giant puppet and go for a bike ride. Find some English 3-speed bicycles, a Kermit the Frog and Fozzie Bear costume and learn how to balance one foot on your saddle. Kermit knows it’s not easy being green but it’s also not easy losing your favorite bike race for a year.

Let’s stay weird in 2017 but hope all this ice cream eating, costume fun, spandex wearin’ good time happens while watching the Pros scream by five feet away at 40 mph!

(Disclaimer: Photo not was taken by or owned by Bikes Together)