Open since November 7 in Littleton’s Aspen Grove Shopping Center, GoodTurn Cycles is more than just another eBike store, it is a nonprofit social enterprise that provides job training to young people facing challenging circumstances. People accepted into the apprenticeship program receive training in eBike mechanics, retail, customer service, and life skills.
The eBike shop is part of the One Good Turn family of nonprofit social enterprises, including Café 180 at 3315 S. Broadway, which provide meals to people whether they can afford to pay or not, and offers job training to those who need it.
“Both of these enterprises are about dignification,” explained Founder Catherine Clements. “When you buy an eBike from GoodTurn you know that the profit returns to the community in the form of job training. When you purchase an eBike at GoodTurn, you do something good for yourself and also for your community. When you support GoodTurn Cycles, you’re strengthening a movement that gives people who need a little help on their path to gainful employment,” she said
GoodTurn will sell category 1 bikes which require people to pedal in exchange for an electric boost, which means riders definitely get some exercise. In fact, researchers at the University of Colorado recently put 20 adults on eBikes, and had them ride at least three times a week for a month. The study, reported in a European science journal and covered by The New York Times, demonstrated that riding eBikes improved riders’ fitness, with many saying they also enjoyed riding.
“For many people, riding a bike is one of life’s great pleasures. With an eBike, people who might not have ridden regularly in years can rediscover the simple joy of feeling the wind on their face,” Clements said.
In areas where eBikes have taken off, they have quickly become mainstream, ridden by people of all ages including commuters and long-time recreational cyclists who find that the ability to ride farther and faster than is possible on a traditional bicycle makes eBikes perfect for transportation as well as for exercise and adventure.
“Commuters love eBikes. They are an environmentally friendly way to arrive at work feeling focused and fresh,” Clements said.
Because they are classified as bicycles, riders need neither licenses nor insurance, both of which are required for moped or scooter use. GoodTurn, which sells only eBikes and eBike accessories, also services and repairs the bikes and leads local eBike tours.