GoodTurn Cycles https://goodturncycles.org GoodTurn Cycles is an electric bike shop in Littleton, CO. We offer a retail eBike showroom, rentals, tours, and youth job training. Tue, 21 Apr 2020 20:47:50 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.4.2 Youth Employment: Benefits & Risks https://goodturncycles.org/youth-employment-benefits-risks/ Thu, 21 May 2020 14:00:54 +0000 https://goodturncycles.org/?p=232220

Youth Employment, Good or Bad?

With youth it can be important to get them started in the workforce for many reasons. Having a job in high school provides for exposure to time management, money management, and to work with people outside of the circle they grew up in (Mortimer, 2003). Working gives them experience of communicating with customers and coworkers in a professional manner that helps for future interviews for college or full time jobs.

The downside to having a job during secondary educational years could lead to having an effect on your performance and grades. Students can suffer from the stress of work and school life, trying to manage each one throughout the week. Not only that but depending on the job atmosphere and the influence of coworkers, teens can be exposed to illegal substances.

Benefits and Risks

Benefits Risks
  • Independence
  • Increase in Responsibility 
  • Time/Money Management
  • Lower Grades
  • Susceptible to drugs/alcohol
  • Avoidance of Extracurriculars  

(Mortimer, 2003)

Defying the notion that all teen employment is essentially the same, teenagers generally move from jobs that are more simple to those that are more complex during the four years of high school, obtaining more training, greater supervisory responsibilities, and more opportunities for advancement (Mortimer, 2003).

GoodTurn Cycles’ Approach

Although our interns only work in our three month program, the development and progression from their first day to the last day is very much evident. They start by having to be reminded of daily duties and responsibilities everyday to be able to be self-sufficient in bike mechanics and taking initiative to find other jobs around the shop to be done.

To work with school, GoodTurn has a fine line of how many hours a week our interns are allowed to work. The majority of interns are only allowed to work between ten to twelve hours a week and if there are any issues with school work, we will offer support to get their grades up as we believe finishing high school will offer many more opportunities than simply completed our program. We also have a culture of pushing for some sort of post secondary education. 

GoodTurn Cycles, through its job training program, exposes interns to the workforce. Interns gain essential workplace skills, learn to take initiative and are supported through their education programs.

Interested in learning more, give us a call at (303) 795-0411!

 

Resources:

The Benefits and Risks of Adolescent Employment, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2936460/.

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eBiking: Riding Further With Confidence https://goodturncycles.org/ebiking-riding-further-with-confidence/ Fri, 15 May 2020 19:29:45 +0000 https://goodturncycles.org/?p=232640

Riding Further With Confidence

So you’ve recently purchased, or are thinking of purchasing, your new electric bike! Congrats! One of the most immediate benefits of your eBike are the tremendous distances you can now comfortably ride. As you continue to find yourself tackling new, longer and potentially more rugged routes, it’s important to make sure you’re prepared.

Maybe you’re still a bit hesitant to go for longer rides. We know you don’t want to be stranded far from home with no battery left! Below we will discuss a few resources we, at GoodTurn Electric Cycles, offer to make sure you can comfortably go the distance on your eBike!

 

 

Additional Range – No Purchase Necessary

There are several FREE things you can do to make sure you get the most of your eBike’s battery.

  • Properly inflate your tires. 
  • Minimize additional luggage: More weight = more work for the motor.
  • Maintain proper cycling cadence: Motors work best in cadence of 70-110 RPM.
  • Utilize lower pedal assistance levels.
  • Top off battery during lunch stop.

 

Understanding Battery Capacity

As battery technology increases and the electric bike market continues to grow, we are seeing larger and larger batteries be equipped on bikes. Note, there are several factors when comparing and contrasting batteries, but below are the basics:

  • Batteries are rated in 2 ways Watt-hours (Wh) and Amp-hours (Ah)
    • Keep in mind Ohm’s Law (P = IV) if you need to calculate the Wh or Ah for a battery. Knowing the Voltage of the system and multiplying that by the Ah results in the Wh. On the flip side, dividing Wh by the Voltage of the system results in the Ah of the battery. 
    • At GoodTurn, we only talk in Watt-hours as that is the adopted nomenclature for the manufacturers we carry.
  • “Big” battery suppliers include: Bosch, Shimano, Yamaha, BMZ
  • Typical ratings are 400Wh, 500Wh, 625Wh & 750Wh
  • Not all Watt-hours are created equal: depending on the efficiency of the complete system you can get significantly different ranges from comparably rated batteries

 

Upgrading Battery Capacity

Some, but not all, batteries can be easily replaced for batteries with higher capacity. This can be an aftermarket purchase, or many bike manufacturers offer different models with upgraded batteries. 

  • Bosch downtube and Bosch rack-mounted batteries, have both 400Wh and 500Wh options that are identical in size.

  • Purchase a Dual-Battery electric bike! Popular in the cargo or touring segments of the eBike industry there are a growing number of brands that are offering 2 batteries on a single bike.
Riese & Mulller: Supercharger2, Superdelite, Nevo GT, Multicharger, Load 60 & 75 & more.
 
Bulls: E-CORE EVO EN DI2 27.5+
 
Tern: GSD S00 & GSD S10

 

How Far Can/Should You Go?

That’s a hard question to directly answer, but below is a tool developed by Bosch to help conservatively estimate how far you can ride on a single battery charge.

Bosch eBike Range Tool

 

Also most eBike computers will give you a dynamic “Range” which calculates range based on the last 1-2 miles you’ve ridden. Think of this as the “Distance Till Empty” reading in your car and can act as a good gauge as to when to turn around and head home!

Bosch Intuvia / Purion Range Examples:

 

You’re Far From Home and Something Happens

It can be unnerving to take big rides that put you large distances from home. We understand that! Below are two new product offerings that we hope alleviate some of those nerves, and give you the confidence to ride as far as you’d like, worry-free.

Better World Club – Roadside Assistance for your eBike!

We’ve partnered with Better World Club to provide our customers the option to receive a “tow” back to their home, in the case of a mishap whilst riding. Included in your $40/yr fees participants receive: 

  • (2) “Tows” home, up to 30 miles for free
  • Option to add additional people for $17/yr

Call GoodTurn for more information!

Tannus Armour Inserts

Eliminate 90% of flat tires, and have run-flat protection! By installing Tannus Armours, you get 15mm of undertire protection and 2mm of sidewall protection from punctures. In the event of a flat tire, you are able to continue riding on the inserts, minimizing rim damage to allow you to get back home, or to your local bike shop!

GoodTurn_Electric_Cycles_Tannus_Armour

Call us at GoodTurn, to get additional information on this product! Prices start at $40/insert and $10/insert for installation. 

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eBiking: Trail Etiquette for Multi-Use Coexistence https://goodturncycles.org/ebiking-trail-etiquette-for-multi-use-coexistence/ Tue, 21 Apr 2020 20:47:44 +0000 https://goodturncycles.org/?p=264792

Trails Are Busier Than Ever

The once quiet multi-use trails have become a bustling hub of people and energy over the last few weeks. While they are becoming the main form of recreation for many people today, they have been my way to work for years. I sold my car about 3.5 years ago and since have commuted solely by bike, and the South Platte River trail has been my highway to work each day. No matter where I have worked or lived, it has always been my main road for work. Currently, I spend about 18 miles on the path round-trip for my daily commute. 

 

The path is busier than I have ever seen it and I love that it is getting great use! 

 

However, many people are using these trails for the first time, which I fear, may lead to some injuries in the near future. So I wanted to write a short blog on multi-use trail etiquette that if followed, will make everything smoother.

I recognize these are multi-use trails, not just bike trails, so pedestrians always have the right-of-way over the bike. However, I will also include some good etiquette for pedestrians because you can do your part to help the smooth flow of traffic. Some of these rules are stated by different park associations, some of them are my own, but you will notice all of them operate as if we are on a highway. Because to me, they are my highway.

 

All Users:

  • Both pavement and gravel paths are shared multi-use trails. Be kind to those around you.
  • If you have music in your ears, keep the left ear free or the music low enough to hear people calling out behind you. We do not have cars to blare horns at each other, so keep the volume low.

 

 

Cyclists:

  • If the trails are busy, ride single file. Busy trails generally mean people will need to pass you, give them room.
  • Call “on your left!” or ring your bell when you are passing somebody.
  • Slow down when approaching junctures and bridges, DO NOT cut corners like a professional racing the Tour de France. The bike trails that were once always clear are now full of people.
  • Do not pass somebody if it will force the oncoming cyclist/pedestrian to slow down, you wouldn’t pass a semi if you thought the car coming at you was going to hit you.
  • Do not look over your shoulder for long periods of time if you cannot hold a straight line and are likely to veer into oncoming traffic.
  • Don’t forget to signal to other trail users if you are going to turn.

 

Pedestrians:

  • Keep your dog on a leash. There are great dog parks, with a huge one at Chatfield State Park, that are meant for your dogs off-leash. An off-leash dog is a nightmare for cyclists and dogs alike.
  • If you walk side by side, stay on your side of the path. Most of the paths are marked, but if not, stay far enough right that somebody has the ability to pass you. Share the road.
  • If you must cross the path, look both ways or look over your shoulder before you cross. A cyclist might be calling out to you that he is passing at the moment you decide to turn around or cross the path.

 

These etiquette guidelines come from me and others who spend a significant portion of our time on the path. They are more extensive than the laws. If you want to see the laws, here are several links to different trail etiquette and rules based on whose jurisdiction you are in.

 

Denver County Trail Etiquette
 

 

South Suburban Parks and Trail Rules – view page 3
 

 

JeffCo Parks and Rec Regulations – view C.24

 

 

I am so happy to see so many people utilizing the great trail system that the Denver area has to offer! Let’s keep using them cooperatively, thoughtfully, and safely.

 

 

Neal Heitmann

 

Service Manager

 

GoodTurn Electric Cycles

 

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eBiking: Riding Amidst COVID-19 https://goodturncycles.org/ebiking-riding-amidst-covid-19/ Tue, 14 Apr 2020 15:57:33 +0000 https://goodturncycles.org/?p=264255

While the COVID-19 pandemic continues to spread and cause disturbances in our lives, many are wondering how to stay active and fit. Gyms, races, and group rides are all closed or cancelled leaving us to our own devices to keep our bodies moving. You may be wondering if it is safe, or even allowed, for you to get on your eBike for a ride. Here are a few answers to those concerns. 

 

Can I Go Outside?

Indeed you can and are encouraged to keep exercising and taking advantage of the Colorado sunshine…as long as you are not sick and you ride alone. In fact, regular exercise helps to boost immune systems and fight off viruses and other illnesses. No matter where you ride, try to create extra space around others when you are passing and keep time around other trail users brief.

Read specifically how the Colorado State government spells out outdoor recreation here.

 

 

Can I Ride With my Friends?

Going outside for a ride is ok, however, riding with others is strongly discouraged. Even on bikes, someone you are riding with could spread the virus within the group. Sneezing, coughing, or spitting while in a group creates the possibility of spread. The best way to mitigate this risk is to practice social distancing by riding solo in open areas. To be extra safe, try to take your rides during times that may not be as crowded.

Here are some resources from our friends are Bicycle Colorado that can help answer questions in more details.

 

What if we are far apart from one another?

 

 

An alternative to riding completely alone is the use of a SENA helmet. These bluetooth enabled helmets allow riders to pair helmets together and allow hands-free communication up to half a mile apart! If you are using these, just make sure to use that long range and keep some space! For more information on SENA helmets check out “Six Feet Apart, but Still Together.”

 

What about masks?

 

 

No matter how you are out riding, it is strongly encouraged that you wear a mask of some sort while in the out-of-doors. Governor Polis addresses this through the Colorado Mask Campaign. This helps to protect yourself and others. Get creative with it and find a Buff or mask that suits your style! For other ideas, check out the Colorado Mask Project. For more reading on why a mask while riding is a good idea, read “Should I wear a Mask While Riding?” from VeloNews.

 

Where can I ride?

 

 

With more and more closures happening around our state, you may be wondering where you can go riding. This is a constantly evolving subject, so it is best to check real-time sources. Most State Parks trails are still open for use, but local trails may have some regulations. Below are a couple resources for our area: 

 

Jefferson County Trail Alerts & Closures

Boulder County Trail Information

 

As you can see, it is still very possible to get out and about during this time of Stay-at-Home orders. It is important to take care of yourself during these times. Part of self-care is getting some exercise and Vitamin-D, which going for a bike ride is an easy way to do both! See you out there…but not too close!!

 

Tyler Burns

Service Technician / Tour Guide

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eBiking: Six Feet Apart, but Together https://goodturncycles.org/ebiking-six-feet-apart-but-together/ Thu, 09 Apr 2020 16:48:23 +0000 https://goodturncycles.org/?p=264219

Six Feet Apart, but Together!

 

Bluetooth enabled helmets allowing riders to keep social distance, but converse comfortably.

 

With the ongoing spread of Covid-19, many of us are looking for ways to get out and get some much needed exercise and fresh air. On top of this, the longer days, warmer weather and bright sunshine have meant more and more folks are out using the trail systems. Many people are new to the multi-use paths and are not fully aware of the right-of-way regulations in place. For those looking for more information on how to use our trails in a safe manner, check out our blog on “Trail Etiquette.

One tip that seems to cause the most concern for me on the trail is the use of headphones. We all love to get in the zone, put on some tunes, and get our exercise, but having one of our main senses taken away is a worrying hazard on popular pathways. Of course, I have been guilty of using the paths with music blasting to get me through the miles, but I am trying to be more aware and mitigate this risk more and more. At the very least, we should all have one headphone out so we can hear others’ bells and warnings. 

 

Stay Connected, Aware & Six Feet Apart

However, there is a way to get the best of both worlds. If you see me out riding, you’ll see me sporting a blue helmet, with no headphones but still bobbing my head to the beat. The secret? A SENA helmet! They easily connect to your phone via bluetooth. Equipped with two speakers and a rechargeable battery, these helmets give you the joy of riding along to your favorite songs while still allowing you to hear what is happening around you.

 

 

I’ve been using a SENA helmet for a little over a year now and it is hard to use anything else. Like I mentioned, it allows me to feel safe when riding while also listening to my favorite tunes. They are capable of a whole lot more though. I’ve been able to chat with my grandma while riding into work on mornings with no wind noise (thanks to the wind-resistant microphone built into the helmet), stayed informed by listening to the built-in FM radio (thanks NPR) and even chatted with my significant other who also sports a SENA helmet. 

That’s right, they can connect helmet-to-helmet with no other accessories involved. In fact, SENA is a popular product in the motorcycle community, allowing riders to speak to one another hands-free. Once connected, cyclists can chat without having to ride side-by-side….not a bad idea during this period of social distancing! I have ridden with my girlfriend nearly half a mile apart and had no problem hearing one another. It has actually made our rides much more enjoyable…just remember they can hear you when you are cursing them for navigating you to that one steep hill you hate! 

 

 

At GoodTurn Electric Cycles, we offer eBike tours of downtown Denver, as well as eMTB tours on the front range. For both of those tours, our guests use the SENA R1 to stay seamlessly connected to their guide throughout their rides. They’ve been a great product for us, and we stand behind them.

All in all, I’ve been very pleased with this helmet and its technology. I, personally, feel much safer when I can use all my senses while riding, and love that I don’t have to give up my joy of riding with music. But for my running miles…I’ll stick to the single headphone method!

Of course, we sell SENA helmets in the shop, and if you want to learn more, check out https://www.sena.com/cycling/smart-helmet.

 

Tyler Burns

Service Technician / Tour Guide

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eBiking: How Bicycling Reduces Stress https://goodturncycles.org/ebiking-how-bicycling-reduces-stress/ Thu, 02 Apr 2020 18:21:43 +0000 https://goodturncycles.org/?p=250792 Life can be tough and stress inevitable.

 

We live in a fast-paced world where current events, work, family, and everything else under the sun adds layers of stress to our lives. Sometimes it can even feel like too much. However, there are ways to counter this so-called “silent killer.”

A quick google search or discussion with a cyclist can quickly confirm that riding your bike is one of the best ways to reduce daily stress levels. The combination of fresh air, aerobic exercise, sunshine, and simply focusing on a singular task helps bring balance to our lives.


How Riding Your Bike Helps You Beat Stress – BikeRadar

Getting outside and enjoying nature or the city-scape is a proven way to increase our psychological well-being. Bikes are the perfect vehicle to get out and explore while basking in some Vitamin-D filled sun rays. On top of this, getting the blood flowing through our bodies and brains reduces daily stress levels and increases endorphins from exercise. Studies show that riders who utilize eBikes actually get more exercise than traditional bike users. In short, eBike riders spend more time in the saddle. That increased time in the saddle translates to more fresh air and sun rays, easing our minds from daily stresses!

 

Want to learn more about how eBiking can improve physical health? Read our blog about that here.

 

Too busy to ride – try commuting!

I can easily say that one of the biggest stress inducing activities in my life around Denver is sitting in traffic. Hands down. Perhaps the easiest way to decrease stress for many folks is to incorporate riding into your daily life by ditching the car and riding a bike to work. Personally, it takes me about 45 minutes to an hour to reach GoodTurn by car from my house. On an eBike, I make the ride in about 1 hour and five minutes. That small extra bit of time is well worth taking knowing that I arrive to work in a better mood, looking forward to the day instead of cursing the people who almost blindly merged into me on I-25. 

Many studies have been conducted supporting a better morning mood affects the entire rest of one’s day. If you’re looking for more tips on how to make your commute a more fun, eco-friendly, and stress free, check out our other blog on Commuting by eBikes.

 

Make mental, and physical, health a priority. Ride!

Of course, riding to work every day on a bike or an eBike is not possible or practical for everyone. That is understandable. However, I believe it is important for all of us to take time out of our busy schedules for a little “me” time. Perhaps that is at the end of a long couple days of work, a brief moment while the kids are at a practice or just a quick rip around the block before dinner. It doesn’t have to be much, but taking care of ourselves and one’s mental health is an imperative action we all must prioritize….and we might as well have fun doing it! So, hop on that eBike and go eat up some miles and create smiles!

 

Looking for a great entry level eBike to get riding?

Check out the one that Outside Magazine said provided “a joyful experience, and one that I worry will ruin road biking for me.”

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eBike Riding: Health Benefits https://goodturncycles.org/ebike-riding-health-benefits/ Thu, 02 Apr 2020 18:17:56 +0000 https://goodturncycles.org/?p=49246 eBikes are cheating! Well, maybe not.

Don’t want to read? Watch the video.

 

So we know that electric bikes are great for covering greater distances, maintain higher speeds and conquering those tough hills, but are riders really still getting exercise. I hear all the time eBikes described as “cheating,” or people questioning “what’s the point?” In this video we are going to address these perceptions. Is eBiking cheating? What is the point? Keep reading and I’ll give you the scoop on the health benefits of riding an eBike. 

 

For this blog, I’d like to focus the discussion on electric bikes that operate on pedal assist only. The industry term, more commonly used in Europe, for these bikes are pedelecs. Recall that eBikes can operate in 2 ways, through a throttle or through pedal assist. Throttles allow the rider to utilize the motor without any pedaling, while pedal assist provides the rider additional power as they pedal the bike. 

 

 

Riding longer and more often means more health benefits!

The data that I will be discussing has come from a study performed at the University of Colorado, Boulder in 2016, and the link to the article can be found here. The study included 20 sedentary commuters and was performed over a 4 week period. Participants were instructed to ride their provided eBikes for a minimum of 40 minutes at least 3 days a week. 

 

The study found that this small amount of riding increased participant fitness by 10%, for only 4 weeks of riding! It also found decreased risk for diabetes and a decrease in body fat. Can you believe that? 4 weeks, 40 minutes only 3 days a week resulted in statically significantly healthier people! I have seen these results in some of the customers of GoodTurn. One customer in particular has been commuting to work a couple times a week. After doing this consistently for a few months he’s lost 20 pounds and no longer needs to take his diabetes medication! 

 

Speaking of longer ride times, the CU Boulder study showed that half the participants, though not required, willingly rode their eBikes 50% longer than they had to. And for those that are concerned with eBikes causing riders to ride at much higher, and potentially dangerous speeds, it was found that the average speed, in the same study, was only 12 mph.

 

 

eBikes can’t be as beneficial as traditional bikes, right?

So are eBikes cheating? From the study results I just talked about, I’d argue no. That being said, it still leaves the question “how does this compare to a similar study done with traditional bikes?” Another study, found in the Canadian Academy of Sport Medicine journal, done in 2018 compares health benefits of eBikes and traditional bikes. This link can be found here. The findings from this study show very similar health improvements for the eBike riders and traditional bike riders. The study concludes that despite the idea that eBikes are “cheating,” they have the potential to provide the same health benefits as they enable higher biking speeds, greater elevation gain and longer ride times. 

 

 

GoodTurn Employee is real life test subject.

Still need more convincing? Our very own Kyle Freeman committed to ditching the car, and commuting by eBike to work for 8 weeks. Kyle saw tremendous health benefits, with only changing the way he got to work. He lost nearly 15 pounds and reduced his resting heart rate by nearly 10%!

Below are links to his three blogs discussing his journey:

  1. eBike Commuting Health Benefits
  2. Kyle’s Six Week eBike Commuting Update

 

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eBiking: Family Friendly Riding in Denver https://goodturncycles.org/ebiking-family-friendly-riding-in-denver/ Sun, 29 Mar 2020 17:44:34 +0000 https://goodturncycles.org/?p=243484

Family Friendly Riding in Denver

Are you looking for family friendly places to ride your bikes? Or maybe just more leisurely places to ride with your spouse that involve less car-traffic and a place to stop for something to eat or drink after? Below, we are seeking to build a small list of places that can be fun to ride that have little to no car traffic, easy access to food and drink, places for little kids to stop at, and an overall fun place to be during the summer. Most of these provide paved bicycle riding, but we have included two places that could be good to practice or learn mountain biking if that interests you. Finally, we have snuck in a few staff favorites for restaurants, drinks, or ice cream in the area!

Enjoy and ride safe!

 

Sloan’s Lake

The lake is surrounded by a 2.6 mile bike and pedestrian trail that is very popular. This provides a separate area to ride with your family without worries of traffic. If you have little ones, there is a playground on the south side of the park you can stop at to let them run around. Across the street from the park, there are many food establishments as well as Happy Cones Co. This ice cream location cannot be seen from the park, but it is just hiding behind a few buildings. If your group is all of adult age, Joyride Brewing Company is on the corner. While they only serve beer, they often have a food truck close by.

 

Washington Park

The park has a cycling and pedestrian path surrounding it. The path is 2.3 miles around and has a seperate walking and cycling lanes. The path is well-maintained, but it is heavily trafficked during busy times. There is a playground along the path, as well as beautiful gardens. Houses surround the park, but it is a short ride, on quiet streets, to many local favorites. If you want coffee and a place to relax, try Wash Perk and their lavender marshmallow matte latte. Ice cream nearby includes Frozen Matter and Bonnie Brae. Devil’s Food is a great place for breakfast or brunch before/after a nice morning ride.

 

Cheesman Park

This is a nice park hidden in the downtown area. Cheesman Park has a rich history, beautiful open spaces, and a nice playground for kids. There is no separated cycling path, but cars are used to cyclists riding circles around Cheesman. This park would be a great place for a picnic and then casual ride around the park several times with each lap being 1.2 miles. Several blocks from the park you can find Thump Coffee and Lic’s Ice Cream. Also, there are many restaurants littered throughout the neighborhood.

 

Reynolds Landing Park

Reynolds Landing Park is not a park in the most traditional sense. It has bathrooms and a covered picnic area, but that is about it. Instead, it provides easy parking and access to the South Platte River Trail. Park at this park and head north. You can ride along the river all the way to downtown if you would like. Two miles north you can catch a path and ride into downtown littleton for a snack, meal, ice cream, or drink. Along the path in the summers, Hudson Gardens has a rest area with a coffee shop just north of the park. Finally, the parking lot is right next to the Breckenridge Brewery Farmhouse. This is a brewery and restaurant that can be a great way to end a nice ride along the river.

 

City Park

City Park is a massive park in central Denver. There are multiple playgrounds, the Denver Zoo, the Museum of Nature and Science, free Jazz concerts during the summer, and of course, plenty of places to ride your bike. This park can be a full day outing with visiting one of the main attractions, lunch in the park, leisurely bike riding, and more. The park is surrounded by food and drinks of all kinds. Not far from the park, you can find Denver Biscuit Company (a great place for breakfast or brunch), Bellwether coffee (they have a great nitro cold brew), multiple places for ice cream, and much more.

 

Bear Creek State Park

This state park has a good mix of pavement and dirt cycling paths. If you want to stay on paved paths, you can still ride up to Mt Carbon and get a great view of the front range. Looking to try a little bit of single track riding, you can take single-track up to Mt Carbon. However, if you want to try your hand at dirt riding without climbing, there are many little off-shoots of the main path that are small dirt sections to help you build your confidence. There is a little beach to play at, picnic areas, and much more to explore in this park. Unfortunately, you won’t find much to eat or drink in the park. Downtown Morrison is very close for a stop on your way home if your riding has made you hungry.

 

Ruby Hill

Ruby Hill is a small park tucked right off the South Platte River Trail. This park deserves an honorable mention. While it doesn’t have a nice paved path to ride around, it has a 1.75 mile single-track loop around the outside of the park. This can be a great place to take younger or less experienced family members who want to try riding single-track. It is not daunting like most trails along the front range that need lots of climbing or technical skills.  This is the practice park for early season, a place to take younger kids as they learn mountain biking skills, or a place to try to get into cyclocross/mountain biking for the first time. At the entrance of the park is the map, which includes the correct direction to ride the loop which alters every month. The park has a pavilion with free concerts during the summer, playgrounds, and open areas for a picnic to spend time with the family as well.

 

 

 

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Commuting by eBikes: What You Should Know https://goodturncycles.org/commuting-by-ebikes-what-you-should-know/ Sat, 15 Feb 2020 20:05:29 +0000 https://goodturncycles.org/?p=46294 Commuting by eBike can be a daunting task as it involves a bit more than recreational bike outing.

Now, you have to consider varying weather throughout the day, clothing and work supplies, night riding, routes you are uncomfortable with, locking up the eBike, hilly paths, and getting to work sweaty. I hope to calm those nerves and give you the knowledge necessary to set out and become an electric bike commuter by talking you through your prep and ride into work.

 

Electric bikes inherently solve a lot of the anxieties that come along with bicycle commuting.

 

  • Conquer hills with ease

  • Comfortably pack and carry supplies and clothes

  • Arrive at work less sweaty

  • Raise your heart rate and improve health

 

It is enough to wake you up and get you energized for the day without making you too tired to finish a day of work. Many of our customers have told us that because they can hold a higher pace to work, their commute time is not much different than fighting auto traffic, driving to work. This means a similar length commute that is more healthy and frustration free.

This all sounds nice, but where do you start?

 

Prepare your bike.

 

See & be seen.

Thankfully, most eBikes will come with lights ensuring that you are seen both during the day and at night. Even during the day, I recommend running a headlight and tail light on a blinking setting if possible. Although most eBikes come equipped with lights, it is good to go for a ride at night to make sure your lights are bright enough to see clearly when riding in the dark. An extra safety measure lots of commuters utilize is a second head or rear light that has more angles to be seen or flashes to get more drivers attention. Not only does riding with lights make you more visible to other motorists or trail users, but according to Colorado Law between dusk and dawn riders must have a front light and, at minimum, rear reflectors. Be seen during the day, see clearly at night – utilize your bike lights!

You’ll need to carry a few more things.

Most people will have work attire that will be different than what they wear on a bike, so I recommend trying to find a place you can leave some work clothes at your place of employment. By leaving work clothes at work, you are not riding in them and getting them dirty or having to carry extra clothes to-and-from every day. If you cannot store all your things at work, I highly recommend, keeping an extra pair of shoes at work. You never know when you will hit a big puddle and get wet shoes, which are not fun to have all day at work. After assessing you work storage situation, you also need to account for lunch (if you take it) and any work supplies you may need to take back and forth. All of this needs to be accounted for so that you set your eBike up for success.

Add cargo capacity to your bike.

Once you have identified what you plan to take to-and-from to work, you’ll need a way to comfortably transport  everything you need with room to spare. While you might already have a bigger backpack, I highly recommend getting the weight off your shoulders and onto the bike. It allows you to ride more comfortably, not get a sweaty square on your back, and let the motor push the weight forward. I rode with a backpack for years, but I made the switch to bike bags and will never look back. There are many iterations of bike bags and how to mount them, but I recommend getting enough for all of your stuff plus more. If you have extra room most days, great! But the days will come with highly volatile weather or you need to take more to work, and it is best to be prepared ahead of time rather than trying to find last minute solutions.

Most eBikes come standard with a rear rack to mount panniers (bags on the side of the rack), and/or a trunk bag (mounted to the top of the rack) to carry your additional cargo. Either option is great, and we stock a variety of our favorites to outfit your ride!

 

Know you weather forecast.

While commuting, weather apps are your friend. I, personally, use two apps (Weather Channel & Accuweather)  to check the current weather and projected weather for when I leave work. Many of our eBike commuters point out that while they are getting a workout with elevated heart rates, they are not generating as much heat and are moving faster, increasing the wind chill. Layers and wind breakers will be your friend and if you plan to ride year around, we have a blog on winter commuting you can check out.

 

Know your route.

You are dressed and the eBike is ready; now how to get to work. The shortest route will not always be the best, especially if it includes high vehicle traffic roads. I tend to take a longer path, but one that puts me primarily on bike path which is safer and takes about the same amount of time because I do not have stop lights. I recommend trying several different routes to figure out the traffic situation on different roads, but to start I use Google Maps because it has a nice bike option:

  1. Go to Google Maps at http://maps.google.com.
  2. Select Get Directions.
  3. Type your starting address into field A.
  4. Type your destination into field B.
  5. Click Bicycling on the dropdown menu.
  6. Click Get Directions.
  7. Click on the route of your choice. Google will suggest several, in order from shortest to longest trip. Some routes may take slightly longer but may be preferable for other reasons, such as avoiding busy intersections or rough terrain.
  8. Customize the route by dragging the blue line (your bike route) wherever you want to move it to [source: Google].

After a while, you can start exploring around your current route. Who knows, maybe you’ll discover a new favorite coffee shop or restaurant. Sometimes going one or two blocks further can be drastically less traffic. Do not be afraid to use the power of your eBike to get up to speed on a busy road or to go further in order to be on safer roads. You have the motor, never be afraid to let it help you! Studies have shown that commuters get into rhythms that aren’t always the best route. When the tube shut down in London for a day, yearly commuters had to find new paths. 10% of commuters used a new path from that day forward after months or years of their previous path. If your route ever feels unsafe, try a new route, and you may be surprised what you find.

 

Keep your bike secure and charged.

You have made it to work, but what do you do with your expensive eBike? Always invest in a good lock or two. If you can bring it into the office, even better. However, I would still lock my bike up inside (even to itself) if you cannot see it. Most bike theft is a crime of opportunity, so do whatever you can to remove the opportunity. I also recommend keeping the battery with you. Some bikes use the same key to lock up the bike and remove the battery. If this is the case, please make sure you have the key or battery with you. I have seen an eBike that is locked up to a rack with the bike key still on the bike. This means it would be easy to take that key and walk off with the battery. So if you have a key like this, be careful to not leave yourself susceptible. If there is an eBike in the bike barn with no battery (and no charger), the thief now has hundreds of dollars to invest to get the eBike working again.

Another thing to consider while at work is prepping for your ride home. If your work will be stretching your battery life, the easiest way to extend your eBike’s range is a second charger to leave at work. For eBike batteries, it is safe and recommended to keep topping off the battery rather than draining the battery totally during each use. So, charging your battery at work each day will only be good for the battery and not cause deterioration over time. If you have plenty of range to get to work, top if off every night when you get home. On your way home, you might take a different route because of different evening traffic routes.

 

Stick with it, it only gets easier!

Commuting with an eBike can be a relaxing and enjoyable way to get to work every day. You get to exercise and not become frustrated sitting in traffic. However, some people commute for a few days and start to feel tired and frustrated because of the energy expenditure. Push through! Different bodies adjust differently, but anywhere between three weeks and two months your body will transition making the commute feel no different than a car commute. You have invested your finances in a eBike and the bags, do not give up on yourself too early. With these basic tips, you should be able to become a commuting regular who shows up to work happy and energized rather than frustrated and late, who lives a healthier life, and who gets to enjoy the outdoors each and every day.

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Employability: Making Denver’s Youth More Hirable  https://goodturncycles.org/employability-making-denvers-youth-more-hirable/ Thu, 06 Feb 2020 23:00:58 +0000 https://goodturncycles.org/?p=189127

You need experience to get a job, but you need a job to get experience.

 

We all at some point or another will have to work, but where to start? For some the first job/work experience comes in high school looking for a part time gig, mostly to get gas money to have freedom from parental oversight. For others it comes after graduation, whether that be high school or college, when entering a full time position and really getting an understanding of what it’s like to have a job.

Finding that first job can be hard, we have all seen the “looking for someone with experience” in a job posting. But where do we get this experience? How do we get experience if we can’t get that first job? Do we rely on personal connections to find employment? 

Many find this “experience” through the education system. High School can provide many with opportunities to learn responsibility, communication skills, and a strong work ethic. Through activities, clubs, and sports teams students can gain these valuable skills and hopefully have enough “experience” to get that entry level job and start building a resume. 

Yet studies show that many entry level employees still aren’t ready for their jobs. “Business and industry representatives express considerable dissatisfaction with the general level of preparedness of prospective entry-level employees (Committee for Economic Development 1985, p. 17)”(Cotton). It sometimes doesn’t even have to do with education either, “Employers’ dissatisfaction with young job applicants is not primarily due to inadequate technical knowledge or skill”(Cotton). So what is disgruntling employers with their recent hires?

It is seen that more and more employers are finding that employees struggle with the basic skills of what it means to be employable. What we have seen in studies and in our own shop is that new persons to the workforce lack basic skills such as: problem solving, decision making, self-management, oral communication, punctuality, adaptability, and others.

 

That is where GoodTurn Cycles comes in.

 

At GoodTurn Cycles we train to 5 Core Values:

  • We take initiative
  • We come ready to work
  • We come ready to learn
  • We have positive attitudes
  • We are dependable

These 5 skills, we feel, leave our interns with the skills and experience to find, maintain and contribute-in meaningful employment. 

Our mission is to provide job training to teens and young adults who have barriers to employment by taking them through our internship program. Through the bike mechanical program the interns learn basic skills for customer service, bike mechanics, and everyday cleaning duties. Each week they focus on a different theme of being an employable worker such as things like problem solving, verbal communication, and self management.

 

Working one to one, our full time employees will then walk them through the hands on training process while also quizzing interns on things such as: the terminology used with bikes, how parts/systems on the bike operate, or what customers might ask in a sales situation. 

Interns are challenged to use communication, their module workbook, and other resources to solve issues when they arise. Given the space to work independently, guided by our trained staff, Interns develop problem solving skills specific to their individual strengths.We use their modules to measure what skills they have mastered and which skills still need perfecting. Due to the one-on-one training & mentorship each intern receives, we are able to work at a pace and in a way that is most beneficial to that intern.  At the end of their program, each intern’s module binder, and their specific experience, looks a bit different from everyone else’s. It is really fun to see each individual grow in their own specific ways through our program! 

We partner with other great organizations such as Atlas Coffee, Project Recycle, Giant Denver and Cafe 180 to give interns an opportunity to see what skills can carry over from the bike shop into other industries as we go to their places of business and get the lowdown on how they operate. We believe that for the three months our interns spend with us, they will leave having developed skills that make them stand out to future employers. 

 

References:

Developing Employability Skills + Skills List (3rd Party Education Company) (cotton)

https://educationnorthwest.org/sites/default/files/DevelopingEmployabilitySkills.pdf

 

Davis Oaks
Instructor
 
GoodTurn Cycles
7301 S. Santa Fe Drive, Suite 342
Littleton, CO 80120
303.795.0411

 

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