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Congratulations! By participating in Denver’s new e-bike rebate program—which saves $400 off the purchase for all residents, $1,200 for income-qualified citizens, and $500 more off e-cargo bikes—you have been granted entrée into one of the Mile High City’s most passionate clubs. You are a Denver Cyclist. Now it’s time to meet your fellow passengers in the bike lanes of life. Don’t be shy, rook: These conversation starters will help you make fast friends.
“Sweet spandex, bro.”
As with any large group, there are cliques within the Denver cycling scene, all of which are easily identifiable by their accoutrements. Bros wear Lycra, signifying their commitment. Moms and dads come complete with trailers. Fixed-gears are sure signs of the hard-charging courier crowd. Mountain bikers ride—well, we’ll let you figure that one out.
“What the heck is a sharrow?”
Have you ever seen the sign pictured above? It’s a lane-share marker and gives bicyclists the entire lane without actually providing any substantive protection from motorists. As recently reported by Denverite, most everyone calls the indicator a “sharrow,” and it’s indicative of the city’s, um, cost-conscious approach to bike infrastructure.
You’ll soon find out that almost every Denver cyclist has a story about some “idiot” driver trying to run them off the road. This is a good opportunity to ask about the safest routes around the city, and you can supplement that knowledge with a visit to the Denver Regional Council of Governments (DRCOG) website, which details protected lanes for riders.
“You seen the budget?”
Mayor Michael Hancock was expected to release his proposed budget for the next fiscal year in August. Cyclists are hoping to see more funding for bike infrastructure thanks to increased parking meter rates and ticket fees. We went to press before the budget was made public. Whether the money is there or not, though, this question still works.
“Does this look OK?”
Emily Kleinfelter of DRCOG heard from a friend and bike newbie who was ready to quit after one exhausting trip to work. Turns out, “she had flat tires,” Kleinfelter says. Don’t be embarrassed to ask: More experienced riders will likely be happy to tell you (more than you ever wanted to know) about the setup of your new e-bike.