The Worst Day of March: Combatting Traffic Violence and Deaths During Daylight Savings

You wake up in a haze. Darkness surrounds you. If you’re a parent, you may need to take your kid to school as the sun comes over the horizon. You get to your workplace, whether its home or elsewhere, feeling like you need caffeine.

Its the Monday after Daylight Savings Time.

Like taxes and death, the sleepiness that follows the yearly ritual of moving the clocks forward feels like its inevitable. Studies after studies, including a 2020 one from CU Boulder, are proof of what we already know: the change increases the amount of fatal car crashes in the United States.

In Colorado, some entities are acutely aware of some of the threats posed by the time change: CDOT published an advisory in November 2022 saying “Watch for wildlife, avoid collisions during daylight saving time”.

While I am a believer in permanent standard time as a tool to fix this issue, the reality is that this is something that, whether Colorado adopts it or not, requires movement by the federal government. Instead, here are some things that could be done locally that would ameliorate some of the worst effects of traffic deaths when the clock change.

Later Start Times for Kids

In Denver, this reform is already in the midst of being implemented. for the 2023/2024 school year, Denver Public Schools will be beginning their days at 8:20 AM, or exactly an hour and 5 minutes after sunrise. Besides being a better start time for children at all stages of development, a later school time would partially keep traffic deaths from happening in the morning, which was the impetus in the mid-70’s to abandon permanent daylight savings time.

Encouraging Work From Home During the Week

Giving employees the option to work from home is one of the biggest ways to keep traffic deaths from happening. During the first full month of the COVID pandemic in April 2020, there were only 14 serious bodily injuries (SBI’s) and zero fatalities, the lowest levels since Denver started recording traffic violence for Vision Zero. Obviously, there were confounding factors around this time: COVID restrictions in Denver encouraged everyone to stay home, with essential grocery store and medical trips being the rare exceptions to the rule. Additionally, the closing of restaurant and many businesses deemed “non-essential” limited traffic to a mere fraction of what it was prior to the pandemic. That being said, work from home is a guaranteed way to get cars off the road for the morning commute to the office, and should be an evidenced based practice employed by companies.

Creating More Car Free Spaces

After the fatal shooting of a student at East High, Councilmember Hinds called on making the Esplanade in front of the school car free. While I initially saw this as somewhat incongruous with reducing gun violence, there is some data to back it up. In Portland, residents of the Mt. Scott-Arleta neighborhood came together to permanently close down a section of street known for traffic and gun violence. The results were clear: drive by shootings and traffic violence decreased on the street. While issues in relation to gun violence are multifaceted and a holistic approach should be taken to reduce it, closing down streets is a key element of reducing traffic violence.


As the Mile High City wakes up tomorrow morning, the effects of the time switch will reach us all. It doesn’t, however, have to result in increased traffic violence. By changing elements that increase automobile usage during the week and in some ways permanently, we can reduce the worst effects of the change while still hoping and advocating for end to the time switch.

Featured Image is a Photo of Denver from 1973, the year the US experimented with Permanent Savings Time. Photographer is Unknown, and photo is taken from the 2007 Auraria Campus Master Plan


Carvana for some, Dukkha for Others: A Lament

In Buddhist teachings, nirvana is enlightenment, a freedom from suffering and the cycle of rebirth. The foil to this is dukkha, which is living in a world of suffering and dissatisfaction. The newly occupied Carvana vending machine at Evans and I25 embodies dukkha to many urbanists.


Standing at 8 flights high with roughly 23 cars inside of it, the vending machine is the culmination of nearly 3 years of planning, including the initial proposal, the rezone request to build, and finally its occupation by cars.

An early stage development proposal of the Carvana vending machine

Early on, councilmembers had skepticism in regards to the rezoning, with councilmember Kashmann worried that the zoning for the structure was unique. With staff from Community Planning and Development noting that the vote was on the rezoning and not the development, the rezone passed 10-3, with Councilmembers Candi CdeBaca, Amanda Sawyer, and Amanda Sandoval voting against.

Construction on the Carvana vending machine began at 4700 East Evans Ave on the site of the old Rockies Inn. Since the beginning of construction the company itself has been dealing with financial troubles, including the decrease of demand for used cars in late 2022, an ongoing class action lawsuit over lack of delivery of permanent registrations to customers, being unable to operate in some states such as Michigan and Illinois, and a 98% stock drop that led to the laying off of 1500 employees. These various controversies led many, including 9News’ Steve Staeger, to speculate if cars would even make it to the machine before bankruptcy.

Then, in 2023, things began to change.

Carvana found new life as a meme stock among retail investors, and, on February 9th, 2023, cars were seen in the machine.

The Problem With the Machine

The Carvana machine sits at I25 and Evans, opposite of Freeway Ford and with dive bar The Dirty Duck as its neighbor. A mere 8 minute walk away, the Colorado Station, a hub for public transit in Southeast Denver, sits. Merely a couple blocks from the machine is an apartment complex called The Ventana at Colorado Station, a complex I used to live at.

Its centrality to rail, other apartments, and a local dive seems like it would be a great candidate for housing. Given the neighboring site that used to be the home of the Cameron Motel is building apartments, why couldn’t 4700 Evans be zoned for something similar? Instead, the only occupants of the machine are inanimate objects, 23 machines for which it will be a temporary home at best.

The area surrounding the Carvana Vending Machine

Beyond just the misuse of space, the existence of the vending machine goes against the oft cited transportation hierarchy that is at the center of Denver Moves Everyone, a comprehensive plan that’s goal among many includes decreasing trips in single occupancy vehicles.

An active Carvana machine is a monument to Denver’s continued car dependency, with the delivery of used cars to cities as south as Pueblo and north as Cheyenne a literal importation of these values throughout the region.


So, what can be done in regards to this? Not a ton at this point. Carvana as a company still exists at this point, the State of Colorado still allows the machine to operate, and recent trends in the companies history shows it may be able to crawl along. For that reason, this is less of a call to action than a lament, particularly that Carvana is dukkha to those trying to reclaim streets for people and not cars.

Featured Image is a photo of the Carvana Machine. Photo Credit to Elizabeth Bonney

Anatomy of a Failed Boulevard from a Traffic Violence Survivor



Assessing the damage, trying to get his tags, making a police report, processing it, going to get injuries checked

That was the course of my weekend after a driver crashed into me at the corner of 13th and Speer.

I had ridden the crosswalk hundreds of times, as the adjoined Cherry Creek Trail was a route that I used regularly in order to get to my former job at the Denver Art Museum. I can recount from many times crossing it how close I have gotten to vehicles hitting me on my bike, each time missing. I chose to cross it with that assumption, with the hope that the giant white truck wouldn’t decide to pull out.

Until he did, and until he decided to leave the scene.

The thing about my story is that it isn’t unique. Merely a day before my crash, a pedestrian was hit at 11th and Speer, dying Friday morning.

So, what is it that makes Speer Boulevard such a dangerous street?


Speer is a major arterial boulevard in the city of Denver named after former Mayor Robert W Speer, a figure associated with the turn of the century City Beautiful Movement. Built from 1906 to 1918, Speer Boulevard did not have any sort of streetcar or tramway along it, making it a attractive place for cars from the beginning.

The major reason that people on bikes often have to interact with Speer is its proximity to the Cherry Creek Trail. While the trail has been around for thousands of years as a walking trail for the Arapaho tribe, its modern incarnation as a major bike route goes back to 1972 as a bikeway plan authored by city planner Fred Wolfe was adopted.


In the modern era, Speer has a speed limit of 30 MPH. However, drivers generally exceed this limit, going up to 40-45 MPH regularly up the street. There is some enforcement, albeit patchwork. A police car often parked at the median on 1st Avenue right before entering the boulevard, a camera at 8th and Speer, and a live traffic camera at Colfax are all ways that Speer is regulated.

The Problem

Speer and many of the adjoining streets have two forces working against each other from its beginning to Colfax. First, drivers trying to get to and from downtown as quickly as possible. Second, people on bikes trying to get to the Cherry Creek Trail often have to conflict with people trying to go these top speeds at roughly the same time. This conflict on the roads leading to Speer has unfortunately resulted in crashes like mine.

Speer Boulevard from the Regional Vision Zero High Injury Network.
Streets deemed blue are part of the High Injury Network. Red are Critical Corridors. Source: DRCOG

In regard to the crash that happened on 11th and Speer, there aren’t a ton of pedestrian amenities. 11th Avenue doesn’t have any bulb outs or other traffic calming elements that could have prevented the incident, and while not a lot is known publicly about the details of the crash, no amenities paired with speed is a recipe for trouble.

My Experience

The difference between 11th and 13th Ave westbound is almost night and day. With a protected bike lane, bulb outs, and a Bike Signal, this intersection should be safer.

This, however, wasn’t my experience. I ended up riding my bicycle in the protected bike lane briefly, coming down on Fox Street from LoDo. Crossing Speer when I had the signal, I ended up waiting for the light and crossing the crosswalk in the top right image, hoping to head south on the sidewalk until I hit the Cherry Creek Trail.

Something else hit me though, as a driver pulled in front of me, roughly in the section of the crosswalk shown in the center top photograph, briefly noticed they had hit me by stopping, and left the scene.

What can be done?

Speer as a Boulevard has a lot of improvements that can make it friendlier to pedestrians and people on bikes. For 11th and 13th, automated enforcement similar to 8th would be a deterrent for several drivers trying to speed through the intersections. That being said, this is a heavy lift due to the fact that state statute has specific rules as to where cameras can be placed, with 11th qualifying due to the fact that the street borders both a school and a park. Giving the street a road diet by removing a lane while using the space to create a better pedestrian and bike experience would be my ideal solution. Though its a heavy lift in an era where several projects threaten to make part of Denver more hostile to pedestrians, supporting a road diet would be somewhat the spirit of Robert Speers vision of the city, by creating more space for people and reclaiming it from cars.

Featured image is the rough spot I was hit on my bike

Jaywalking should be decriminalized in Denver

Last year, I went to History Colorado during an exhibition that showcased the long history that Capitol Hill has had as a “gayborhood”, or a neighborhood that has a disproportionately higher amount of members of the LGBTQ+ community. One thing that struck me was one of the mechanisms that was used to over-police Capitol Hill at this time. While exclusionary zoning and other municipal ordinances were a form of suppression for the LGBTQ+ community, the simple crime of jaywalking, or, as it was colloquially known at the time “gaywalking”, was used to result in the arrest of mostly gay men in the 1970’s going to gay bars.

Though members of the LGBTQ+ community eventually worked with Mayor Federico Pena to get rid of the disproportionate enforcement on gay bar patrons, the inequities surrounding the law did not go away. Instead, jaywalking enforcement continued to be used against communities of colors. While black people made up 10% of the population of Denver, 41% of jaywalking tickets have been given to them. Additionally, most tickets are given in communities along Denver’s “inverted L” which largely comprises communities of color. Jaywalking tickets are often pretextual stops, with police using them to add on additional fines and a possible arrests.

So, what can be done in regards to this?

Currently, Councilmember CdeBaca has been spearheading an initiative to decriminalize jaywalking called the Freedom to Walk and Roll Bill that would bring Denver law in line with state line and decriminalize jaywalking. This would help to correct an inequity in enforcement, along with getting rid of an enforcement mechanism that disproportionately effected the LGBTQ+ community. To voice your support, you can contact your city councilmembers here or use this form from Denver Streets Partnership to voice your support for this measure.

Featured image is from a Next Report authored by Marissa Solomon

Denver Deserves Clear, Walkable Sidewalks in the Winter

“The sun will clear it out in a few days”

“If you have boots, it shouldn’t be too bad of a walk”

“No one walks over there, anyway”

These are a few of the quotes that I have heard from Denverites going back to 2017, a year after I arrived in Denver and there was a freeze that made sidewalks impassable in the neighborhood I was living in in Centennial. 6 years later, these same phrases are being used as many sidewalks have iced over after neglect from property owners, businesses, and homeowners.

A Person Using a Wheelchair along a major thoroughfare. PC to Rob Toftness

This has caused places throughout the Greater Denver area to be treacherous. People in wheelchairs have to gamble when going outside. “It’s often a guessing game to determine (in advance) which side of the street will be more walkable. Which houses likely cleared, or do I hope for the side that has gotten more sun? Will I be able to make it over the mountain of snow and ice lake at the street cutout?” One wheelchair user stated, detailing the challenges they had when they were injured. Oftentimes, people using wheelchairs have to go into oncoming traffic to have some semblance of normality, such as the photo above or the story of a lady using a wheelchair on Broadway due to the sidewalk being covered in ice.

Uncleared sidewalks near Pearl and 20th. Note the lady walking in the middle of the street to the right.

But its not just people in wheelchairs that are affected by a system based on personal responsibility. Unhoused folks, people using strollers, and bicyclists are all affected when sidewalks and bike infrastructure are not cleared. From the person in Aurora that has to walk with all of their belongings in a cart on the street in Mississippi, to the bike lane that gets a mound piled up in it, rendering it useless, snow removal often follows one pattern: to ease the burden of cars getting from one place to another.

Snow piled up in the 19th St. Bike Lane

Transit users also get impacted by the lack of maintenance of snow. Already burdened by icy sidewalks, folks riding RTD, have to sometimes deal with large mounds in front of the stops that, for some riders, can be un-scalable. I had suck an experience on New Years Eve, where I practically had to jump to my bus stop from a mound that had piled up on the curb.

A sidewalk with a portion shoveled and deiced in front of the Howard Lorton Gallery. Note the lack of shoveling at the nearby bus stop.

So, what is the strategy of the City of Denver for sidewalk shoveling? For the most part, it involves personal responsibility with a small stick if the sidewalk is still covered. According to the official government website.

Inspectors leave a time-stamped notice at properties with un-shoveled sidewalks. After receiving a notice, businesses have four hours and residences have 24 hours before the inspector’s re-check and a potential $150 fine.

According to a Denverite article from early 2022, over 2,000 complaints were filed in Denver, with the bulk being in Northwest, Central, and Southeast Denver. Going back to 2021, only 3.86% of the 3,467 inspections resulted in a citation.

Shoveling Complaints in 2022 By Zip Code

So, what can we do to ensure more equitable snow removal? Here are a few different options.

If You Can, Become a Snow Angel

If you are able to shovel others homes that need it, Denver runs a citywide program for neighbors to help neighbors in regards to shoveling. You can sign up for it here.

Report Any Hazardous Sidewalks

If it has been more than 24 hours and a residence/business has not shoveled their sidewalks, then report them. You can call 311 to report un-shoveled sidewalks by noting the address.

Advocate for Better Enforcement/Plowing/Sidewalk Removal

City Council meets weekly on Monday and has a public comment section that allows members of the public to comment on various matters unrelated to the agenda. Sign up for public comment begins on Friday at 11:00 AM and can be done either virtually or in person. If you have a story, tell it! The stories that I have shared above are tragic in a vacuum, as a whole, they are emblematic of failed policy.

Advocacy isn’t limited to Mondays, however. Push your individual councilmembers to allocate more towards enforcement of shoveling and a possible municipal shoveling program, more equitable plowing of roads and sidewalks, and promoting existing options like Snow Angels that help those who may not be able to shovel.

Vote, and challenge candidates on their policies

Recently, a mayoral candidate wrote a post saying that “He’ll Plow The Damn Roads” if elected. This is an incredibly myopic view of the problem, as most major and secondary roads in Denver get plowed fairly quickly. Challenge candidates who are running for mayor and council to be specific about how they will enforce sidewalk shoveling, making roads better for people riding bikes in snow, and keeping our most vulnerable sidewalk users safe during this winter. To paraphrase a city council candidate, an election is the longest public comment period most people will participate in. Take advantage of it, and reward those who have clear policy on the matter.


Back in late 2019, I wrote a similar article to this. While circumstances were drastically different then, with the Department of Transit and Infrastructure (DOTI) being in its infancy and our current mayor comfortably elected to a third term. I partially worry that the reaction and outrage regarding the lack of cleared snow, much like snow in the early spring, will melt away and be forgotten. We can’t let this happen, particularly when Denver is at a juncture where a new mayor and council could redirect policy towards a more fair snow removal program for all. We need to continue to be advocates, volunteers, and, above all, fighters for everyone’s right to safe sidewalks during the winter, even as the snow slowly fades into spring.

Thanks to the Following Twitter users for their contributions to this article








Featured image is of a woman walking down 20th to get to the grocery store. She initially was in the road, but moved to the sidewalk area that was shoveled later.

The Backlash to Sidewalks is Coming. Here’s How to Advocate against it.

Back when I moved here in 2016, one of the first Denver based initiatives I voted for was the Green Roof Initiative. A mechanism to dedicate a portion of roofs larger than 25,000 square feet a portion of their roofs to greenhouses and Solar panels, the measure passed by 54%. In the years since the initial implementation process, the initiative has been watered down and broadened to creating “cool roofs” or roofs that, according to the Department of Energy, absorb less heat than is reflected.

A green roof atop a model of the future Lakehouse multi-use building. Sloans Denver, Nov. 16, 2017. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

Back in November of 2022, Denver Deserves Sidewalks, a mechanism to build out the remaining sidewalk in Denver and funding it through property fees, passed by a similar margin, with 55% of voters approving of it. While there is some time until City Council can even begin to tinker with the funding formula for the measure, the backlash to the measure is coming.

Enter the Glendale Cherry Creek Chronicle. Even before the master plan for sidewalks is being created, the publication has published an article insinuating that the Bicycle Lobby is pushing it and that costs will be borne by renters and condo owners. Its not an unfamiliar space that this publication has tread. During the beginning of the existence of scooters in Denver, the Chronicle attempted to cast doubt on them in an article about E-scooter regulation. Given that it is a relatively right wing newspaper that has visually compared Democrats to the authoritarian government of China, this shouldn’t be a serious publication.

Photo from the article HURRAH! We Have At Last A One-Party State In Colorado

That being said, there still is a 45% of voters that did not approve the measure. From homeowners that believe they would pay more than is warranted for their lots, to the more libertarian types that dread taxes in general, there is a coalition that could potentially break this. As an activist, I have seen perfect bike lanes die, from the Gray Street bike lane to the North-South connections of Capitol Hill, with a similar coalition in existence.

There are major differences between this and the watering down of the Green Roof Initiative. Denver Streets Partnership is working with councilmembers on anticipated tweaks that will be made to the implementation of Denver Deserves Sidewalks. Additionally, the barrier of entry to be in a meeting for public comment for issues like Denver Deserves Sidewalks, which did not exist during the implementation of Green Roofs.

How To Take Action to Fight Backlash

So, given the context above, what can you, the average Denver resident, do in order to keep the fermenting backlash from happening? Here are a few items that I, from past experience, have been effective.

Tell Your Story

If you are a person who has been affected adversely by the lack of sidewalks in the neighborhood, document it! Sharing what a complete street means to you as a person shows that this is a worthwhile endeavor, and humanizes building out the sidewalk network. Share on whatever platform you use regularly, or imbue your story into my next tip.

Advocate at Public Meetings

It is likely that some sort of tweak will be made to the original initiative at Denver City Council next year. For that, however, there is citizen input along the way. Sign up for public comment or commenting on the implementation of the initiative when meetings show up. Councilmembers, above all, should serve the voters, particularly the voters that approved sidewalks in an overwhelming majority.

Vote in Local Elections

As many of you know, there is a mayoral and council election in April. I personally believe several candidates are pro-sidewalk that are running, but would prefer not to endorse and have my readership decide. This mayor and council will be the one that votes on tweaks to the initiative, and will directly affect you.

The Author Voting in the 2020 Elections

Don’t let the bastards get you down.

Back when we were gathering signatures for the initiative, it was easy to get discouraged. From the popular refrain of “I’ve already signed a petition” to people that would outright argue about it being an unethical tax. It was wearing. Seeing articles like the one in the Glendale Cherry Creek Chronicle makes it seem even more like the opposition will win at times. Throughout all this, I follow the one adage my grandfather taught me “don’t let the bastards get you down”. I usually don’t end my articles with music, but for the final article that I’ll probably write for the year, I’ll make an exception.

Please use this time of year to rest, recharge, and get ready for the urbanist battles of 2023.

Featured image is a screenshot of a video from the author on the night the Denver Deserves Sidewalks declared victory.

Denver Deserves Trail Detours with Dignity

Back in February of 2019, the then-Department of Public Works implemented a policy that companies building over one story high buildings would have to create “pedestrian canopies” in order to compensate for blocking the right of way for pedestrians. Since then, these canopies and accommodation to keep the disruption of pedestrian traffic to a minimum have helped make construction less of a pain for those on the sidewalks.

Like urban construction, trail construction can disrupt the lives of multitudes of people. From regular bike commuters, to recreational walkers on runners, to weekend warriors of all types, urban trail closures can make people change their habits or even seek out alternative ways to get places.

The Cherry Creek Detour and the Problem of Conflict

Currently, the Department of Transit and infrastructure is embarking on a 4-6 month streetscaping project that would effect all users of the trail. To get a feel for what the detour would look like, I rode my bicycle down the path earlier this afternoon.

From the point that the detour begins, the potential for conflict is realized, as the first leg of the bicycle detour passes right under a major pedestrian thoroughfare.

As the rider exits creekfront part, things get better with a protected bike lane going up Larimer street. This improvement leads, however, to another place that could cause conflict: the 14th Avenue Protected Bike Lane. A major bicycle artery through Downtown, the Bike lane starts off very narrow at the location where bikes would be detoured both ways, causing conflicts from people riding bikes either way (EDIT: It has been reported that parking will temporarily be removed to widen this section of the detour.)

The final off-trail point of conflict for people on bikes and pedestrians for this trail is the sidewalk on Market Street. With people riding bicycles both ways and pedestrians, this will likely form a point of major conflict between all of these different parties. This is the last section before the bike detour ends.

Going further north to get a feel of what the remainder of pedestrian detour would be like did not give much confidence. Why take this longer detour street side rather than get on the trail at the same area that bicycles reenter the trail? De Facto turning the “bike only” section of the Cherry Creek bike lane into a multiuse trail would increase congestion, make it more dangerous for pedestrians and bicyclists, and possibly cause crashes similar to the 2019 crash. (Edit: During Construction, pedestrians will be able to enter the “bike only” section of the trail at Market Street.)

The Best Way to Detour

As a person that has ridden regional trails, I’ve noticed a pattern of what they get both wrong and right about detours. To me, there are 3 personal hallmarks of a good detour that need to be present to be a detour with dignity for all.

  1. Gets the users to their destination in a timely matter, with minimal impact to a commute/activity as possible
  2. Reduces Conflict between different modes aka adding temporary infrastructure for bikes on the street, adding cones for pedestrians.
  3. Have obvious wayfinding to and from the detour.

In the City of Denver, most trails will satisfy at least of these elements, with the elusive 3rd element slightly out of reach. The biggest example of this personally is the Jason Street detour on the South Platte River Trail.

While it has 1. Minimal impact from a time/mileage perspective and 3. Obvious wayfinding, the conflict is obvious in the second photo. The only infrastructure that a rider has on this block is an unprotected bike lane. On Jason, a street that is heavily used during rush hour, this isn’t enough. In fact, anything short of Jersey Barriers would make the hesitant rider more likely to use the neighboring street or not ride at all.

How to make a good Cherry Creek Detour

Though the detour itself has not been implemented, using the steps above, we can make as successful of a detour we can with the specifics we have in place.

First, having something basic such as signage in place to make sure that trail users know the detour is going in place. While there is signage above ground for vehicle users, there is nothing that trail level users have to know that the detour is happening. Having trail level signs with a QR code on them to learn about the detour is the first step to building it out.

Signage for drivers indicating trail closure on the 12th.

Second, all infrastructure along the bicycle detour needs to be widened or implemented to decrease conflict. This means creating larger elements along the 14th Ave bike Lane and possibly implementing temporary measures along Market St. to accommodate for the increase in bike traffic. This could be similar to the barriers that were put up along Speer when the Cherry Creek Trail was under construction along 13th and 14th Street.

Finally, closing off some sections of the two parking lots that parallel the trail north of Wazee may be a good fix for the detour. While it may cause some pain for single occupancy vehicle users, the lack of conflict between riders and pedestrians, along with a more direct path back unto the trail, is worth the temporary loss of parking spaces.

Parking Lots for partial closure


While Denver is steadily improving in regards to pedestrian detours along construction, it still has a long way to go when it comes to trail detours along major trails. Implementing some of the principles that DOTI already uses in regards to closures, along with those detailed above, will give us detours with dignity and equitable closures that serve all Denverites.

Featured Image is the Trail Detour on the S Platte River Trail Unto Jason St.

Authors Note: In an earlier edit, I indicated that the 14th Ave Bike Lane would not be widened to accommodate bike traffic. It appears that it will be widened. I sincerely regret this error.

Authors Note #2: In an earlier edit, I indicated that pedestrians would have to walk parallel the bike section of the trail until they reached the Downtown Playground. They will have the ability to enter the trail on the bike side during construction. I sincerely regret this error.

How to Ride an E-bike in the Winter in Denver

Get an E-bike this past year during the Denver rebate? Interested in becoming a year round rider? As we begin winter riding season again, here are some unique considerations to take in mind when braving the trails from year round E-Bike riders!

Keep a consistent speed

Similar to an analog bike, having a consistent speed when riding is important, this means keeping the assist/throttle to a minimum and pedaling at a consistent “The more pedal work ya do, the easier it is to stay at a speed where you remember you want to change speeds slowly” local Rad-Runner 2 recipient Chris Miller observed. John Riecke, an e-bike owner who bought his bike prior to the rebate program, expanded upon this. “Keep the throttle on 1, or at most 2, and turn it off entirely if it gets too dicey.” John warned. Given the unique threats during the winter with uneven terrain and ice, it may be worth it to practice without the e-bike battery to get a feel of how your bike operates on snowy and icy terrain.

Make sure the lights on your bike are bright enough for what is needed.

This tip especially applies to those that buy e-bikes that already come equipped with lights. While integrated lights may work for biking in summers that are relatively mild and light most of the time, higher quality lights may be needed on days where there is low visibility or you take a ride after an earlier and earlier sunset.

Keep your battery warm!

An E-Bike Battery

As a rule, most batteries do not like cold weather conditions. being exposed to temperatures below freezing can cause an e-bike battery to discharge faster, or, in the worst case scenario, not work entirely. If you have the ability to bring the whole bike inside or cannot detach the battery from the bike, bring the whole thing inside. If you have the ability to detach and do not necessarily have the space for a full e-bike, you can bring in the battery and leave the bike outside, preferably in a dry location.

If riding consistently during the winter wipe down your bike weekly.

While Denver is fairly light in regards to snow itself during the winter season, what does stick can cause some issues. A lot of bikes of all types have non corrosive elements, but stray snow, dirt, and other gunk can mess up any type of bike. A simple wipe down of the frame elements with water and a bike friendly soap can do wonders.

Have any additional questions? Anything that you would add? Sound off in the comments below.

Featured image is of an e-bike from ebikesUSA

The Author would like to thank the following individuals in regards to tips during the writing of this article.

Chris M

Casey K

Robbie H

John R

I Did Bike Rides to Various Haunts Around The Front Range. Here is what I learned.

Back in late September, I had an idea of themed rides that I would do for myself throughout the month of October. These “Death Rides” as I would call them, would end up being blog posts, similar to the rides to RTD that I did over the course of the post year. After originally posting about it on Facebook, a friend of mine posted about the rides on a cycling connections group.

The repost gave me a revelation. While I never wanted these to be group rides, I wanted to do something different than what I did for the riding to RTD series. I also wanted to use my love of history and horror to my advantage. Thus, the informative group ride aspect was born. After the last ride ended, I felt I had accomplished a lot more than I would have simply from riding to haunted places by myself. In the spirit of getting imparting knowledge, here’s what I learned from the 6 rides that I did throughout late September and October.

Cemeteries Are Peaceful, somewhat Bike and Pedestrian Friendly Places

While we were limited at Riverside Cemetery to 30 minutes on our bikes, the other cemeteries had some of the best aspects of urbanism: limited access to cars, slow speed limits, and both de jure and de facto noise limitations. I’m not going to say cemeteries are a perfect model for urbanism: They often lack sidewalks and being a pedestrian in the middle of a large road can be terrifying. However, there’s something we all can learn from the resting places of the dead.

Bicycling infrastructure In Capitol Hill, for being a downtown adjacent neighborhood, is limited

Over the course of the month, I did three different rides through the heart of Capitol Hill, detailing the haunted mansions and nature of the area. Every route that was recommended via Google and other mapping services lacked north-south connections within Capitol Hill, which I chose to highlight on the second Capitol Hill ride with the Mayor’s Bicycling Advisory Committee (MBAC). Capitol Hill, for being near pretty much everything in Denver, needs to be improved when it comes to bicycle infrastructure.

Mausoleums are some of the most serene, beautiful places in the world

Over the course of the rides, I had the opportunity to visit two Mausoleums: one located in the heart of Crown Hill Cemetery, another at Fairmount.

While I initially expected to be scared to be surrounded by bodies of the dead, the two mausoleums had a certain peace and beauty to them. From the chapels that graced us when we entered, to the lovely features of the architecture, there was a lot of frills to like about being in a mausoleum.

One of the defining moments for me along these rides was going to the Mausoleum in Fairmount looking for a “flower room”. As I walked down the stairs, marveling at the beauty of the architecture, I saw signs leading to a flower room. Not know what to expect, I reached a room with a door that was partially open. I opened it all the way, and was greeted by a kind man who welcomed me to what he had called the flower shop. Realizing this was a place for the aggrieved to buy flowers for those who had departed, I took a quick look around and left immediately. The overall good nature of the man, paired with the beauty inside of the mausoleum, made the post-Saturday night trip to the mausoleum worth it.


The Death Rides, while not exactly what I envisioned them to be initially, were incredibly successful. Getting to use my knowledge of Denver area history, bike routes, and horrific happenings was a joy, and I hope to do it again with rides throughout the year.

Featured Image is the interior of the Fairmount Mausoleum

The Cannibal Ride: Cycling to Alferd Packer’s Grave

This story will appear in Mile High Horrors’ “What Evil Lurks” Zine. Locations to obtain a copy TBA

Colorado is the land of folk tales and stories that would put a shiver down the spine of even the biggest skeptic. From Blue Mustang/Blucifer, the airport horse that killed its artist, to the mishandling of the former cemetery at Cheesman park, Coloradans are spoiled with tales of misfortune, mishaps, and haunts. One of the most well known ones is that of Alferd Packer, the Colorado Cannibal. 

Alfred Packer was a veteran of the Union Army when he made his journey to what was then the Colorado Territory with a party of five. After reaching Saguache, Colorado, he initially lied, saying the rest of his party had died before him. When the bodies were found, he was charged and sentenced to 40 years in prison. His story is told in two fictionalized biopics: The Legend of Alferd Packer in 1980 and Cannibal! The Musical in 1993, the latter the work of South Park creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker.

Knowing this information, I wondered to myself, “Where could this maniac have been buried?” After doing a little research, I found out that he was in the Littleton Cemetery, a mere 14 miles away. I decided to ride my bicycle down there to see the site.

The Approach

Though not a long ride, the route to Alferd Packer’s grave was somewhat confusing to navigate at a point. Getting on the South Platte River Trail from 13th Avenue, I navigated southbound until I hit the exit for Littles Creek Trail, a small trail that goes directly through Downtown Littleton, and turned right on Prince Street. At Prince Street, I had to climb a hill before I eventually made it to the grave.  

The Grave

Ironically incredibly hungry by the time I reached the site, I only stayed briefly until going to a local pizza place in Downtown Littleton. After looking for the grave for three to five minutes, I was able to find it to the right of the gate in the cemetery. Three things struck me regarding the site: First, Alferd’s name was spelled incorrectly, with the more traditional spelling Alfred. Second, the military commemoration.  Third, I was astounded the fact that the grave received so much tribute and a full plaque to a man who ate people and ended up lying about eating people. Perhaps, however, that is the nature of a folk legend like Alferd Packer: a notorious monster in life, a bizarre outlier and sometimes comedic figure in the afterlife.  

Featured image is a photo of Alferd Packer