Ten years ago, Tiffany’s life changed forever when her car hit and killed a child who darted into the street in front of her. As part of the recovery from the emotional impact of the accident, Tiffany gave up her car and shifted to a new life of biking. She biked to her job waiting tables where a coworker suggested she try driving a bike taxi downtown as an additional source of income. Eight years later and you can still grab a ride from Tiffany in her cab! She said that driving a bike taxi has been an exciting and rewarding way to support herself.
There are ups and downs in the world of bike taxis. Tiffany has met a lot of people over the years, ranging from your average Denverite, to oil tycoons, to celebrities like Chevy Chase and Spike Lee! Another bonus is that she gets into a lot of free sporting events and concerts just by being a friendly face rolling around near downtown venues. Unfortunately, Tiffany has found that a lot of people think bike taxi drivers are homeless, and she finds it “disheartening to see how people treat people they assume are homeless.” She’s had many people walk by and tell her to “get a job.” Despite these occasional experiences, she has a lot of fun stories and good memories. For example, the brew masters at the Great American Beer Festival sponsor an annual chariot-style bike taxi race every year from the Hyatt hotel in south east downtown to Falling Rock Taphouse near Coors Field. The drivers race each other to the finish line where the sweaty, triumphant winner is rewarded with $100. And not surprisingly, one year our bike hero was crowned the champion!
Driving a bike taxi has given back to Tiffany in a number of ways, including connecting her with her boyfriend Joe, who joined the bike taxi ranks a couple years ago. He enjoys mountain biking and hopes to go to school for engineering to design a better bike. A friend in the bike community also provided her with inspiration for the name of her 150-pound Mastiff, Diego! She hopes to spend more time riding for fun in the near future, including trying her hand at racing. Like the wheel of a well-traveled bike, her life has been a constantly evolving adventure that has covered all kinds of new terrain over the years and we’re honored and pleased to name her as our June Bike Hero! Remember folks, when you jump in that bike taxi downtown, tip your driver and see if you can catch some of their wild stories!
Bike Hero of the Month Awards highlight different people each month, and help encourage other people to bike by telling the Hero’s personal story. The goal of the Bike Hero Awards Program is to showcase the diversity of citizen-cyclists and the people who support them in Denver.
BikeDenver’s Executive Director Piep van Heuven says: “We introduced the Bike Hero awards because we want to encourage a friendly environment for and public image of bicyclists in Denver. One of the ways we can do this is to showcase the different faces of and great stories about people in our community, like Chris, who ride bikes or help others get out there and ride. Through the Bike Hero awards, BikeDenver honors bicyclists of all ages and walks of life, from the first time bicyclist to the rain or shine bicyclist! We all know people (our neighbors, co-workers, family members or community leaders) who inspire us to reach for the handlebars instead of the car keys. Take a moment to look around you and help BikeDenver recognize the people in our community who are making a difference for Denver, one ride at a time!”
To nominate a Bike Hero, please send a photo and a brief description of why you think they should be recognized (100 words or less) to info(at)bikedenver.org.
We started naming Bike Heroes in 2010; meet past honorees here!
BikeDenver is Denver’s bicycle advocacy organization. BikeDenver promotes and encourages bicycling in and around Denver and works to make Denver a better place to ride your bike for fun, recreation and transportation. Why? Because it’s healthy for you, and healthy for Denver. www.bikedenver.org
Bicycle Village has been a Colorado owned and operated business for more than 30 years. From modest beginnings in an 1800 square ft. building in West Denver, Bicycle Village has grown into the largest bicycle retailer in the Rockies. www.bicyclevillage.com
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Support BikeDenver: You can help make Denver’s neighborhoods and streets more bike-friendly by becoming a BikeDenver member.