Our View: Ride a bike; obey the laws

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Editorial Board, May 2008 to August 2008

  • Bryna Larsen, publisher
  • Brent Boyer, editor
  • Mike Lawrence, city editor
  • Tom Ross, reporter
  • Eric Morris, community representative
  • Paul Draper, community representative

Contact the editorial board at (970) 871-4221 or editor@steamboatpilot.com. Would you like to be a member of the board? Fill out a letter of interest now.

The average price of a gallon of unleaded gas tops $4 across the county - and much of the country. Traffic through downtown Steamboat Springs is as heavy as ever, and the height of summer tourist season is upon us. And to top it all, the weather the past couple of weeks screams for outdoor recreation.

Biking to work - and simply biking in general - promotes fuel efficiency, reduces emissions, lessens traffic and encourages healthy lifestyles.

But an increase of cyclists on the road also increases the chance for conflicts with motorists. Bike to Work Week thus serves as an occasion to freshen up on Colorado law as it applies to bicycles. State law (Colorado Revised Statutes 42-4-1412) gives cyclists the same rights to the road as motorists. There are some notable exceptions:

1. Any person riding a bicycle shall ride in the right-hand lane. When being overtaken by another vehicle, such person shall ride as close to the right-hand side as practicable. Where a paved shoulder suitable for bicycle riding is present, persons operating bicycles shall ride on the paved shoulder.

2. Persons operating bicycles on roadways shall ride single file; except that riding no more than two abreast is permitted when riding two abreast will not impede the normal and reasonable movement of traffic. Persons riding two abreast shall ride within a single lane.

3. Every person riding a bicycle shall signal the intention to turn or stop; except that a person riding a bicycle may signal a right turn with the right arm extended horizontally.

4. A person riding a bicycle upon and along a sidewalk or pathway or across a roadway upon and along a crosswalk shall yield the right-of-way to any pedestrian and shall give an audible signal before overtaking and passing such pedestrian.

5. A person shall not ride a bicycle upon and along a sidewalk or pathway or across a roadway upon and along a crosswalk where such use of bicycles is prohibited by official traffic control devices or local ordinances.

The city of Steamboat Springs has taken steps in recent years to become more "bicycle friendly." More work is needed, such as the proposed addition of bike lanes and designated bike routes along numerous city streets. And, especially in busy summer months, it benefits all to follow cycling regulations and use common courtesy on local pathways such as the Yampa River Core Trail.

Routt County Road 129 and Colo. Highway 131 remain two of the most popular - and dangerous - area roads for cyclists. County officials have said they continuously look at ways to improve area roads for all users, including cyclists. Funding the costs of such improvements usually is cited as the No. 1 obstacle for moving forward with the work.

Unfortunately, our county commissioners whiffed on an opportunity Tuesday to maintain an existing wide shoulder lane for cyclists when they voted, 2-1, to narrow the shoulder along Routt County Road 36 through Strawberry Park.

The proposal was brought forward by Strawberry Park resident Geneva Taylor, wife of state Sen. Jack Taylor. Geneva Taylor, the only one to publicly support her proposal Tuesday, said the 9-foot lanes are simply too narrow for safe driving. Commissioners Nancy Stahoviak and Doug Monger agreed.

Commissioner Diane Mitsch Bush sided with the more than one dozen residents who advocated for keeping the larger shoulder lane. A group of Strawberry Park homeowners even promised $1,000 for increased signage along the straight, open section of highway if the commissioners kept the lane format as it currently exists.

In this case, the majority lost out, and Routt County took a step backward in its support of cycling and other recreational uses of our roadways. We hope to spread the opposite message on Bike to Work Week and Bike to Work Day, which is today.

Responsible cycling is healthy for our environment and our bodies, and when motorists and cyclists understand and obey the law, we can share our roads with minimal conflicts between users.

Comments

Malcolm_Reynolds 5 years, 10 months ago

The paper failed to include in Point 2 the rest of the Colorado Statute 42-4-1412. Operation of bicycles and other human-powered vehicles.

(6) (a) Persons operating bicycles on roadways shall ride single file; except that riding no more than two abreast is permitted in the following circumstances:

   (I) WHEN THERE IS NO MOTOR VEHICLE TRAFFIC APPROACHING FROM THE REAR WITHIN A DISTANCE OF THREE HUNDRED FEET AND THE SIGHT DISTANCE ON THE ROADWAY AT THE TIME AND PLACE AND UNDER THE CONDITIONS THEN EXISTING IS A MINIMUM OF THREE HUNDRED FEET TO THE FRONT AND TO THE REAR OF THE BICYCLISTS; OR 
   (II) WHEN RIDING ON PATHS OR PARTS OF ROADWAYS SET ASIDE FOR THE EXCLUSIVE USE OF BICYCLES.

(b) Persons riding two abreast shall ride within a single lane.

All riders need to understand this ruling. As a driver it is frustrating when bicyclists don't obey that rule and embarrassing as a bicyclist, when I get labeled with the rest of the ignorant riders. When I was driving over the road, I carried the rules with me and would stop and show riders the laws. Sometimes they would be receptive, others didn't care. That is what makes most motorists MAD.

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Martha D Young 5 years, 10 months ago

One of the benefits of rising gas prices may be the lessening of the number of behemoth personal cars and trucks on our roads. Catering to the owners of these monstrosities at the expense of bicyclists, runners and equestrians seems absurd. We can hope that the cost of gas encourages drivers of gas-guzzlers to slow down to conserve gas. Or maybe I'm dreaming.

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Whattha 5 years, 10 months ago

If the city and county do not enforce the traffic laws the bicyclists can continue to do as they please. It would be interesting to find out how many citations were issued locally to bicyclists for traffic infractions. I would guess it to be an extremely small number due to virtually no code enforcement (i.e. running red lights etc.)

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old_town 5 years, 10 months ago

I think it is sad that some motorists in the area think that because a cyclists is, in their mind disobeying laws or getting in the way, they can then go and threaten their life with a motor vehicle. It should be made clear that menacing someone with your motor vehicle is also illegal and cyclists have every right and responsibility to report it. Thankfully, the large majority of motorists in the area have no problem yielding for thirty seconds to wait until it is safe to pass and give cyclists riding in groups time to get single file. Just like many drivers have a story of some spandex clad biker getting in their way and slowing them down, every cyclists has a story of that motorists who almost killed them. If a group of cyclists is really posing a danger to you in your car or breaking a law, just give the local pd a call on your phone. I will be doing the same when you threaten my family while we are biking.

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80488mom 5 years, 10 months ago

Martha - ummmmm.....wasn't Steamboat a ranching community before we were a recreational community? Those of us who still embrace that lifestyle might take offense at your comments. Just let me know when Subaru makes a vehicle strong enough to haul my livestock trailer would you please?

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crossbikesafety 5 years, 10 months ago

For all you cyclists out there who are dismayed and disappointed - perhaps we can seek the assistance from the following: Bicycle Colorado: (303) 417-1544 or info@bicyclecolorado.org Dan Grunig, Executive Director

League of American Bicyclists (who gave Steamboat the designation as "Bicycle Friendly Community"): 202-822-1333 bill@bikeleague.org or bikeleague@bikeleague.org Contact: Bill Nesper

Call or Email them!!! Maybe our voice will be heard by someone.

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justathought 5 years, 10 months ago

mom, the way I read it, she doesn't really want your "gas guzzler" on the road at all. You are just supposed to pay your road taxes so they can have better places to ride their bicycles. You also have to carry insurance in case the cyclist chooses to cause an accident with one of the "owners of these monstrosities" that the roads were built for. In other words mom, pay for the roads and their upkeep, but don't be driving on them in a vehicle someone else deems inappropriate.

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flotilla 5 years, 10 months ago

Dear 131 Cyclists,

(This orginally written 3 years ago)

When you ride 2 or 3 or even 4, yes, 4 abreast you cause vehicles in your lane to swerve into oncoming traffic. This happened to me at the Catamount run out, cyclists riding west, myself driving east, on monday afternoon. I swerved into the shoulder to miss the car dodging 3 male yellow-shirt clad cyclists chatting it up. My car hit some debris on the shoulder and narrowly missed the bridge railing (I was driving 60 mph because it saves my subie gas). STOP RIDING NEXT TO EACH OTHER. It happens ALL the time. I am respectful of cyclists, but stop putting others in danger. Chat after your ride with a beer. The next time this happens I am going to turn around and follow you, get your names and turn you in. 131 (and other hwys) are 65 mph. This is fast and hard to swerve around you all. CUT IT OUT.

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Dukebets 5 years, 10 months ago

Every bicyclist should read the article about the bozo who ran a red light in the last day or two and got schmucked by a truck. Lucky to be alive! Running a red light is the same as riding side by side on these mountain roads. Those bicyclists, in my opinion, have a death wish.

old_town and marthalee - You should probably stay on the bike paths as your comments lead me to believe that you don't respect the automobiles that the roads were built for.

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Dukebets 5 years, 10 months ago

To all bicyclists, please read exception 1 in this article, which states 'ride as close to the right hand side as practicable'. That would clearly state that bikes are to be close to the ditch and not the WHITE LINE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

In other words, old_town, if a motorist actually has to slow down to pass you on 131, you are breaking the law.

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old_town 5 years, 10 months ago

I would agree that there are a lot of idiots on bikes that seem to ignore the need to be courteous to motorists and the fact that this discussion is taking place will hopefully be a wakeup call. I pass cyclists in my car too and it can be pretty ridiculous when a group or riders won't slide to the right to let me pass. Riders should be mindful of this, but don't come down a quiet mountain road like twenty mile at 55mph and expect a group of cyclists to instantly be single file and on the right hand inch of the road.

As for "practicable", there are a number of exceptions in the law not listed above and I suspect you have never gotten out of your car to look at the side of the road on 131 or any road for that matter. Its a freaking garbage dump or a mess from erosion, so riding in or near the ditch is not always practicable, but I have put it on the dirt in many cases for large trucks or roads where cars have a hard time seeing ahead on smaller roads, its not a big deal for me to slide over if I can, especially if they take the 30 seconds to yield to allow it. But I would disagree that if a motorist has to slow down or yield, then a cyclist is breaking the law, you can call that one into the pd and let them decide.

The Pilot did not post the complete laws as written, they are here: http://colobikelaw.com/law.php

And I am sure that you are a law abiding driver that follows all posted speed limits and never breaks any laws while driving, could there be a wee bit of hypocrisy there? Thankfully the risk of death and injury on a bike is much lower than driving a car, thanks to your fellow drivers: http://hazmat.dot.gov/riskmgmt/riskcompare.htm

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80488mom 5 years, 10 months ago

Make sure your spandex biking shorts aren't too tight. They could cut off circulation to your brain causing you to do stupid things while out on the road.

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old_town 5 years, 10 months ago

You are just mad because they don't make biking shorts that would fit you......but then again, why would you want to wear athletic clothing while driving around all day and sitting in front of the TV?

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Steamboatmom1 5 years, 10 months ago

In my opinion, I don't mind sharing the roads with bicyclist. I think it's great that they are out there riding and getting exercise. Some of us can't ride because of injuries, or disabilities. So I hope you are not expecting us not to be driving our vehicles. On another point of interest, I would like to say I have known some great riders, yet, I have also seen a lot of arrogant riders. It's amazing how many I have come across that don't think they need to stop for stop signs. I have had the right away many times and have had riders blaze right threw the stop sign to where I have had to slam on my breaks. Then, to top it of they turn around and flip me the birdie, as if it's my entire fault that they almost got hit. They don't have licenses on the bike so you can't call the police to report them. So what do you do? If they want us o show them respect which I d try. I wish more of them would start showing us respect too. Isn't that what it means to share the road? Hopefully the bicyclist out there will learn a lesson from this week's incident and start paying a little more attention on the road. Where's the courtesy hand jester that could be given by both parties. Let's try and show each other a little more courtesy. The road belongs to all not just one group of people. Have a great day!

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Fox 5 years, 10 months ago

Steamboatmon1 makes a good point.

" They don't have licenses on the bike so you can't call the police to report them."

Licensing bicycles, like snowmobiles, boats, cars, etc. would cause some individuals to ride more responsibly because they know they may be held accountable.

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bluntman 5 years, 10 months ago

DRIVE A CAR? THEN OBEY THE LAWS...

what applies to cyclists applies as well to the righteous, arrogant hypocrites behind the wheel. y'all are just looking for someone to lash out at because your backside is feeling pinched by $4.00 + per gallon for the liquids and you're sitting on your brains while driving a giant SUV or duallie across town in bumper-to-bumper traffic @ zero mpg. with the exception of those with disabilites etc., we all can (and do) make transportation choices. why blame someone else when your choice was poorly made? hmm... the infernal combustion engine is going the way of the dinosaurs, and well it should. i seem to recall reading somewhere that

THE MEEK SHALL INHERIT THE EARTH...

true that.

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old_town 5 years, 10 months ago

You can call the police to report a cyclist and I speak from experience having been pulled over for running a stop sign, in my younger foolish days. Although not sure the police will appreciate an influx of calls for cyclists running stop signs. It would be helpful if the police put out a statement or education campaign though.

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bubba 5 years, 10 months ago

I am all for cyclists obeying the laws, but also the drivers. I find flotilla's story especially entertaining; he is upset at the cyclists because someone crossed a double yellow into his lane and he had to swerve to avoid that car. If the person was driving in control, they would not need to 'swerve' to avoid cyclists, they can slow down and wait for an appropriate spot to pass. I am assuming since you felt the need to say your subaru gets better mileage at 60, you were speeding and justifying it with that mileage argument (which doesn't hold up in court by the way), so you have 4 people breaking the law. 2 on bikes, assuming they were riding 3 abreast, one travelling towards you, and you. When an accident almost happened, it's the biker's fault, not the guy driving in the oncoming trafic lane, not you for speeding. Personally, I would blame the guy in my lane, as he is the one endangering my life, but you are opposed to cyclists, so you blame them.

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MtnWarlock 5 years, 10 months ago

bluntman= short cigar=type of "big" marijuana joint. Dude, have we been smoking too may blunts today? Chill out! LOL! Bikes rule! Especially the ones with motors! A fully suspended titanium Moots Mt bike is a nice ride as well! Have a good day!

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mombo 5 years, 10 months ago

Roads are NOT made for cars. They are made for all users including bicyclists!!!! All users of roads, cars & cycles, must obey the laws to maintain safe roadways. If the oncoming lane can't be fully seen, you can't pass, whether this is a horse, bicycle, farm vehicles, or slow cars. JUST SLOW DOWN AND WAIT UNTIL THE ROAD IS SAFE!! Bicycles are NOT to be ridden "in the ditch". They are to be ridden on the road when a bike lane is not present.

Hold your horses & slow down for a few seconds!

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madmoores 5 years, 10 months ago

"A fully suspended titanium Moots Mt bike is a nice ride as well!" IF you posses the 3-5 grand to buy it, then yes, it is a nice ride. When driving my truck, I give bikers the widest berth possible. The driver is going to go down no matter who was responsible, I will not put myself in that situation for any biker, I refuse to be penalized for a biker who does not think. When riding my bike(s), I avoid dangerous roads and places...I do not have a death wish, it is simply that simple. I am active on both sides of the fence as I ride both road and mountain, I lean towards the mountain. In my travels and my riding, I unfortunately see more rude and aggressive bikers than drivers, most drivers avoid the biker at all cost (see reason above) so I don't get this one. Some of what you drivers experience out on the road regarding biker rudeness exists on the mountain as well, which is where I have started to spend most of my time...to avoid getting killed out on the road. Overly aggressive riders(I can bomb it with the best of them but c'mon...), slow riders and newbies(if you don't know squeezing that handle thingy on the left real hard will make you fly...please go roller blading or something, stay off the mountain), no room to move over on a 24" track lined with trees, and the jerk riding your rim yelling "LEFT mother&*$%er", despite traveling at breakneck speed trying to not get run-down by this helmeted hellion riding a 50 pound bomber. The difference between the road and mountain? The lack of a 2,000 to 80,000 pound vehicle turning you into a discoloration in the asphalt. I'll take the jerk any day, I can at least try to out-run him. While out on the ever increasing rare ride on the road, I avoid groups for many reasons. I ride for fun and I prefer to be alone or with one other friend. When riding in a group, there is some sort of expectation of you and I don't really care for it. I have ridden next to some guys who ride out in the road on purpose, because they say they have a "right" to. That is when I stopped riding in a group, I have a "right" to live as well. If everyone would just calm down, breathe, relax, enjoy being away from home/work(unless you drive for a living...or live in your car), soak up a little sunshine, listen to some tunes, play nice, be patient and give everyone a little more room...all will be golden. Shuhhh, I can dream too can't I? This conflict will never end, even if the roads were 40' wide with a ten foot bike lane, some driver would be mad because the biker was 3' inside the line instead of 5', and that the pink spandex is too bright...and the biker would whine because the cars go too fast and it's too hot, and this road is bumpy and whaaaa whaaa whaaa.

Suck it up people, here's the bottom line:

"Share the road"...it's a two way street ya know.

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Matthew Stoddard 5 years, 10 months ago

mombo- Was that you on the bike, then, who cut between my car and the car 5 feet in front of me yesterday as we were working up to 20mph from a stoplight at Central Park Plaza without bothering to signal? That idiot almost ended up underneath my car. Shouldn't the bicyclist be held to the same standard: wait until traffic is safe?

And if bikes weren't made for being in the ditch, why do most bike on the road seem to be "mountain" bikes, with fat tires made for off roading?

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flotilla 5 years, 10 months ago

BUBBA THE SPEED LIMIT IS 65, and I am sure glad you were entertained. Fact is, around a corner with 3 people abreast into your lane, the guy did have to swerve to miss them since he wasn't going to just drive in my lane a mile or so before he needed to pass them. nice try though. and to the person who stated the ditches/dirt/ condition of shoulder then maybe don't ride there.

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flotilla 5 years, 10 months ago

Old_Town, you nailed it! EVERYONE that doesn't road bike is fat and watches tv all day. I have totally noticed that too! A bunch of fat@sses everywhere I look here - You know what else? They drive drunk, speed, belch at the table, and beat their kids and spouses right? If only they would all take up road biking. You should actually be happy, imagine sharing the road with EVERYONE in town at once. You know you road bikers aren't that friendly. I do lots of athletic things and don't even own a tv. I just CHOSE not to ride my bike down 131. Mainly because no matter how athletic of a body you have, you still look like a tool in the outfit. I bet you especially do - to match your lame personality.

Another story (for you Bubba- wink, wink) Back in the day when I waited tables, this group of road bikers would bike out to the restuarant, and park their bikes, come inside and... TAKE OFF THEIR SHOES (they hurt their feet) GROSS! Then, they would eat, but their shoes on, and tip like a European.

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BoatMaster 5 years, 10 months ago

colodwoodsman

Get a clue. You think that registering bicycles and licensing riders will solve traffic issues.

HA HA HA

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old_town 5 years, 10 months ago

Flotilla, it sucks being generalized and stereotyped doesn't it? I was responding to the comment about cyclist's shorts being too tight and cutting off the circulation to their brains, but I clearly struck a nerve with you. Personally, I don't care if you are athletic or fat and I'm sorry if it came across that I did care. At the end of the day I think there is consensus that cyclists need to keep right and ride with some courtesy and I will be encouraging my fellow riders to do so.

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Steamboatmom1 5 years, 10 months ago

Bluntman: It doesn't matter that gas is $4.00 a gallon. I just wish that we all could start using the road together in unity. Nobody needs to too put the other person down be it cyclist or vehicle driver. We should all be able to use the road in a friendly matter. When I first moved hear 25 years ago everyone gave each other driving courtesy. Cars would let bicyclist go through stop signs, and bicyclist would wave a car through. I remember when they would say hi to each other. What happened to those days? Now it seems to be you against me. Is there a way possible to bring that friendliness back? I sure keep hoping there is a way. Bickering about each other isn't going to solve anything, we need to come together to understand both sides of the situation in order to come to some kind of understanding that we can both live with and help each other out. I love to ride a bike just as much as the next person. Just because I can't doesn't mean I'm fat or the person fat. Let's stop throwing insults and instead find a solution. Have a beautiful day.

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80488mom 5 years, 10 months ago

Old Town - too funny! But...sorry to disappoint you....I couldn't even tell you what's on TV. Pretty much spend my evenings caring for our animals, cleaning the barn, hauling hay, water, building and repairing fences and enclosures, trimming hooves....... breathing that good old country air and getting plenty of exercise......far away from the congestion and madness of Steamboat.

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notmybus 5 years, 10 months ago

The bicycle incident at 13th street on Monday at 4:00 pm where Matthew Tello ran a red light on his bike and got hit by a pick-up truck ... "Police did not cite anyone in the crash, Capt. Joel Rae said."

and we wonder why bike riders might not be the most popular of road users.

The Police officer that worked this accident should maybe also get some days off with out pay!!!

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corduroy 5 years, 10 months ago

as a mountain biker, it sucks getting thrown into the category of "cyclist" ROADS ARE NOT PLAYGROUNDS

I can't tell you how many times I've passed riders on 131 3 abreast at least. Or the lady with her baby in the trailer behind her.. no helmets!!

I stick to the trails, because I'd rather not risk my life. Biking on the highways just isn't fun, its dangerous!

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madmoores 5 years, 10 months ago

"as a mountain biker, it sucks getting thrown into the category of "cyclist"

Amen to that.

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surelysurly 5 years, 10 months ago

I know this topic is getting to be a dead horse, but I find the anger directed at cyclists fascinating and a little hard to comprehend. My commute today - 3 pedestrians crossing in the middle of Lincoln during rush, street sweeper on 129 going 5mph, and 2 unlicensed motocross bikes on the county road I live on. 5 law breakers and 6 "dangerous" driving scenarios, but these all seem to get a pass from motorists and are held to a different standard than cyclists - I don't know why and have just accepted that cyclists will always be at the sharp end of road rage. The whole "coming around a corner and cyclist causes me to crash" argument doesn't hold any water as mentioned before. With all of the farm equipment (usually moving slower than a bike), wildlife, construction, etc. drivers should always give them selves time to avoid incidents - i.e. anticipating "blind" corners, etc. corduroy, madmoores - you drive to all the trails you ride (howelsen, spring creek, mad creek, hot springs, mt werener)? Some of the worst traffic offenses I have witnessed occur in old-town by mtn bikers and people on townies - saw 2 kids on mtn bikes and 1 townie person run stop signs today. Let's see if we can get past the generalizations and realize that everyone is an individual - there are stupid cyclists and there are stupid drivers - when the 2 get together is where the problems occur (notice that it is the 2...)

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old_town 5 years, 10 months ago

armchairqb, if we are going to start gambling on here, my money says you will be in a horrific car accident thanks to the negligence of a drunk driver/someone high on meth or high school student talking on their cell phone with friends in the back before you hit a cyclists. People slowing down in their cars, ha! I challenge all of you to go stand on the side of a road for 5 minutes and just watch the cars drive by, it will rock your world. You think cyclists are the danger, count how many people are drinking beers, count how many are over the speed limit, usually way over, count how many are doing something other than driving(maybe even you). Seriously though, stand on the side of CR36 and watch the cyclists and watch the cars, its interesting.

I have been riding in town for a while now, following laws and being courteous and it seems that those motorists who harass cyclists/buzz them/throw trash at them have a point to prove, it does not matter what road you are on or how fast you are going, or how tight your clothing is. Hundreds of cars will pass you with no problems and then every couple of weeks there is that one person looking for someone to attack.

If it is a question of laws being broken, and you are always going to be able to find those idiots on bikes that are flagrant, than the police should enforce it like any other laws on the books. If you just don't like being inconvenienced, stop hiding behind the safety & a cyclist is going to get killed argument, because I doubt you really care.

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MtnWarlock 5 years, 10 months ago

In a day and age where population in Steamboat has increased along with visitors, I believe it is important to keep your cool when driving or riding. You never know when the guy or gal on the bike or in the car you flip off in anger will be your doctor, judge, lawyer, teacher, neighbor or minister that you offend! It's a small town! It's tough! Enough of the whining already! Have a good day!

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corduroy 5 years, 10 months ago

its unfortunate that I do indeed need to drive into town still.. Steamboat is too expensive so I own a place out of town.

Sorry that 20 miles of County Roads with no shoulders then a 65 MPH highway just doesn't seem to be a safe commute for me and my dog.

When I did live in town, I biked and walked everywhere.. we really really need a shuttle for South Routt!

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armchairqb 5 years, 10 months ago

Hey can someone pass the prosec some of these people are on?Why can't we all just slow down and get along? There used to be a name for you types when I was growing up--Little miss goody-two shoes_-and you would get beat up by the big kids if you didn't stop complaining. There is and old saying that fits perfectly in this discussion and it goes like this "You may be dead right when you have the right of way and you'll still be dead." My money's on the motorized vehicle winning everytime.

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colowoodsman 5 years, 10 months ago

The reason cyclists are singled out is because of their blatant and flagrant breaking of the law and disrespect for motorists and pedestrians. Cyclists are often moving so fast in town it is somtimes impossible to anticipate what they are going to do. Out of town they move so slow going up hills that they create serious hazards for motorists. Yesterday I witnessed 3 cyclists riding on the WRONG side of the road, 1 blow a stop sign and a famially of 5 riding on the sidewalk. Driving is a PRIVILEGE, not a right. If cyclists were serious about solving some of these problems they would support registering bicycles and licencing riders!

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surelysurly 5 years, 10 months ago

colowoodsman - I feel you are so used to the daily law breaking by your fellow drivers that it doesn't even register. Next time you go for a drive, you note ALL of the laws broken by all road users, including speeding, incomplete stops, turning left after the light has turned red, unregistered motorcycles, atv's, unlicensed farm and construction equipment, etc. There is plenty of "blatant and flagrant" breaking of the law going on, you are just choosing who to observe and call it out on. Also, again for consistency and equity, we would also need to support registering all horses, equestrians, ranchers, ranch equipment, and licensing and registering all pedestrians...

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colowoodsman 5 years, 10 months ago

ss & BM, FYI I had one of the first 10 speed bikes in Routt Co. in the early '70s and quit riding it then because I deemed it too risky. I would venture that traffic has increased 10 fold since then. I now drive aproximately 20,000 mi. a year (90% in Routt Co.) and have been doing so for the past 20 years. My work takes me all over the county. I am well aware of all the hazards of driving here from 'black ice' to livestock on the highway and none of them cause me as much concern as the irresponsible cycilists. As it now stands cyclists know very well that there is little chance they will be caught and prosecuted for breaking the law. If they were made to wear shirts with a license plate number on the back they could be held accountable for their infractions. I do have a "clue" and I realize this would not solve all traffic issues but it would definitly be a step in the right direction. The comment that all road users should be registered shows how immature and anal you are. Your attitude seems to be 'since everyone else breaks the law- why shouldn't we'.

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surelysurly 5 years, 10 months ago

I guess I still don't get it. My attitude is not 'since everyone else breaks the law - why shouldn't we.' I would just like an explanation for why you feel that, as you said, everyone else breaks the law, but we're just going to "moniter" the cyclists. I am not sure why I am being immature and anal for calling it what it is - other "non-motorized" users are breaking the law as well, yet you beleive that only cyclists should have to "register" and be made accountable. Logically, I feel that I have a better argument that you are more immature and anal than I am. Trust me, I get it that many people hate cyclists, I just don't get why none of them are applying the same rules they cite in their arguments against cyclists to other "non-motorized" users, or even motorists themselves. (Example - the speeding that occurs on the county road I live on that is NEVER patrolled, which fits your argument that "there is lttle chance they will get caught and prosecuted for breaking the law."

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colowoodsman 5 years, 10 months ago

ss, you are right-you just don't get it. Most people don't hate cyclists, they hate their behavior on public roads. Motorists that pay the bulk of building and maintaining public roads have to be registered and licensed. Driving is a privelege not a right. Why shouldn't cyclists that are the cause of so much controversy be held to the same standard?

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rsssco 5 years, 10 months ago

colowoodsman Week in and week out your comments are the most uninformed and dimwitted on every subject you address. But at least your consistently stupid.

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surelysurly 5 years, 10 months ago

colowoodsman - you still have not addressed why only cyclists? Still missing my point -which is that there are plenty of other groups of road users that have poor behaviour on roads, but are given a pass for whatever reason.

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Ilike2dv8 5 years, 10 months ago

There are some seriously angry people here. You all live in an amazing place with a wonderful 4 season climate and a beautiful valley. RELAX and try to enjoy where you live...

The rising gas prices are causing more folks to choose alternative forms of transportation (which is a great thing) and the influx of people who desire to share in our wonderful part of the world are putting pressures on our roadways, schools, restaurants, etc... This is not going to change so why not simply slow down a little and show some tolerance.

I've lately been frustrated with both drivers and bicyclers, who have been waiting to make a left hand turn at a red light, jump at the green to cut in front of oncoming traffic. This is truly taking your life as well as others into your own hands... I realize these people may have been waiting for a while because of the amount of traffic but don't cause an accident over a minute or two wait... are you kidding me???

In the end, we live in a GREAT place that attracts many types of people from those who seek a rural lifestyle to those who love to recreate (often one in the same). In my mind that's one of the things that makes the Yampa Valley so special. It's not that hard to resolve the issue... slow down a little, relax and lose the overly righteous attitudes on both sides.

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nxoby36 5 years, 9 months ago

Every auto has to be licensed and the owner pays a tax to maintain the roads, every operator of an auto has to pass an exam to obtain a driver license . It is about time to license and tax the bicycle and require the riders to pass an exam to obtain a license complete with a point system where by the right to operate a bicycle upon our road system could be revoked ( not very many of the riders in this county seem to know nor obey the rules of the road and it is about time given the amount of bicycles there are that they be treated in an equal manner that all other users of the road are ) . Once this is done the police , sheriff and state patrol officers will be able to enforce the law by issuing tickets to the riders who endanger themselves and all others operating vehicles upon our road system . Only after this is done should bicycle riders have any say in how the roads are marked and maintained . I am tired of trying to avoid being involved in an accident the stupid antics that the bicycle riders in our community do on a daily basis . They seem intent upon causing accidents by running stop signs , traffic lights and the failing to comply with the basic rules of the road . Until they are licensed , taxed and held accountable for their sloppy and unsafe presence upon our road system maybe they ( bicycles and their riders ) need to be relegated to a closed bike path system where they will only be a hazard to other riders and their child like actions .

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BoatMaster 5 years, 9 months ago

nxoby36

Your idea I believe is ridiculas.

Do you think all bike riders do not own a auto and pay the tax you mention?? I would guess that about 90% of the bike riders also have a auto.

Therefore bicycle riders do have a say in how the roads are used.

As for you system of allowing the police to ticket bike riders that already exists. Bike riders have to obey the same laws as motorists so if they break the law they can be ticketed. It is the decision of the police officer to ticket or not.

This weekend I saw over 5 autos run red lights. What do you have to say about this?? The police did not ticket them either so don't think bike riders have more infractions and get away with more than car drivers because that is not the case.

You should just learn to share the road and everything will be fine.

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Russell Orms 5 years, 9 months ago

I am both biker and driver and each share responsibility to be safe and obey traffic laws. We have all seen bikers riding 2-3 abreast, failing to stop at stop signs, advancing to the right of stopped cars at a light (and then making a left turn) etc. We have all also seen drivers who go way too fast, don't pay attention, talk on cell phone, don't stop or roll stop at stop signs etc. I don't think we can legislate responsibility so the best we can hope for is education and law enforcement. By the way my personal pet peeve is bicycles on 129. There is no shoulder at all and riding on that road is dangerous and irresponsible. I have seen many times a rider, cement truck, and an RV pulling a boat meet on a short corner. That is dangerous to everyone and I place blame on the biker. While they have the same rights as drivers, I think choosing to ride on that type of road is irresponsible and dangerous. Steamboat has done a terrible job of creating bike paths and road shoulders designated as bike paths. The Core Trail is very nice but wholly inadequate for our size of city. We should look to other cities around Colorado and Utah (google St. George, Ut bike paths) to see examples of cities that are truly bike friendly.

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Steamboatmom1 5 years, 9 months ago

I agree that it's not just the bicyclists that are the problem this is everyone problem, I see it all the time. I especially see it on my way home from work in the afternoon. We all need to slow down. I live on the outside of town because I can't afford to live in town therefore, I to have a commute back and forth. I see the Bicyclists and the motorists who both are idiot drivers. We all need to work together as a team. Help each other out and we should hopefully see a change. The times are not getting any better economically and I do believe we will start seeing more an more alternative transportation happening and we are ALL going to have to adjust to the inflow of different traffic. In order for it to work we are all going to have to obey the law better, and be more courteous to each other! It's time to put down the sword and put up the hand shake and say let's work this out so we all can use the road. I'm sure allot of the bicyclist also own vehicles therefore they are paying taxes on these roads they just opt to use a different form of transportation for health and the economy. I am just as frustrated as the next person but when will we all start to work this out instead of bickering at each other? Why not have a community meeting with a mediator to help out and work over all the pro's and con's and then, maybe we can come to some kind of an agreement that we can all live together in. For this issue will always be here, how we deal with it will determine how we all will get along. Have a fantastic day!

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StbtWatchmen 5 years, 9 months ago

Coloradowoodsy, I think 9 out f 10 bicyclists own cars and pay road and use taxes. They just elect to use the road in a different fashion than others some days! I like to bike when I can but, I bike smart. I don't ride down Lincoln Ave. between 3rd and 10th streets and I respect motor vehicles and the rules. Lead by example! I ride motor cycles too. Maybe a bike tax with licensing would insure more bike lanes and better defined laws for bikes, without all the vague verbiage! No matter what you do, no matter where you go, there will always be something to gripe about if you want to. C-ya!

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