Matt Hall rides down a busy Lincoln Avenue in downtown Steamboat Springs on Friday afternoon, pulling his 3 1/2-year-old son, Will.

Photo by Joel Reichenberger

Matt Hall rides down a busy Lincoln Avenue in downtown Steamboat Springs on Friday afternoon, pulling his 3 1/2-year-old son, Will.

Learning the rules of the road in Steamboat

Learning bicycling laws can help curb problems in town

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Basic bicycling law

■ Ride single file when riding two abreast impedes traffic. Don’t ride more than two wide.

■ Obey all traffic laws such as stoplights and stop signs.

■ If impeding traffic, stay in the far right lane, or on the shoulder if it is paved.

■ Signal turns. Start 100 feet before the turn and turn left by sticking the left arm out, or right by sticking the left arm out and bending the arm upward at the elbow, or by simply sticking the right arm out.

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Riders signal a turn while riding in downtown Steamboat Springs.

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Shane, 3, savors a taste of gelato from his dad, Garett Mariano, on Friday. The pair took a break from a Steamboat Springs bike ride for a little treat at Ciao Gelato in downtown Steamboat.

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Bikes fill the racks outside Sunpies Bistro in Steamboat Springs on Friday afternoon. Biking is a popular way around town in summer, but there's a right way to do it and a wrong way.

— A warm sun towered over Steamboat Springs on Friday afternoon, and it seemed to beckon bicycles by the thousands.

They crowded the few dry trails on the city’s most popular riding spot, Emerald Mountain.

They streamed into the city’s downtown district, truly bustling with the sounds of tourism for the first time this summer. They scurried up and down the sporadic open sections of the Yampa River Core Trail and they packed the racks in front of happy-hour hot spots.

Cycling season was in full force Friday afternoon in Steamboat Springs, which, according to local biking proponents, makes this the perfect time to review the laws associated with road riding to help smooth the always semi-contentious encounter between vehicles of the two-wheel variety and those of the four-wheel variety.

Common sense

Barkley Robinson said he logs thousands of miles every summer, and plenty come on his road bike. All those miles, and he said he’s never had a close or scary encounter on a road.

His advice for staying safe on the highway starts with one simple rule.

“Be predictable. A lot of times cars don’t know how to react around cyclists either, so just riding responsibly and being predictable helps cars deal with those situations.

“Using common sense and not doing anything that seems out of line, just trying to share the road, really helps.”

Highway hubbub

Routt County Riders President Michael Loomis said bike laws become a hot topic every spring as conflicts, unheard of in winter months, rack up.

The most common issue, he said, is road cyclists riding on highways, often side-by-side, or two abreast.

“The trails aren’t open yet, and a large number of people are on the roads riding,” he said. “For drivers, that’s the thing that drives them up the wall the most, people riding two abreast.”

The actual Colorado law doesn’t help clear the issue up extraordinary well, as it’s both legal and illegal to ride two abreast.

Title 42, article 4, part 1412, Section 6A says, “persons operating bicycles on roadways shall ride single file; except that riding no more than two abreast is permitted” when it doesn’t impede normal and reasonable movement of traffic, or when riding on paths or parts of roadways set aside for bicycles.

So, riders can be two abreast on local roadways, essentially until a vehicle tries to pass.

“If a car comes up, move over and let them go by,” Loomis said. “A lot of drivers think you’re never supposed to ride two abreast, but that’s not true either.”

Downtown danger

Nowhere in Steamboat are bikes more prevalent on roads than downtown. Unfortunately, it’s not the easiest place to ride a bike.

“On Lincoln Avenue, it’s tight,” Robinson said. “It’s very tight, and you’re dealing with parked cars with doors opening. It’s a tough road to ride on.”

Robinson said Yampa and Oak streets, which run parallel to Lincoln one block on either side, can provide better options for many riders. Oak Street is one of two in town that has a marked-off biking lane. Yampa, meanwhile, is bordered by the Core Trail for much of its length, and is generally not nearly as busy as Lincoln.

Riders don’t have to take those roads, however, and given that the downtown speed limit is 25 miles per hour, many choose not to and instead try to keep up with traffic.

“I’m moving as fast as cars can go down there,” Loomis said. “I’m not impeding anyone. I have a right to be on the road if I’m not impeding anyone or breaking any laws.”

Not breaking any laws includes stopping at all stop signs and stoplights, like any vehicle, and not dashing up on a sidewalk, across a crosswalk and back to the street to skip a line or a red light.

Know the signs

Following the rules of the road also means signaling turns.

It’s not complicated.

A left turn is signaled by sticking an arm straight out to the left, essentially pointing out the turn.

A right turn is signaled by either sticking the left arm out and bending it upward 90 degrees at the elbow, or by sticking the right arm out and again pointing out the turn.

According to the law, a “signal of intention to turn right or left when required shall be given continuously during not less than 100 feet traveled by the bicycle before turning,” so, stick those arms out.

Moving over for drivers on a highway, stopping at stoplights and signaling turns might seem like small things, but bikers say they can make a big difference.

“Respect is earned. If you’re going to earn respect, you have to show respect,” Loomis said. “Follow the laws. Ride in the lane you’re supposed to be in. If you want to be respected by motorists, you have to show respect for the laws.”

To reach Joel Reichenberger, call 970-871-4253 or e-mail jreichenberger@SteamboatToday.com

Comments

stillinsteamboat 3 years, 2 months ago

As a parent who enjoys biking with my children may I point out that if you ride on Lincoln Ave. You are not only endangering yourself but the small child you are towing behind you while people zoom past you.

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exduffer 3 years, 2 months ago

I thought non licensed vehicles were not allowed on US 40 through downtown SS.

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peanutbutter 3 years, 2 months ago

By law I have to have my child in a car seat in a crash tested vehicle. How can people get away with putting their kid in a bike trailer and ride down a Hwy? 25 mph or not-that should be child endagerment. Or logic. WOW!!!!

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sledneck 3 years, 2 months ago

You nailed it peanutbutter. Same logic as me having to wear a seatbelt in a dumptruck while a guy and gal can blow past me on a motorcycle with nothing more than shorts and sunglasses.

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1999 3 years, 2 months ago

i guess I should change my last reply to

"that guy is truly ignorant to the danger he is putting himsef and his child in. I would be tempted to call the cops and scream child abuse if I saw this. I really can not believe someone would do this with a child"

WOW

sorry for calling him an idiot.

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Jason Miller 3 years, 2 months ago

I think you people need to mind your own business.

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1999 3 years, 2 months ago

jester...this guy is a danger to EVERYONE who uses the roads.

he's putting his child in REAL danger.

that is my business.

read the aboves about having to BY LAW ...have your child in a child seat when in a car...but this guy is stupid enough to wheel his child down lincoln?

I'm sure if he was hit he would blame someone else.

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peanutbutter 3 years, 2 months ago

1999- I agree. Fenderbenders happen daily on Lincoln ave. A "fenderbender" with this bike w/ kid would end in serious injuries or fatal. Then jail time and a life time of guilt to the driver. Is it all worth it? Nope. It's called logic and love.

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mtroach 3 years, 2 months ago

1999, sledneck, pnut butter, Do you also blame rape victims for being attractive to sexual predators? The Dad in the pic has every right to use the road, however he saw fit. The headstrong drivers in this community need to learn that roads have other users that may not be able to go 5 mph over the speed limit like everyone seems to drive in this town. Learn to share the road, and be patient with all slow moving road users. Stop bulling citizens with your aggressive driving, and forum comments and everyone will live in a safer community.

The reason riding is dangerous downtown is speeding, aggressive automobile drivers and bad lane design. Jail time and abuse charges should be filed for the C-DOT engineers that built this road without any regard for cyclist traffic, and for our city staff that didn't demand adding a bike lane to the $20million downtown repaving.

I will once again call for law enforcement in this town to step up and start enforcing our traffic laws, to both cyclists and motorists. Pull over speeders, and tailgaters! Pull over cyclists that are running stop signs! Make our roads safe by enforcing laws!

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S_G30 3 years, 2 months ago

mtroach, that is a rediculous argument comparing putting your child into an alluminum trailer and pulling the child through downtown to a rape victim. Common sense says that this is a bad idea. I mean seriously, use the bike path.It doesn't matter if you enforce the laws, things always happen and to put your child into that situation is not smart.

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sledneck 3 years, 2 months ago

How about my "right" to leave my kid in a hot car? Do I have a "right" to drive a race-car with my kid in it?

If you guys think that a so-called "right" (which needs to be debated) keeps the kid from gettin squashed you are insane.

A "Right" is something that all men share in-common. Therefore, you only posses "Rights" which do not require anything from anyone else. Since carrying a child into traffic forces him/her to be at demonstrable and serious risk without their consent, your "right" to do so might be questioned. My "right" to leave my kid in a car or with a pedophile babysitter may exist but it does not mean I should excercise that right, nor should I be surprised when such judgement is questioned.

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Bill Dalzell 3 years, 2 months ago

Classic that sled and 1999 feel that no one can tell them what is right or wrong when it comes to weed or any other issue, but feel the right to police everyone else. You guys are a couple of hypocrites. Yes there are better places to ride, but no, it is not that crazy that they are cruising down Lincoln. If you really think it is that dangerous you need to get out of the house a bit more. Secondly, I bet Matt is a hell of a lot of a better parent than you two, or for that matter probably than almost everyone on this forum. What a bunch of opinionated haters. And no sled, it is not insane, or like keeping a kid in a hot car. Weak analogy. No peanut butter, fender bender do not happen daily in the downtown area. Get a grip people and like jester said, mind your own business.

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housepoor 3 years, 2 months ago

closing Lincoln to bikes between 3rd and 12th seems reasonable and safer with proper signage and dedicated well marked bike lanes on yampa and oak

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sledneck 3 years, 2 months ago

I have to admit my position here does sound hypocritical but I think there is a difference between a person putting themselves in danger vs a child.

Slow day at the office and my curiosity compelled me to look for some NHTSA stats.

There were more than 630 bicyclists killed on the nations roadways in 2009 according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Thats 2% of all fatalities on the roadways and that percentage is slowly rising since 2002. Worse still, more than 28% of those cyclists killed showed alcohol in blood and 24% were downright DRUNK with a BAC of .08% or higher. There were 51,000 cyclists injuried of which, 17% or 8,000 were kids under 14.

70% of the fatalities occurred in urban areas (like downtown steamboat??) The fatality rate is 7 times higher for males than females and the injury rate 4 times higher. Colorado had the 18th highest number of fatalities nationwide. Florida was #1. Those kinds of stats belie the notion that bikes are safe. Almost any cop will tell you the most dangerous place you can be on the road is where cyclists are and many cops have started approaching pulled vehicles from the passenger side for a reason.

I think there are several reasons why some people don't want cyclists on the road. First, despite claims to the contrary, cyclists pay nothing for the privilidge. I know some say that they have a car and that is registered, bla, bla, bla. That would be the same as me arguing that I registered my jeep so I shouldn't have to register my motorcycle. Second, they have not demonstrated any necessary skills or education for what they are doing; and frankly many have demonstrated an appalling LACK thereof. Third, I know some will argue that bikes save gas and that's a good thing (and it is) but that also allows bikers to "skip" the gas tax which is supposedly collected for roadway construction and maintenance. I know bikes don't hurt the road but thats only half the point; even if cars didnt hurt the road either there would still be the matter of the initial cost of construction. Since bicyclists didn't pay for the road a lot of people don't think they should have to be inconvenianced by them. If bikers want to change that perception lay down some cash. Fourth, vehicles wear license plates for the purpose of identification. This readily identifiable plate number keeps many drivers from doing things they may otherwise wish. Ditto for bikes. They constantly ignore the rules of the road in no small part, because of anonimity. This needs to change. Finally, speaking only for myself, I am VERY VERY scared that I might hit one and I not only do not want to injure anyone but definitely don't want that on my conscience.

Bikes have to be registered and tagged and their operators must demonstrate satisfactory skills through testing and they need to start obeying the rules of the road in a meaningful way before they are going to get the respect they want from many motorists.

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bandmama 3 years, 2 months ago

yes, housepoor...yes. Do I have the right to ride a bike on Lincoln with my child in tow? Yes. I am STUPID enough to take my precious child along a more dangerous route when safer routes are there, ahhh, no.. Am I stupid enough to take for granted that beause it is my "right" to do so I WOULD? Ahhh, no. And, mtroach and others, I am in the slow moving vehicle on Lincoln that others honk at and flip off because I AM trying to watch out for the bikes, and impeding motor vehicle traffic. It comes down to common sense and safety. it has very little to do with who pays what to whom and my "right". It has to do with how much that little one means to me and what it would do to me if that baby was injured or worse killed beause I was making a point of my "rights". I am MORE than willing to travel off the beaten path to keep my baby safe. No one has brought up what charges would be brought against ME if something happened to said child because of my careless thoughtless choice to put my child in danger. If I let a three yr old swim in a two inch blow up pool unattended and he/she drowned, I would be held accountable. Same concept, but this "pool" is made of asphalt. Use your brain, and dont put your child in danger when a safer route is provided for you. Oh yeah, my "baby" is an adult...just making a point.

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bandmama 3 years, 2 months ago

One more thought, if there is someplace you really would like to visit on Lincoln? Take the safer route, park your bike in one of the many areas provided, and here's the kicker, actually PICK UP your child and walk a block. Take time to have actually HOLD the childs hand and talk to them or point out something interesting. You may be surprised at the results later on. Sticking them in a tow package does NOT always mean quality time. Letting a child walk may give them the chance to experience a little exercise. Again, just saying....

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bandmama 3 years, 2 months ago

yvb- while appreciate the kuddo's of child welfare, you are missing the point. A bit!!! but not by much, dont be angry with my comments. Everyone has the "right" to bike, drive or even walk on Lincoln. I have also seen them blowing through red lights, making turns and merging not so safely, into traffic. My point is that while they have every "right" to put themselves in a dangerous path, they do NOT have the right to expect everyone else to "watch out for the cargo" they have. If I am sitting at a light, they fail to realize I have a blind spot, who is at "fault", not that it would matter to ME if I kill a child because I didn't see the tow package. Being on Lincoln (ahhh, DAHHHH HWY 40, NOT all locals) we sometimes really can not SEE the little tow package when they pull up, NOT beind me, or in FRONT of me but BESIDE me because they 'have room" and as a driver, operator of a motor vehicle, I judge distance in terms of a CAR, TRUCK ect. And yes!!! I have TWICE on 10 years misjudged that distance and could have potentially hurt or killed a child, only by the grace of something did I NOT hit them. I simply dont see the point in putting myself or my child at risk for the simple "right" of being on Lincoln, that is why in my opinion that the bike lanes on Oak were made, for safety. For pete's sake make some flags, TALL ones, Ring a bell, or something! Lincoln is a state highway, NOT a bike path, Make your presence better known, as I said before, I AM the little old lady driver,(in habits only, I am ever so freaking hot for my age...HA HA HA) and do everything I can to watch for things like bikers with babies, but for petes sake, PLEASE put yourself in MY seat. On a state highway as traveled and busy as LINCOLN in SSprings use some common sense!!! Those tow packages dont show up in my mirrors by my back bumper when I look in the mirrors, I CAN NOT see them, all I see is a bike, and yes I use ALL of my mirrors, and look, but when I do so, I am NOT looking FORWARD, I spend my time looking BACK, and it puts ME in the position of maybe hitting the car IN FRONT of me changing lanes who IS NOT looking back. It is NOT about the "right" to use any road, but about keeping everyone safe, and yes! I agree that when a cop sees a bike rider impeding traffic, or NOT signaling, hold them accountable, not to be Aholes, but to point out that to share the road means sharing the legal, acceptable laws of said road. If you are going to ride on it, then you HAVE to abide by the same rules I have to when driving a car.

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mtroach 3 years, 2 months ago

sled, Bulling and Fear mongering is all you got.

Posting all over this forum against government rules and laws, all except for cyclists, who deserve more government attention and rules. Your made up, "Tea Party" style scare tactic of quoting stat's regarding cycling's dangers is all hype and fear mongering. Deaths are rising because more people are riding, thus more potential for tragic events.DUH What a shock it is to hear that riding a bike drunk can get you killed. DUH. What a shock that men get killed more than women.DUH Florida #1 in cycling deaths could be related to an aged drivers, who should be off the road. 70% happened in urban areas, hmmm where are there more people, on Lincoln or RCR33? Duh

You are "VERY VERY" scared you might hit and hurt a cyclist, that statement alone means you are not in control, and aware of your vehicle and you should be taken off the road, same for Bandmama,and yvb, and everyone else that cannot drive a automobile without hitting things or showing common courtesy by moving over in your lane to help keep the road safe for others. Get a smaller car or off the road if you can't drive what you got without endangering other road users.

I will say again that I agree with increased licensing standards for ALL ROAD USERS.

Special licenses for anyone towing a trailer, operating a vehicle larger than a pickup, motorcycles, and bicyclists. Require EVERYONE to retest every 5 years to prove that they know the current laws of the road, and are physically able to operate a vehicle. Enforce our current laws and take away the privilege of driving from those that get too many speeding tickets, run red lights and keep breaking the laws established to keep our roads safe. Zero tolerance for DUI's and drivers that get too many points on their record. Go one step further and remove the "right" to own a automobile if you can't drive within our established laws. After a few years of serious enforcement, bad drivers will learn their lesson or will be removed from our roads.

I'm not worried about keeping my privilege to operate an automobile, I've got 30+years of good driving, and I'm sick of sharing the road with convicted drunks, tailgaters, speeders, and those that do not respect other road users.

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jk 3 years, 2 months ago

Ahh typical roach, points out how drivers in vehicles going 5 mph over the speed limit are a hazard, yet fails to admit that cyclists going 10 to 30 mph under the speed limit, on narrow winding county roads, are a hazard to themselves as well as motorists. He states we should just move over and share the road, even though the cyclist is creating the hazard and putting not only himself but everyone at risk. I share the other posters concerns regarding this issue. If it comes to a blind corner and going 3 wide I feel the cyclist will loose every time, and that would weigh on my conscience if I was involved. Would it weigh on yours roach if you were the cyclist that caused a head on accident resulting in the injuries of others? Or would it just be their fault??

I too have a clean driving record over the past 30 years and share your concerns about the road users you highlighted. I would also like to add cyclists riding 2/4 wide on county roads while traveling 15 to 20 mph under the posted speed, cyclists running stop signs, red lights and treating other road and path users with no respect.

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Clearsky 3 years, 2 months ago

Paradigm: Only cars or trucks belong on the road.

"A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents will eventually die, and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it" Max Planck.

Cruel hateful people will eventually die out to be replaced by smarter, helpful, altruistic people. Unless destroyed by the cruel selfish people.

Public easements are necessary regardless of how traveled. No bikes are allowed on the sidewalk along Main Street. Asking bikers to go somewhere else is like asking cars and trucks to go somewhere else.

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dave reynolds 3 years, 2 months ago

two weeks ago I observed a woman with a child carrier behind her bike blow threw both the four way stop at third and oak and the stop light at third and lincoln if I or someone esle would have hit her and God forbid one or both of them were injured who do you think would have been sued and or ticketed surely not the biker I do share the road cause its the right and safe thing to do..that should work both ways but unfortunately it doesn't

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Clearsky 3 years, 2 months ago

Every day I see people driving cars that could cause deadly accidents, in fact, there are so many bad drivers that continue driving despite having accidents and these people are still allowed to drive. Once I saw a someone on a bicycle go really fast. Once I saw a runner run through a stop sign without stopping and looking both ways. Once I saw a child run into the street. Once I saw an animal run into the street. Once I saw a person walking through a stop sign intersection without stopping. Do you see how silly your comments really are? It is not a right to drive an automobile. It is a right to use public easements. Please refer to my previous comment to understand how our culture can eventually change.

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Clearsky 3 years, 2 months ago

Rule of the road-if you see a person walking or riding, thank that person for making the best choice for our future. Do the right thing!

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Scott Wedel 3 years, 2 months ago

Wow, this Bike Town USA Initiative is sure bringing in the tourists. I saw them riding to town in droves today. We are now such a successful bike tourism town that apparently we lack lodging to hold all of them and a bunch of them are being forced to camp at the high school.

So apparently, the Bike Town USA Initiative is attracting cyclists like it's supporters promised. If this keeps us day after day for the whole summer then we will have the most successful summer ever and it will be all due to the Bike Town USA Initiative and bicycling will sure set the tone for summer tourism.

Oh wait, I am being told this not an organic gathering of cyclists, but a planned event called Ride the Rockies. And the cyclists will all be leaving in a couple of days. So apparently in a few days we can safely save money dropping this Bike Town USA Initiative without insulting thousands of tourists.

For the record, I am all for doing things to make bicycling safer and more convenient in Steamboat, I am just against focusing on marketing instead of focusing on tangible actions.

Well, seems to me that if about 630 cyclists were killed in 2010 and over 30,000 were killed in automotive crashes then the obvious conclusion is that cycling is far safer than driving so maybe vehicles should be banned and everyone forced to bicycle. In my defense that is just as dumb as what others posted above.

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sledneck 3 years, 2 months ago

Once I saw a hurricane. Once I saw the temperature rise. Once the tide was high. Once it was hard to find a polar bear. Once a factory polluted. Once some oil spilled.

Yeah Bigfoot, I see!

Mtroach, You are upset with the FACTS, not with me. But YOUR hate makes you lash out at me. I forgive you. You hate me because, in your world full of compromise, some men don't.

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sledneck 3 years, 2 months ago

Bigfoot, You seem delusional.

I am ammused by the leftist notion of "rights". They seem never accompanied by a check made out to those who make your imagined "rights" possible. I guess you also imagine you have a right to make slaves of those who work to provide your "rights"??? You know... the guy who paves the right of way, those who purchase it, those who plow the snow off it, etc.

I am curious... In your world of "rights" who do those guys see to get a check for their labor in providing these "rights" to you???

Just beat your chest and proclaim your "right" and, poof, like magic you have a "right"? BULL.

You only have a right to that which costs your fellow man NOTHING. If the easement cost someone money or time or labor then you have no "right" to it.

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JJ Southard 3 years, 2 months ago

Once, while sitting in bumper-to-bumper construction traffic downtown, I decided to turn right at All That Jazz. A cyclist decided it was cool to ride between the cars that were stopped in traffic and the parked cars (this is where you cyclists think you can ride, right?). Well, he proceed to deflect himself and his bike off my rear quarter panel and he ate it. He was ok. Dented my car. Now, I talked to the guy...told him he was in the wrong and that was not even a bicycle lane. I was on my lunch break and didn't have time to chat it up with the guy. I drove down River Rd. I called the police station to ask who was in the wrong. The officer I spoke to said the cyclist was in the wrong because THERE IS NO BICYCLE LANE THROUGH DOWNTOWN ON HWY 40. Cyclists are suppose to use Oak or Yampa to get thru downtown. PERIOD.

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mtroach 3 years, 2 months ago

Sled, I don't hate facts, just those that quote facts that suit their argument, but don't represent the real dangers on our roads.

Here's some facts I found;

"The majority of persons killed or injured in traffic crashes were drivers (63 percent), followed by passengers (28 percent), motorcycle riders (4 percent), pedestrians (3 percent), and pedalcyclists (2 percent).

Per 100,000 population, persons 21 to 24 years old had the highest fatality rate, and persons 16 to 20 years old had the highest injury rate. Children 5 to 9 years old had the lowest fatality rate, and children under 5 years old had the lowest injury rate per 100,000 population.

For every age group, the fatality rate per 100,000 population was lower for females than for males. The injury rate based on population was higher for females than for males in every age group, except for people over 74 years old.

Of the persons who were killed in traffic crashes in 2009, 32 percent died in alcohol-impaired driving crashes

Midnight to 3 a.m. on Saturdays and Sundays proved to be the deadliest 3-hour periods throughout 2009, with 1,024 and 1,072 fatal crashes, respectively

Nearly one-half of all fatal crashes in 2009 occurred on roads with posted speed limits of 55 mph or more, as compared with 23 percent of injury crashes and 23 percent of property-damage-only crashes.

Thirty-two percent of all fatal crashes involved alcohol-impaired driving, where the highest blood alcohol concentration (BAC) among drivers involved in the crash was .08 grams per deciliter (g/dL) or higher. For fatal crashes occurring from midnight to 3 a.m., 66 percent involved alcohol-impaired driving.

Compared with other vehicle types, utility vehicles experienced the highest rollover rates in fatal crashes (32.3 percent) and in injury crashes (9.3 percent). Pickup trucks experienced the highest rollover rate in property-damage-only crashes (2.3 percent)."

So you can see that Speed, and Drunk driving is what's killing people on our roads. Late night driving seems to be dangerous as well. 16-24 year old drivers hurt and kill themselves on the road more than anyone. Children under 5 are safest due to child seat requirements. Pedalcyclists were the least killed on our roads at 2%. That means your safest means of travel is by bike!! Women are safer than men on the roads. Utility vehicles and pickups are the most dangerous to drive.

So let's ban men from driving, close the roads on weekends from midnight to 3am, get increased standards and training for drivers of Utility vehicles and pickups, require better training for young drivers, and absolutely remove any driver caught driving under the influence from our roads forever.

Then our roads will be much safer!

These Facts came from the NHTSA; http://www.nhtsa.gov/ http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/Pubs/811402EE.pdf

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Scott Wedel 3 years, 2 months ago

JJ, That cyclist was in the wrong not because he was on Lincoln, but because being hit in the rear panel by either a cyclist or a car means the other person was following too close and failed to give you room.

Situation would have been no different on Yampa.

A bike lane is treated like another vehicle lane which a car cannot enter unless it is safe.

The whole bike hater thread is pretty ridiculous because having some people on bikes means few people in cars and is an easy and cheap way to reduction traffic congestion.

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heboprotagonist 3 years, 2 months ago

Ah- man, have I missed out on some good conversation.

A couple of points. Cyclists might have every "right" to the road according to Colorado law, but that doesn't mean that those roads were designed with that activity in mind. Cyclists should keep in mind the limitations of vehicle drivers, most of us are unaware of your "rights". Our ignorance might not be a valid excuse, but your acknowledgement of our limitations would go a long way in reducing the tension. The "holier-than-thou" attitude is what turns most of us against you. You might have the law on your side, but nobody likes a punk.

All the stats and figures presented on both sides are completely subjective. Statistics on the whole are incapable of critical analysis. When I see stats and links to stats I don't even bother.

Lastly, just because it's a "healthier" or "cheaper and easier" mode of transportation, doesn't mean it's better. It just makes it different and for some- unfamiliar. We're all scared of the unfamiliar.

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Michael Loomis 3 years, 2 months ago

JJ, a quick look in your right side mirror would have avoided the collision. This is taught in driving schools, and a failure to check mirrors in the approach to a turn would result in a point off in a Colorado road test for passenger or commercial vehicles. The fact is that, in absence of a designated bike lane (of which Steamboat has two, Oak St. and a portion of 7th St.) the cyclist shares the travel lane with vehicles, riding as far right as is safe (a judgement call for the cyclist). We are assuming you signalled the right turn, which should have given the cyclist some warning. It may not be prudent, but neither is it illegal for the cyclist to ride between stopped vehicular traffic and parked vehicles on a city street.

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Jeff_Kibler 3 years, 2 months ago

Weren't we taught defensive driving in driver's ED? Why not for cycling? I learned defensive cycling from the school of hard knocks, having been R-U-N-N-O-F-T the road many times. The offenders ranged from F-150s to Peterbuilts, though there were a few Harley insurrections interspersed.

No broken bones, luckily, but lots of scratches and bruises due to eating the blackberry bushes 'cause there's no shoulder and nowhere to go when a pulp-truck driver passes a car into your lane with a smile on his face. He seemed happy to give me that extra shot of adrenaline.

The point is, pick your spots, i.e. places to ride. Shoulders! They can be hard to come by in this county. The lower level of traffic, the better. Other than the need for ballistic tires, ride up Rabbit Ear's. It has some semblance of shoulders and multiple lanes in spots that makes it easy to pass you. Lot better than Loveland, IMHO.

Cruising down Loveland was another place where I almost got snuffed by an angry gear-shifter, just 'cause he was limited to 25 mph for a stretch. I had the audacity to pass him with my finely lubricated Italian hubs.

It takes just one deranged driver to make you a statistic.

P.S. No ear-buds when you ride. You can't hear the yahoos coming up behind you with the passenger door open, just to take you out. Happened to me on West Alameda in Lakewood, but I heard them coming and took evasive action.

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SMRFF 3 years, 2 months ago

Way to interject some common sense into the conversation, Jeff. If only drivers and road bikers could apply the same principle when engaging in their preferred mode of transporation.

I can't choose a side in this argument because I am both a biker and driver, and so many other bikers and drivers frustrate me equally.

It is beyond me why so many bikers choose to ride 129. It's windy, fast and has absolutely no shoulder. In the summer, it is filled with tourists and locals towing horse trailers and boats out to Steamboat Lake. Yes, bikers have every right to be on that road with the motor vehicles, but it's simply stupid and impractical.

On the other hand, it is beyond me why so many drivers, especially lifted pickups on 129, are in such a damn rush and feel the need to tail a foot behind my bumper when I'm already going the speed limit or 5 MPH over. These are the same drivers who will run a biker into the ditch with a crooked smile on their face. 1) You're not super tough because you drive a loud, gas guzzling F-250, 2) Contrary to what you may believe, seeing your big headlights in my rearview is not intimidating, just irritating, and 3) The closer you get to me, the slower I will drive as I know it will make your day that much worse. Thus, it just becomes counterproductive to tailgate.

On a final note, I really wish some bikers would think about the community as a whole before putting on their skin-tight spandex. It's truly an eyesore and an injustice to those of us who accidentally catch a fleeting glance while out and about. If there is the possibility that you might qualify for one of the major professional bike races, you are the exception to the rule. Otherwise, please have some consideration and buy the regular shorts with bike spandex built in. Thank you.

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bandmama 3 years, 2 months ago

smrff- LMAO!!!!! Thanks for the spandex comment! Made my day!!! (just yesterday I was driving with a friend, who very matter of factly pointed out that he almost felt sexually harrased for being forced see the "view" LOL!, and he wondered if any of the folks in thier spandex, were aware they looked like they had had an "accident" with certain color combinations.....) Thank you for so nicely saying what SO needed to be said!

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JJ Southard 3 years, 2 months ago

Palmway...YES That IS illegal. Look into it. I did signal. I should not have to look for cyclists skimming by parked cars between traffic on my right. If traffic is stopped in that lane the bicyclist is not allowed to ride next to me on the right, down the middle or on the left.

Sir or maam, you are wrong. You're probably the fool that bounced of my car.

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Clearsky 3 years, 2 months ago

Here's the crux of the matter. If the bicyclist is traveling within the speed limit on main street, how did you safely pass in the first place? I have always thought that three feet was the minimum safe distance for a motor vehicle driver to give a cyclist when passing. Fortunately for cyclists, in Colorado its the law! § 42-4-1003. Overtaking a vehicle on the left

The following rules shall govern the overtaking and passing of vehicles proceeding in the same direction, subject to the limitations, exceptions, and special rules stated in this section and sections 42-4-1004 to 42-4-1008:
    The driver of a vehicle overtaking another vehicle proceeding in the same direction shall pass to the left of the vehicle at a safe distance and shall not again drive to the right side of the roadway until safely clear of the overtaken vehicle
    The driver of a motor vehicle overtaking a bicyclist proceeding in the same direction shall allow the bicyclist at least a three-foot separation between the right side of the driver's vehicle, including all mirrors or other projections, and the left side of the bicyclist at all times.
    Except when overtaking and passing on the right is permitted, the driver of an overtaken vehicle shall give way to the right in favor of the overtaking vehicle on audible signal and shall not increase the speed of the driver's vehicle until completely passed by the overtaking vehicle.
Any person who violates any provision of this section commits a class A traffic infraction.
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mmjPatient22 3 years, 2 months ago

It appears to me that this issue boils down to something that is much simpler than what a bunch of the commentators on here are making it.

For me, riding my 3-speed cruiser down mainstreet is something that is all too terrifying of an undertaking. I never do it because, to me, it's a huge safety risk. Sure, I could probably do it and navigate my way safely down the street without being hit or hitting someone else. But, what if it happened to be the time when some driver didn't notice me and turned me into a grease spot in the road? I see no reason for me to ever assume that risk, as I very much so cherish being alive. That being said, my memories harken back to when my ex-cop father began teaching me how to drive. Two main things jump out at me when I think about this whole bike issue; 1.) The first thing he told me was, "you can be right, or you can be dead right." Basically, is it really worth your life to be correct about any particular issue on the road, or is it better to just give the careless ones the right of way if you can? Is it worth you being correct about riding down a busy street if the consequences of that could cost you your life, even at the fault of someone else? Sure, they're wrong and you're right, but they're still alive. 2.) Secondly, his stance on vehicles is that they are little more than multi-thousand pound weapons. Roadways are a very dangerous place to be. If you choose to be there, you choose to put yourself in the line of fire from those weapons.

For me, you'll never catch me in anything other than a motorized vehicle when I travel down mainstreet. If I'm not in a vehicle, you can bet your two-wheeled butt that I'm on the sidewalk(ya know, that special area that most bicyclists vehemently avoid because of their sense of entitlement to the road).

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mtroach 3 years, 2 months ago

mmj22, Do you not believe the stats I posted? Are you just as scared to drive weekends from 12 to 3 am. or over 55mph? Both are shown to get you killed faster than cycling. Your ignorance of the true dangers of the roads is putting you at risk.

"sense of entitlement to the road"??? not a sense, a right given to all people without regard to their means of use.

Cycling on sidewalks is just as rude as a auto driver that will not share the road. Sidewalks are built for slow pedestrian traffic, not bikes. As this thread points out it's the difference in speed of road users and the incorrect perception that vehicle users of our roadways have some right to drive without any impedance to their forward progress, that causes problems on the road with cyclists.

( ya know, even if you are entitled to use MMJ, it causes brain damage, paranoia, can lead to harder drug use, and is TOTALLY ILLEGAL by federal law)

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Michael Loomis 3 years, 2 months ago

Dr GreenGenes: There is nothing in Colorado Law which prevents a cyclist from advancing forward in traffic in the furthest right side of the travel lane (between the vehicular traffic and parked vehicles on Lincoln Ave). This is according to the State Statutes and our local police. Maybe you, and most, drivers fail to use their right side mirror when making a right turn, but this simple practice would result in fewer dents to your vehicle, and fewer injuries to your fellow citizens.

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mmjPatient22 3 years, 2 months ago

mtroach-

I'm just sharing my opinions.

If you want to talk cannabis, come do it on the cannabis articles. I'm sure all these decent bike folk wouldn't want you to ruin their 2-wheeled conversation with some jive about cannabis.

And if cannabis leads to harder drug use, then milk leads to bear. It's like saying "guns kill people" or "pencils fail tests." Doesn't work.

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mmjPatient22 3 years, 2 months ago

and ps....

Your sidewalk points are lame, at best. If we(as car drivers) are entitled to slow down and/or swerve for you(bicyclists) on highways, then what makes you too good to slow down and/or swerve to miss a pedestrian on a sidewalk?

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sledneck 3 years, 2 months ago

"sidewalks are built for slow pedestrian traffic, not bikes". REALLY????????

So, certain venues are not compatible with bikes due to differential speeds?? Hmmmmmmmmm

News Flash !! Roads were built for faster automotive traffic, not bikes. Thank you, mtroach for making the case against bikes on the road with motorized vehicles! Differential speeds cause conflicts and so, must not be allowed to interact. I guess you will just have to take up a collection and build yourself some bike trails.

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Zed 3 years, 2 months ago

Sled, I went for a long ride this morning. Once off of Lincoln I was passed by maybe a dozen cars and I passed a couple dozen cows on the road that were not moving. The cows, the cars and myself were all compatible with no issues. I am guessing most people that post comments on here have never even seen the Coal Mine, Trout Creek, the backside of Steamboat Lake, etc. All great places to ride a road bike. Far far away from the supposed drama and conflict in our little town.

Cars and bikes don't kill people, people kill people. And I have to say Steamboat has the most courteous group of people of any town I have ridden in. Despite the picture of chaos and conflict that these comments paint...

And roads are used by everything regardless of what you might think they were intended for, so the safest plan is to operate your vehicle without thinking the road was built for you, anticipating erratic behavior and acknowledging when you get caught in the wrong - cyclists included in this advice.

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Zed 3 years, 2 months ago

I was thinking about the Amish using Horse and Buggies on the roads of Lancaster and came across this letter to the editor saying buggies are a menace and another article about slow moving British Caravans(motorhomes) cause traffic. If it's not cyclists, its the buggies, if not the buggies it's the motorhomes, then slow moving tractors, or maybe open grazing livestock, or marathon runners, or rally racing, and on and on. Always someone in the way that I have to slow down for... Good thing my car has gobbs of horsepower.

http://lancasteronline.com/article/local/251337_Horse-drawn-buggies-are-a-menace.html

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/1468252/Your-view-Will-limiting-caravans-help-stop-traffic-jams.html

I personally would love to see some Horse and Buggy action in Steamboat! Maybe ride your horse to work week(just be sure to scoop you poop).

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Clearsky 3 years, 2 months ago

Hey Sled, It sounds like we need to increase the allotments of public easements to allow for all types of traffic. Oh No! Sounds like a conflict between private and public property. Here we go. I am all for public easements along property lines for egress of people to get places. Thank you for initiating a total solution.

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Clearsky 3 years, 2 months ago

I just have to reiterate what a genius presented about values of our culture.

"A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents will eventually die, and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it" Max Planck.

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mtroach 3 years, 2 months ago

Sled says; "News Flash !! Roads were built for faster automotive traffic, not bikes. Thank you, mtroach for making the case against bikes on the road with motorized vehicles! "

Damn you got me, the Romans paved the first road with cars in mind. Roads are simply improved surfaces for all users of the public's right of way. Currently they are used primarily by cars, but other uses are not excluded. Unlike sidewalks that were specially built to remove walking traffic from the path of dangerous vehicular travel.

"Differential speeds cause conflicts and so, must not be allowed to interact"

Differential speeds do not cause conflict, poor attitudes, and inadequate road design cause conflict. In an idea world, road engineers would have anticipated the increase in alternate forms of transportation, and designed and built roadways that could accommodate all road users safely. This is not the case, and because of poor design and implementation, our roads are inadequate for all users. That would be the reasoning behind the "Share the Roads" campaign. It's trying to educate the public that our right of ways are underdeveloped for the unimpeded travel of all users and that cooperation on the right of ways is needed. Better roads and a lighthearted attitude toward other road users will eliminate all conflict. Better roads cost millions, attitude is free. Which do you want sled, taxes from your government to change the roads, or a free change in your attitude? Your choice.

MMJ22, Bikes are considered vehicles by our current laws, and are required to travel on the roadway( to the right as far as possible), not the sidewalk. That's why you will see our Community Service Officers asking biker riders to dismount in downtown.

You as a driver are NOT "entitled to slow down and/or swerve for you(bicyclists) on highways" You are REQUIRED by LAW to pass with care, and leave 3 feet of space between any part of your vehicle and the cyclist. Laws allow you to pass on a double yellow line as long as the pass can be completed safely. Please learn the rules of the road before driving again.

Zed +++ I agree that ALL of the negative attitudes toward cyclists is rhetoric in this paper and on this forum, and much like all the mmj discussion is just fodder for the paper to use to drive readership.

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