Tuesday, September 4, 2012
Steamboat is truly becoming a bike town, and I think it’s a healthy, positive way to attract visitors. But living outside of town, I had no idea that the Steamboat Stage Race was happening last weekend. Our commute to town was right along its route. There were absolutely no informational or warning signs — just clumps of cyclists occupying entire lanes, even atop blind hills and around blind curves. All their attention, naturally, was on going as fast as possible — none was on the cars with which they share the road. And that’s to be expected during a race, but drivers can only expect it if they are informed clearly and often. Otherwise, this is a dangerous situation for all concerned.
Organizations that stage bike races should be required to post easily readable and informative signs at frequent intervals along all bike routes in advance of the race. I was very sad to see a really nasty anti-bicyclist bumper sticker the other day. But courtesy and safety are two-way streets. Races that allow cyclists to ride down the middle of winding country roads with no warnings to drivers are going to foster increasing ill will among noncyclists, and undermine efforts to make Steamboat a “bike-friendly” town.