Jason Patrick: Share the road
May 26, 2012
Many years ago, advocacy groups from across the country started a campaign to ask all of us to be respectful and safe around bicyclists on the highway. We know the slogan, we see the signs and we are preached to repeatedly by our bicycling friends about being sensible and patient while passing bicyclists. I admittedly am one of those people who get somewhat annoyed by bicyclists riding side by side, but I understand the attraction of our county roads, and I understand why bikes tend to gather on Routt County Road 14, so I stay respectful and safe while grumbling to myself.
However, this year I repeatedly am finding that although many cyclists demand motorists share the road, they refuse to give the same courtesy. In the past two weeks, we have received the cattle that we run on pastures on both sides of C.R. 14 for the summer. We slowly are moving the cattle to the pastures that they will live on until fall. On four separate occasions, we have moved a set of cattle down C.R. 14. None of these drives have measured more than one mile, and we have been sensitive to try to schedule the moves during slower traffic times.
On three of our four cattle drives this year, we have come across different bicyclists who just flatly refused to sit quietly while we tried to drive the cows past them. On one occasion, we were told among a flurry of obscenities that we were wasting this particular bicyclist's day off, so he refused to stop and proceeded to stampede 120 head of yearling cattle over the top of us and through a fence.
All that we ask is that when encountering a cattle drive, bicyclists stay quiet and patient and allow us to softly drift the cattle past them. It might take a couple of minutes, but it will keep the cattle and cattlemen much safer. Much like bicyclists ask all drivers to stay quiet, patient and wait for a safe place to pass — which sometimes takes a couple of minutes but keeps everybody safer — we ask the same. Basically, I challenge all cyclists to give the same respect and courtesy that they demand and, to put it in your own words, share the road.