Lee Cox: Stay safe biking
May 10, 2011
Steamboat Springs — As biking season ramps up, it is time to remind everyone, bikers and drivers, to be courteous to others.
■ Don't be a bike snob — wave, nod or say hello to your fellow bikers. Also, if you are riding up on someone, say something to warn them that you are passing. Even if some have mirrors, like skiing, it is not their job to be constantly looking behind themselves.
■ Follow the laws — the best way to earn the respect of drivers is to obey the laws, which include: stopping at red lights and stop signs, signaling turns and riding in single file when cars are approaching.
■ Take out the earbuds — not only is it illegal, but enjoy the sounds of nature (peeper frogs and sandhill cranes are my favorites to listen to, and if I am lucky, I can hear a hawk or eagle); it also helps you hear oncoming traffic.
■ Stay off of the sidewalks downtown — it is not safe to ride on Lincoln Avenue either. Use Oak Street, Yampa Street or the bike path.
■ Don't ride against traffic — ride on the right-hand shoulder. If you are biking on the left-hand shoulder, then drivers at an intersection who are turning right will not look in your direction, and you could be hit.
■ Give bikers plenty of room when you pass — opposite sides of the white line isn't always enough; on many shoulders, there is much gravel and other detritus which can cause flats. If there are two lanes on U.S. Highway 40, use the left one (the "passing lane") to pass bikes.
■ Use your turn signals — if the bicyclists know where you are going, they can plan accordingly.
■ Don't pass a bike and then make an immediate right-hand turn. You would not do that with a car; waiting 30 seconds to one minute will not kill you or make you late.
■ CDOT has had a notice on the electronic message boards to watch out for motorcycles — watch out for bicycles, as well.
Let's all have a safe biking season.
Routt County cyclist