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Smiling inanely as you ride along is a great idea - I suggest that some motorists try doing this too - no generalization intended here as I sure that some have need of this more than others, but this could help Jack simmer down.
The downside to the smiling while road biking is that after 20 miles or so the jaw muscles start to tighten and the smile then starts to loose some of it's "happiness". There is always the risk that this could then be interpreted as a snarl, provoking yet more silly letters to the editor. Further more extended periods of smiling necessitates riding with a toothpick to remove flies and grasshoppers that fly up at you with only your teeth to save you from inhaling.
As to the general complaint about the traffic situation here just travel to any major populated area in the world and you will realize how good we have it here for most of the year. Some people, such as the author of this letter, grossly overstate the inconvenience of driving across town, ignoring the opportunity to be part of the solution (by biking) instead of begrudgingly remaining part of the problem and taking out their daily frustrations on one or two individuals on bikes who may not be smiling at them (see above for reasons why).
I personally recommend that everyone try biking a little more often, smiling (not continuously but spontaneously at any opportunity) and thinking about better uses of their time than whining about things they can help improve by tolerance, listening to music or cutting back on the caffeine.
Echoing Eric's comments, this funding will get something done that is way beyond the scope of a volunteer effort. The trails we have built already have shown the potential that a trails master plan as envisaged through 2A and the Trails Alliance proposal can now achieve. It's not a gamble. Without this idea being 20 years in the making we would not be so bold as to suggest that this is the best use of the accommodations tax.
Many people have worked tirelessly to bring us to this point. The doubting questions have been asked many times over - will this work? Yes!
When you understand the scope of what is proposed and the potential that has been demonstrated elsewhere and applied to Steamboat you will see why 2A makes sense as the best use of these funds.
Before you weigh in how shameful this is I suggest that you do your homework on what this tax revenue is, who pays for it and what the stated purpose of the tax language is.
It's an existing accommodations tax paid by visitors to our community. No-one confiscated anything at gun point. Tax revenue is how thing get paid for, and 2A is a very good use of this money to enhance our community and provide many more great recreational opportunities for both visitors and residents.
Thanks Jack for sharing your passion and enthusiasm for trails in Steamboat.
It's easy for some to be dismissive of the potential of the Trails Alliance proposal until you look around (the World - not just North America) and see what other communities have done to ignite their cycling tourism by building new trails and improving their level of bike friendliness.
This is not some great newfangled idea that came out of no-where. The potential has been demonstrated in Whistler BC, Northstar CA, Moab UT, 7-Stanes in Scotland and many, many other places. If you build it they WILL come. The International Mountain Bike Association backs this plan, experts around the country spoke at our Bike Summits and urged us to go for it. Steamboat is a great cycling community; we have the kind of terrain people love to ride in, over and around; it's a great place to visit after you are done cycling for the day; and we have a ton of capacity already built in our winter tourism infrastructure that we can use to accommodate new visitors.
Denying the potential because of the fear of the administrative cost is simply clutching at straws. Denying it because 10 years is too long is like saying any great new project that is not constructed in 1 - 3 years is untenable. It will take time, and that's OK, but it will take a lot less time with this funding. We need to do it right and 2A will allow this to happen.
This community has been building towards this kind of opportunity for over 20 years through the passionate involvement of local riders through Routt County Riders, and the leadership of the Bike Town USA Initiative with all the major stakeholders represented and pulling in the same direction. In my experience that is almost unprecedented.
2A offers Steamboat the greatest potential I have seen to "move the needle" on summer tourism and in the same breath it will significantly enhance our community. The execution of this plan will require the same passion and determination that got us this far, but when you look at what has been achieved so far, especially in the last 5 - 10 years, you have to believe that it is worth it.
Not a new tax - a new way to use revenue provided to us by our visitors. Let's give them something that they really want!
Go get 'em Steamboat!
Walt, I don't think that it is acceptable that cyclists bunch up and slow other road users unnecessarily or deliberately, but that is not typically what is happening.
The fact that cyclists may ride in a group speaks to the nature of cycling - it is something frequently shared and I see nothing wrong in people riding together, even two abreast (see my post above about 3 feet to pass - it makes little or no difference to the overtaking vehicle once they cross the centerline). Larger groups like this past weekend is a matter of "sharing the road" with an event and for the infrequent occasions that this happens I see no difference between that and "sharing our supermarket isles" with the many weekly visitors we see in our town. It requires a little more patience and understanding that this is what comes with the territory of a community that attracts outside visitors.
I agree Pat, the roads are barely adequate for the current needs. Let's hope there is a long term plan to make the roads safer for everyone.
As to the overtaking issues, the current law requires motor vehicles give a minimum of 3 feet when passing, so with the narrow roads in the county it means in many cases you will have to cross the mid-line of the road. It amazes me that motorists faced with this choice are reluctant to make use of the entire oncoming lane when overtaking. Honesty, what is the difference, unless you are looking to make a point of some kind? Many motorists were extremely considerate this weekend which was much appreciated. A few cut it close unnecessarily. Sharing the road does not mean you are entitled to take unnecessary risks. A small dose of patience would go a long way...
You only have to go to a community that has committed to cycling tourism to see that there is serious merit to the opportunity of the Bike Town USA vision (Fruita/Moab/Glentress, Scotland, Whistler BC - to name a few). We have not dreamed this up by ourselves, and we can argue that while we are following the success of others, that dos not mean we cannot ultimately lead as a World-class bike town and cycling destination. We have everything that it would take...we just have to do it (and fund it).
IMBA representatives, who see the breadth of trails and epic rides across the USA, who first came to Steamboat 3 - 4 years ago, have told us that we don't know what we have if we cannot see the potential of our trails. We have many exceptional rides to offer already, but we can be a much better destination. An half-cocked under funded attempt will only allow others to challenge for the top spot that we seek.
The Trails Alliance proposal will also seek to leverage the tax dollars through grant matching and outside funding - significantly upping the opportunity for the community to pul funds for improvements from sources outside our boundaries. Trails funding is one of the most accessible opportunities out there.
Let's not "miss the boat" on this one...
Scott you have to be making uninformed silly comments like this about our biking infrastructure just to get a reaction.
Steamboat is Nationally Recognized as a Gold Level Bicycle Friendly Community. There are still things to improve but the quality of existing trails, bike lanes and bike routes, and range of cycling experiences are worthy of recognition and not to be dismissed by casual scorn.
Just so that we are clear, and to continue our ongoing efforts to educate, it is required by law to give "3 feet to pass" when overtaking a cyclist. It is legal in these circumstances to cross the yellow line....as long as it is safe to pass.
Tom is right that common sense should prevail here and that overtaking vehicles should not take unnecessary risks to overtake a cyclist. It's a stretch in my mind for him to claim this as "his" lane that no-one should enter under any circumstances given what the law allows.
As for the licensing...I think we beat that one to death already....moving on...
Last login: Friday, August 8, 2014
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