Sharon Smith: Bikers need to know rules, use caution
My husband and I live in Alabama, but we have been coming to Steamboat Springs for more than 20 years — first learning to ski with our children, and now, our grandchildren are enjoying this beautiful piece of paradise. We bought a condo here, and for us, it is a dream come true.
We are now retired and spend as much time as possible here during all seasons of the year. We ski, hike, fish, shop, enjoy the restaurants and feel like some of our happiest times are here.
We have seen many changes come to Steamboat in the years since we made that first trip. One of those changes is that we are seeing increasingly more bikers. That is not a bad thing as they bring business to Steamboat just as all visitors do. However, just as on the mountain, you have those who do not follow the “rules of the mountain,” you have bikers who do not follow the “rules of the trails.”
As an example, we have enjoyed walking the Yampa River Core Trail from our condo into town too many times to count in all seasons of the year. It is always beautiful.
Recently, we have begun to wonder what was the initial intent when the Core Trail was made. Was it primarily for bikers, walkers, dog walkers, runners or for all to share? Unfortunately, we have recently had some near collisions with bikers when walking on the trail.
There are really no signs indicating which is the safest place to walk to avoid being run over by a biker. Some bikers are very polite and let one know when they are coming from behind — others come from behind with no warning, often so quickly that we have often felt we have been inches away from a collision.
This has happened on mountain trails as well, but they are not as narrow as the Core Trail, so we are actually asking for advice from people who live, work, hike and bike in Steamboat. There are hundreds of trails in Steamboat that are awesome. We want to be safe and not be run over by a biker.
Is there a way to make the Core Trail safer for all of us? Is is possible to designate a lane for bikers, particularly on the Core Trail? Perhaps there is a designation, and we are unaware of it.
We love Steamboat and all the great outdoor activities it has to offer, but we want to be as safe as possible and follow the rules that Steamboat has put into place. We need to know exactly what the rules are, and also, we are asking that everyone use a little more caution because an accident could seriously injure a child or adult, and that is not what anyone wants.
Tuscaloosa, Alabama, and Steamboat Springs
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