Spoke Talk: Share the road — safely
As biking season continues, it is time to remind everyone, bikers and drivers alike, to be courteous to others.
- Don’t be a bike snob: Waive, nod or say Hello to your fellow bikers. Also, if you are riding up on someone, don’t be stealth: 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 Avenue 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.
- Participate in a fundraiser bike ride: Put your biking to good use by raising money for a worthy cause. There are plenty of opportunities to do so.
- 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 U.S. Highway 40, use the left one (the “passing lane”) to pass bikes.
- Leave space: The law says 3 feet, but the bigger you are and/or the faster you are going, you should give more than that.
- Use your turn signals: If the bicyclists know where you are going, then 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.
Runners and walkers
- Travel on the left side of the road facing the oncoming traffic. That way, no one is surprised
- On the Yampa River Core Trail, walk a maximum of two abreast; please don’t block the whole trail.
- Do you have a dog? The leash law says a 6-foot leash. Reel them in when others approach.
Let’s all have a safe biking season.
Lee Cox is a longtime Routt County cyclist and multi-modal board member.
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