Bicycle riding is becoming more popular that ever. Rising gas prices have many leaving their cars at home and riding their bicycles to work and to run errands. Many are turning to bicycles for the health benefits and to reduce pollution. Bicycle riding is easy, relaxing and fun and it’s something everybody can do.
As one of the consequences of the popularity of bike riding, residents of Deer Creek Canyon are frustrated by bicyclists riding through their neighborhood and are trying to block a charity bike race scheduled for this fall. Residents of this scenic canyon south of Morrison are frustrated with the hundreds of cyclists already riding through the canyon and are concerned that this bike race will escalate the problems.
There are safety issues concerning the busy, narrow, winding roads. Neighbors and motorists complain that cyclists are relieving themselves on private property, riding too fast down hills and refusing to ride in single file, making it difficult for cars to pass.
Cyclists argue that some motorists are overly aggressive and get too close to riders, honk their horns, yell at them and throw things out their windows.
It’s important to keep in mind that although most of the problems in Deer Creek Canyon can be attributed to a minority of thoughtless bike riders and a minority of aggressive motorists, bike riding in Deer Creek Canyon and throughout Colorado is here to stay.
With the increase in bicycle traffic comes an increase in the potential for injury and even death. Nearly 700 people die in bicycle related crashes every year and another estimated half a million are treated in emergency rooms for their injuries. Children 14 years old and younger are particularly at high risk for bicycle related injuries and death, accounting for thirteen percent of deaths and 24 percent of the overall injuries.
In order to maximize their safety bike riders need to be alert and follow these basic bicycle safety tips.
Proper Bicycle Gear and Equipment
Make sure your bike fits you properly for easier and safer handling.
Make sure your bike is in good repair. Check your tire pressure and that your brakes and the chain are working properly.
Always wear a properly fitted helmet to reduce the possibility of a brain injury. Leave the headphones at home; you need to be able to hear what’s going on around you.
If you are riding around dusk or dawn, lights and reflectors are required by law in most states.
Wear proper clothing and footwear.
To help automobile drivers to see you better, wear bright colored clothing with reflective tape. Flip-flops and sandals are not appropriate footwear while biking.
Check that the seat, handlebars and wheels are adjusted for comfort and tightened.
Obey Traffic Laws
Obey traffic signs and signals.
Never ride against traffic.
Don’t weave between parked cars.
Follow lane markings.
Don’t pass on the right.
Ride your Bicycle Defensively
Scan the road behind.
Keep both hands ready to brake.
Use hand signals.
Avoid road hazards.
Make eye contact with drivers.
Avoid road hazards.
Use lights at night.
While the solution to the conflict and frustration between the residents of Deer Creek Canyon and bicyclists may not be as easy as practicing good bicycle safety and etiquette, it certainly is a good start.