As an avid member of the cycling community, I am discouraged by your attitude and interpretation of the laws regarding cycling. Your recent article, Cycling and Dodge City
showed your ignorance of cycling and I expect more from my elected sheriff.
Your interpretation of C.R.S. 42-4-1412(5) is fundamentally flawed. The law is vague to protect the cyclist’s ability to make judgment calls. Cars and bicycles do not act the same over similar road surfaces; what can be perfectly safe for a motor vehicle may not be safe for a bicycle. As an example, gravel tends to collect on paved shoulders over the winter and spring months. Although not generally hazardous to motorists, gravel can pose a serious threat to cyclists. The law states, ” Where a paved shoulder suitable for bicycle riding is present, persons operating bicycles shall ride on the paved shoulder,” and means that as long as the paved shoulder is clear of any bicycle related hazards, then the cyclists must use the shoulder; therefore, the cyclist must not use a hazardous shoulder, not, as your interpretation states, “If there is a paved shoulder, they should be riding on the shoulder, not in the traffic lane, regardless of whether or not they are impeding traffic.”
Frequently, while riding around Larimer County, I have had motorists buzz me, whether attempting to hit me, or just scare me is unknown, but it happens nearly every time I’m riding in the county. I’ve also had cars come up on me and honk, yell, or throw things. This doesn’t just happen to me, but almost every rider I’ve talked to. This is not only an annoyance to cyclists, but also extremely dangerous. Your article does nothing to address this dangerous condition and it appears as though more of your concern is with annoyed motorists than dangerous driving that can result in a cyclist’s death. With a high profile cycling death recently occurring around Denver, I’m concerned that you would rather punish cyclist than serve and protect the area’s cyclists.
Cyclists riding two abreast, while illegal and annoying to motorists, is the least of the trouble. Motorists need to be more aware of cyclist’s right to the road, and when a law enforcement official is just as ignorant of those laws, it makes cycling much more dangerous.