Maybe the person I came across today will read this. Hopefully other people will read this and learn by this. As I was driving home in my car today, this fool was riding his bike down 6th avenue in Denver between Speer and Logan in the left most lane. At Logan, he continues straight from the left most lane, a turn only lane, and crosses another turn option lane. Now aside from making an illegal lane change here, he is traveling in the fastest and most dangerous lane on the left on what can be argued as one of the busiest streets in all of Denver. Plus he is doing this at the busiest time of day at rush hour. Ironically he is also only 1 block away from 7th avenue which has a dedicated bike lane and carries much less traffic: a much safer route.
Now we cyclists can ague to the cows come home how we have the right to take a lane and we do have that right. Now we need to start asking ourselves if we should be there. Am I making a smart and safe decision by being here? Could I be acting more safely for myself?
I have been hit by cars twice while on my bike. I have nerve damage causing a permanent tingling in my left thumb a decade later. I have a scared face from that same accident. In this case I was traveling in Richmond VA on a very busy road and I probably should have not been there. The other accident was very minor and only knocked my off my bike. Because I was riding more smartly the second time, I was at a stop at the time of impact and he only brushed my front wheel as he turned in front of me. This could have been much worse. In both cases, the driver was at fault. However in both cases I had to deal with at least minor pain. A friend of mine has a saying, ďYou can be right, but you can also be dead right.Ē I donít want anyone to have to go through what I had to go through so letís try to be smart and act safely. If you see someone acting in an unsafe matter, let them know. Youíre probably going to be told to get bent, but at least you tried.
Here are some cycling ďno-noísĒ that are specific to Denver. Please feel free to add to the list in Denver our where ever you live. Even nonspecific behaviors is appreciated.
1. Donít ride down 6th, 8th, Colfax, 17th, or 18th. You are never more than 2 block away from a safer bike lane in Denver. And for Peteís sake, donít ride down Speer as you are immediately adjacent to the Cherry Creek trail where cars canít kill you.
2. Donít ride on the left lane unless you need to turn within a block or two. If this is too difficult to cross traffic in time, See #1 above.
3. When riding after dusk, Have a light on your front and back
4. Stay off the side walk unless you are riding at walking speed and stop before you cross every street if you are there. Cars, cannot see oncoming traffic if they are stopped back where they need to stop to avoid hitting you and thus will often not stop where they would not hit you because They donít except fast moving bikes on a side walk. ďItís not a side ride.Ē