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Old 07-07-09, 01:44 PM   #1
Goose5
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I usually support cyclists...

...But what I witnessed this weekend is a little over the top. Can someone please explain this to me? For my Independence Day Holiday I took the family up high into the Rocky Mountains to Estes Park. Many cyclists from Boulder on Highway 36. I had great fun looking at what everyone else was riding. Great ride but with a small shoulder. From Lyons up 36 the road went up and narrowed and the shoulder vanished. Cyclists just chugged along up this mountain pass with no shoulder and lots of blind tight curves. Two places where a rock face would have forced cyclists into the highway. Later on the same situation up Trail Ridge Road. The highest paved road in the United States. I am completed amazed anyone could make it up this road, but both are highly dangerous for cyclists. Ladies and gentlemen hats off to anyone who could do this, but I my opinion, these cyclists were a hazard, and I would not be caught dead (pun intended) riding on any of these roads. It is just too unsafe. How does the law view this activity on these roads?
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Old 07-07-09, 02:20 PM   #2
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How does the law view this activity on these roads?
Cyclists have an equal legal access to roads as motorists, and also the same responsibilities.

They might have been asking themselves why you were driving up a pass so popular with bicyclists on a busy holiday weekend.
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Old 07-07-09, 02:30 PM   #3
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Aw, that's nothing. I drove from Ouray to Durango, Colorado back in 2002, or thereabouts. Traffic was held up by motorpsychos, of all things. Really, when motor homes and pickups with monster campers are dodging around, trying to pass a motorcycle, the problem is not with the motorhome. Hwy 550 is a narrow, twisty route in that part of the state, if you're not aware.
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Old 07-07-09, 02:34 PM   #4
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On roads like this cyclists are not a hazard to much of anyone. Motor vehicle operators, on the other hand, are a danger to everyone.
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Old 07-07-09, 02:44 PM   #5
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Old 07-07-09, 02:56 PM   #6
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Biking on a twisty highway with no shoulder is something reserved for the type of cyclist who is so steadfast in his 'share the road' philosophy that he's willing to be a martyr for the cause.

Personally, I choose my routes more selectively. But if it's the only route to get where you want to go...well, good luck. I'd rather drive.
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Old 07-07-09, 03:07 PM   #7
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Trail Ridge Road is also a fairly low-speed road, for those not familiar with it- not exactly a normal highway.
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Old 07-07-09, 03:49 PM   #8
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From Lyons up 36 the road went up and narrowed and the shoulder vanished
Which is why I prefer CO 7 up South St. Vrain Canyon to Peak-to-Peak. Much nicer road, excellent shoulder, and less traffic of either variety. Plus the view of Long's Peak is magnificent.
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Old 07-07-09, 03:52 PM   #9
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Biking on a twisty highway with no shoulder is something reserved for the type of cyclist who is so steadfast in his 'share the road' philosophy that he's willing to be a martyr for the cause.

Personally, I choose my routes more selectively. But if it's the only route to get where you want to go...well, good luck. I'd rather drive.
Good answer.
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Old 07-08-09, 10:56 AM   #10
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If cyclists on these types of roads is indeed a problem is the solution to prohibit cyclists or make the road more accommodating for all users of the road? Keep in mind at one point in time with few motorists and few cyclists this road was probably fine as is so what we are seeing is sort of a congestion like problem of increased public use of public roads. So whose recreational travel is more important then the other?
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Old 07-08-09, 12:30 PM   #11
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...But what I witnessed this weekend is a little over the top. Can someone please explain this to me? For my Independence Day Holiday I took the family up high into the Rocky Mountains to Estes Park. Many cyclists from Boulder on Highway 36. I had great fun looking at what everyone else was riding. Great ride but with a small shoulder. From Lyons up 36 the road went up and narrowed and the shoulder vanished. Cyclists just chugged along up this mountain pass with no shoulder and lots of blind tight curves. Two places where a rock face would have forced cyclists into the highway. Later on the same situation up Trail Ridge Road. The highest paved road in the United States. I am completed amazed anyone could make it up this road, but both are highly dangerous for cyclists. Ladies and gentlemen hats off to anyone who could do this, but I my opinion, these cyclists were a hazard, and I would not be caught dead (pun intended) riding on any of these roads. It is just too unsafe. How does the law view this activity on these roads?
It is perfectly legal and safe. Not to forget quite a bit of fun.
I am riding trail ridge in a couple weeks.
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Old 07-08-09, 12:33 PM   #12
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On roads like this cyclists are not a hazard to much of anyone. Motor vehicle operators, on the other hand, are a danger to everyone.
No kidding. I drove up trail ridge yesterday and followed the speed limit. When it was unsafe to pass cyclists I waited for a safe opportunity to do so. Complaints by the OP seem to completely ignore the fact you mentioned.
Apparently we should simply ride the only roads the OP finds safe. Thank goodness he\she did not head up lookout. More cyclists than cars, winding, steep, and no shoulders for the most part.
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Old 07-08-09, 12:33 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Goose5 View Post
...But what I witnessed this weekend is a little over the top. Can someone please explain this to me? For my Independence Day Holiday I took the family up high into the Rocky Mountains to Estes Park. Many cyclists from Boulder on Highway 36. I had great fun looking at what everyone else was riding. Great ride but with a small shoulder. From Lyons up 36 the road went up and narrowed and the shoulder vanished. Cyclists just chugged along up this mountain pass with no shoulder and lots of blind tight curves. Two places where a rock face would have forced cyclists into the highway. Later on the same situation up Trail Ridge Road. The highest paved road in the United States. I am completed amazed anyone could make it up this road, but both are highly dangerous for cyclists. Ladies and gentlemen hats off to anyone who could do this, but I my opinion, these cyclists were a hazard, and I would not be caught dead (pun intended) riding on any of these roads. It is just too unsafe. How does the law view this activity on these roads?
Thanks for the support.
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Old 07-08-09, 12:40 PM   #14
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Thanks for the support.

+1

Probably your typical "cyclist" whose one rusty bike sitting in the shed qualifies him\her to make judgments about everyone else.
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Old 07-08-09, 12:44 PM   #15
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...But what I witnessed this weekend is a little over the top. Can someone please explain this to me? For my Independence Day Holiday I took the family up high into the Rocky Mountains to Estes Park. Many cyclists from Boulder on Highway 36. I had great fun looking at what everyone else was riding. Great ride but with a small shoulder. From Lyons up 36 the road went up and narrowed and the shoulder vanished. Cyclists just chugged along up this mountain pass with no shoulder and lots of blind tight curves. Two places where a rock face would have forced cyclists into the highway. Later on the same situation up Trail Ridge Road. The highest paved road in the United States. I am completed amazed anyone could make it up this road, but both are highly dangerous for cyclists. Ladies and gentlemen hats off to anyone who could do this, but I my opinion, these cyclists were a hazard, and I would not be caught dead (pun intended) riding on any of these roads. It is just too unsafe. How does the law view this activity on these roads?
Nothing about this road is dangerous for cyclists. What is dangerous is the behavior of other, motorized, road users.
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Old 07-08-09, 12:49 PM   #16
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No kidding. I drove up trail ridge yesterday and followed the speed limit. When it was unsafe to pass cyclists I waited for a safe opportunity to do so. Complaints by the OP seem to completely ignore the fact you mentioned.
Apparently we should simply ride the only roads the OP finds safe. Thank goodness he\she did not head up lookout. More cyclists than cars, winding, steep, and no shoulders for the most part.
I completely recognize your right to ride on any public road. The law recognizes that fact. I personally found the situations the cyclists put themselves in as being more dangerous than I would risk.
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Old 07-08-09, 12:53 PM   #17
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Then do not ride them. Stick to the MUPs.

Oh and stay away from Mt Evans. God that is one fun ride.
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Old 07-08-09, 01:05 PM   #18
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Oh and stay away from Mt Evans. God that is one fun ride.
I loved that ride last summer. The complete absence of shoulders and guard rails keeps the view clean and the cars slow.

I'm jealous that you can ride places like that any old time.
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Old 07-08-09, 01:19 PM   #19
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Trail Ridge Road is also a fairly low-speed road, for those not familiar with it- not exactly a normal highway.
Please note that the first section of US 36 that Goose5 was talking about was not Trailridge Road. Trailridge road is wide, comparatively.
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Old 07-08-09, 01:22 PM   #20
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I completely recognize your right to ride on any public road. The law recognizes that fact. I personally found the situations the cyclists put themselves in as being more dangerous than I would risk.
It is not the cyclist that put themselves in danger but the motorist who think that they have a right to the road and operate in a unsafe manner that put the cyclists in danger. As the overtaking vehicle, it is their responsibility to yield right of way to the vehicle in front of them if the situation warrant it. Most people won't slow and pass when it is safe to do so but would rather just force the cyclist from the road way. Thus, by your statement, they've won.
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Old 07-08-09, 01:59 PM   #21
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"I usually support cyclists..."
...but not when cars would actually have to slow down for a few seconds?

Some vehicles are slower than others, and faster ones have to slow down and wait until it is safe to pass. That's how the law views "this activity" (travel) on these roads. This being Colorado, the law now also says cars must be at least 3 feet away from cyclists they are overtaking, so if there is any danger in the situation you describe, it can only be from drivers who are breaking the law.

All that said, 36 Lyons->Estes is not a fun road. Unless I specifically wanted to get to Estes, there are numerous monster climbs I'd rather do. For example, any left turn off 36 before you leave Lyons (assuming you're coming from my house)

And as pure pedantry, Trail Ridge is not the "highest paved road in the US"; the road up Mount Evans is. I think Trail Ridge is billed as the highest continuous paved road since Evans dead-ends at the summit, but I believe in a strict one-qualifier policy in handing out superlatives.
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