A blog for (semi) athletic middle-aged men (and women) holding on to (the last vestiges of) their youth
by training for and competing in running, cycling, swimming and triathlon events!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Is Colorado Bike Friendly?

I received my Winter 2009 issue of Bicycle Colorado's "Ride Time News" this week and one article in particular caught my attention, called "Bicycle-Friendly State Rankings." My personal opinion is that, despite the hype from all the greenies in Boulder, Colorado is NOT a bike friendly state. Perhaps my opinion is biased given that I got right-hooked by a car and the Castle Rock Police tried to say it was my fault!

Sure enough, according to the article, "Colorado scored a disappointing 22nd in a new ranking by the League of American Bicyclists based on state-level bicycle-friendly policies and legislation." Based on the criteria in the study, one of the reasons Colorado ranked mediocre at best is because we need to "Improve officer training on bicyclists' rights and responsibilities." Did you see that, Officer Friendly?

And then I got this anonymous comment posted on my first blog of 2009...
I'm a cyclist from Castle Rock too. I have too have been hastled by CR's finest lately for bogus things. I have share the road plates and ride these roads everyweek. So when the officer accused my of riding on the wrong side of the road based on 2nd hand info from a motorist, I was livid. I argued with the cop for 20 minutes and came pretty close to getting thrown in jail....over nothing!!!

[At left: My Share the Road plates}

Why? Why would police officers be biased against cyclists? I just don't get it. Clearly, cyclists are as vulnerable as pedestrians, if not more so, but for some reason we don't have the same rights in the eyes of the police. Fortunately, state law recognizes that we do have the same rights.

Another reason Colorado barely placed in the top half of states is because we need to add "Questions on the driver's license exam about bicycling." Does this mean there aren't any? Scary.

On a more positive note, one week from today the Denver Post will publish the route for Ride the Rockies 2009! While everybody else is getting ready to watch the Super Bowl, cyclists all across the country will be calling towns all along the route to book hotels...but not me. I plan to camp out again this year. This will be my fifth straight RTR, my fourth with Team DFL (assuming we get in!). And I'm training for it to be my best.

I've been riding 40-50 miles per week on my CycleOps Fluid 2 trainer and getting out occasionally for some miles on the real road. I rode 22 miles yesterday on a sunny, 45 degree day in the Rock. My legs feel much stronger than they did last year at this point...when I couldn't ride becuase I was nursing a non-healing collarbone. And I didn't have a bike to ride if I could.

I remember not being so excited about the RTR route posting last year. I didn't even know then whether I'd be able to ride. So I'm a happy camper anxiously awaiting the route announcement next Sunday!

Ride on,



  1. Enjoyed catching up on the less than friendly to bicycles state! We suspected as much. Wish I could get as excited about RTR as you; but, I'll wait to start worrying until later. :>)

    BTW -- that great picture of you with the crown roast doesn't have a photo credit!


  2. Hey Daren. Looking forward to riding in Co again, but we might be doing the BTC this year instead of the RtR. We're having similar intolerance issues these days in Texas. I think it's a systemic problem that needs more national attention. Stay safe bud, and look me up if you head this way. Take care.

  3. How did California rate for bike friendliness?

    I'm just sayin.

  4. Hi Daren, enjoyed your blog on RTR 2008. We made the lottery for 2009, so now I'm a little intimidated/scared. Thanks for all the tips.
    PS Washington state does have questions on bicycle safety on its driving test, due do the diligence of some friends who lost their son in a bicycle/car accident while bicycle racing.


Please share your comment or question here!