If your travels are taking you down to the Denver Metro area today or even around Boulder, just be on the lookout. You’re going to see a higher proportion of bikes-to-cars than usual — it’s the 2013 Colorado Bike to Work Day.
Now, if you’re a bike-less curmudgeon and this proliferation of cyclists maddens you to no end, here are a few things you need to know about the bikes on the road today (and bikes on the road in general). Bike to Work Day is every day for many people!
- Bicycles act the same as cars on roadways. This means they must obey traffic signs and signals and use marked turn lanes. Treat them like cars.
- Bicycles are allowed by Colorado State Law to ride two-abreast, except in areas where doing so would impede the flow of traffic.
- Share the Road rules in Colorado indicate that you must allow a cyclist 3 feet to pass. That means in order to legally pass a cyclist, there must be 3 feet from the side of your vehicle to their bike. Yes, you may have to slow down. Yes, you might have to wait to pass. But it’s either that or a ticket or potentially living with having killed someone because you couldn’t wait 10 seconds.
- Please look in your right side view mirror before making a right turn on green. Cyclists in bike lanes have the right of way if they are going straight and you could cream one.
- Cyclists are helping keep your gas expenses low. By riding their bikes, they’re lessening congestion on the roadways so you can get from point A to B faster without sitting and idling (wasting gas) in traffic.
And as a cyclist, I will acknowledge that there are some less-than-conscientious cyclists out there who ruin it for the good ones in the bunch. Please don’t hold those jerks against us. Just know that we love our two wheels and probably own a set of four wheels just like you — we just want to share the road and get to where we’re going in the way we want to get there.
Now — enjoy Bike to Work Day. And if you feel compelled, here are road rules for cyclists and a video about Share the Road stipulations for drivers.