Cycling season in Colorado

Road cyclists often take to the “Blue Highways” as warmer weather reaches the Southern Ute Reservation and Four Corners region each spring.
Jeremy Wade Shockley | The Southern Ute Drum

 

June is Bike Month in Colorado, with lots of events taking place throughout the state, highlighted by Bike to Work Day on Wednesday, June 26, when Coloradans are encouraged to put their feet to the pedals and leave their motor vehicles at home.

“We’ve been promoting Bike to Work Day for 28 years, providing us with a way of educating the public about the benefits of commuting and traveling by bike,” said Colorado Department of Transportation Bicycling and Pedestrian Coordinator Betsy Jacobsen.  “But it’s not just CDOT.  Cities, counties and other public and private entities also sponsor Bike to Work Day activities, so it’s an across the board effort to encourage people to get on their bikes.”

Colorado consistently ranks favorably as a bike-friendly state.  Fort Collins, Boulder, Denver and Colorado Springs were recently recognized in Bicycling Magazine’s ranking of the 50 Best Bike Cities in America.*

As a multi-modal agency, and as part of its Whole System — Whole Safety initiative, CDOT funds, builds, maintains, and adds amenities that enhance safety and improves the cycling experience for residents and tourists alike, including:

 

  • U.S. 36 Bikeway – between Westminster and Boulder
  • Wonderland Creek – Boulder (partially funded by CDOT)
  • Longview Trail – between Loveland and Fort Collins (partially funded by CDOT)
  • Interstate 70 Trail – between Genesee and Evergreen Parkway
  • Vail Pass Trail – between Copper Mountain and Vail
  • Glenwood Canyon Trail – between Dotsero and Glenwood Springs
  • Riverfront Trail – between Fruita and Loma (partially funded by CDOT)
  • Blue River Bikeway – Iron Springs – south of Frisco
  • Interstate 25 Business Route (Walsen Ave.)/U.S. 160 (Seventh Ave.) through Walsenburg
  • U.S. 550 through Durango (N. Main Ave.) – at 17th, 22nd and 32nd streets

 

 

Although most state highway routes are available for cycling, two routes on the northern Front Range are being impacted by flood control reconstruction projects this year. Bicyclists are not permitted on State Highway 72 through Coal Creek Canyon between Highway 93 and Pinecliffe. In addition, cyclists are only allowed to travel eastbound on Highway 119 through Boulder Canyon.  For the latest travel information on this project, please text “CO119” to 21000.

In addition to its health and recreational benefits, bicycling provides a number of economic benefits.  In 2016, out-of-state visitors spent $185 million on bicycle activities and equipment, with Colorado households spending an average of $450 per year on bicycle equipment and events.  Overall, the economic and health impacts of biking and walking are nearly $4.8 billion – through tourism, household spending, retail, manufacturing and health costs.  (Economic and Health Benefits Study, 2016).

 

CDOT also is doing its part to increase awareness among motorists and bicyclists that all people have an equal right to use the state’s highways in a respectful and responsible manner.

 

Share the Road Tips

 

For Drivers

  • Give cyclists at least three feet of space when passing: Even if it requires crossing the center line, if it is safe – or risk a ticket.
  • Wait a few seconds: If you don’t have three feet to pass then wait until there is enough room to pass safely.
  • Take a brake: Reduce speed when encountering bicyclists.
  • Scan, then turn: Look for bicyclists before making turns and make sure the road is clear before proceeding.

 

For Riders

  • Bicyclists must ride as far right as possible: And not impede traffic when passing other riders or riding two abreast.
  • Side-by-Side Rule: Ride no more than two abreast; move to single-file if riding two abreast impedes the flow of motorized traffic.
  • Ride Predictably: Scan the road, anticipate hazards, and communicate your moves to others.
  • Signal First: Use hand signals to alert nearby vehicles to turns or lane changes.

 

For more information on bicycling in Colorado, including on-line maps, please visit: https://www.codot.gov/programs/programs/bikeped or http://bicyclecolorado.org/

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