Many consider Denver to be a mecca for mountain bikes, with its beautiful views and miles of trails. But sharing these adventurous roads with motor vehicles can be dangerous or even deadly if cyclists are not extremely cautious.
Cyclists should always obey all traffic regulations, just as if they were in a motor vehicle. However, they also need to go beyond typical driving concerns.
Share the Road, a national campaign for cyclists and motorists, gives these tips for sharing the road with other motorists to help keep you safe on your bicycle:
- Do not use headphones while riding. Even using just one earbud can be hazardous.
- Ride as if you are mortal. Do not do stunts or ride recklessly.
- Wear reflective gear. Install lights on your bicycle. Wear bright clothing to get noticed.
- Signal your turns.
- Stay off the sidewalk.
- Do not ride between cars. Watch out for hugging the side of the road, too.
- Use a helmet.
If you experience road rage or a driver who appears to want to go after you, do not attempt to engage. Pull over to safety and call the police if warranted. If you can take a picture of the license plate without making the situation worse, do so. Just remember that your safety is paramount.
Ride with caution
Although motorists do have to take some responsibility for the safety of all on the road, as a cyclist, you should be more aware of your surroundings than you have to be as a car driver. Injuries to a cyclist can be very severe, even when the car never touches the biker.
It can be difficult to show that a car caused a cyclist to plow into the ground and should be held liable for the injuries caused. Cyclists injured on the road might want to seek legal counsel to assess the potential for a personal injury claim against the driver who caused the accident.