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  • Bicycle Safety

    Traffic Laws Apply to Everyone

    Both motorists and cyclists are responsible for obeying traffic laws, and both may receive traffic citations for violations. Cyclists are expected to obey traffic signs and signals. Cyclists may ride abreast when doing so will not impede the reasonable flow of traffic.  Mutual respect and cooperation between motorists and cyclists makes the road safer for everyone. Under Colorado law, cyclists have the same rights and responsibilities as other vehicles. If you find yourself in a frustrating situation with a motorist, take a breath and find a way to accommodate their needs. Hogging the road perpetuates the idea that the two groups are at odds.

    Conflicts between motorists and cyclists do occur. If you become involved with a reckless motorist, try to remember the license plate number and a vehicle/driver description. Keep your cool and call the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office at 303-277-0211. Remember that both motorists and cyclists are responsible for their own conduct, and that both can be cited for violations. Citations for harassment or reckless endangerment may apply. Call 911 in an emergency. 

    Choosing a Route

    Cyclists find that riding on Jefferson County's roads – especially those that are steep and winding – is a great way to get in a good workout or train for an event. Drive a new route before you ride it to survey the paved shoulders, turns and traffic volume. Some roads are better suited than others for an activity like cycling. Be mindful of loose gravel, tight curves, wildlife and stretches without shoulders. Remember to wear light and bright colors, especially when cycling on a canyon road. Shadows can make cyclists very difficult to see. Your visibility is essential to your safety.

    Bicycling in Colorado: Rules of the Road

    Ride on the right – Never ride against traffic

    Ride in the right lane, except when passing another vehicle, preparing for a left turn, or avoiding hazards. Always ride with the flow of traffic. Ride on the paved shoulder whenever one suitable for bicycle riding is present.  Cyclists should ride on the right (never against traffic), follow lane markings and use hand signals. For your safety, do not pass on the right, and be sure to use lights and reflective gear at night.

    Ride single-file

    Ride two abreast only when no motor vehicle traffic is approaching within 300 feet (front or rear) or when all cyclists are on the shoulder. On curving canyon roads, play it safe and ride single-file.

    Obey traffic laws, signs and signals

    Use hand signals to indicate left or right turns, slowing, or stopping. Remember to obey red lights and stop signs.

    Use a headlight, taillight, and reflectors at night; make eye contact with drivers

    Never assume motorists see you or that you have the right-of-way. Expect the unexpected; your first responsibility is to avoid a crash.

    Always wear a helmet

    Get a helmet that’s comfortable and fits well. Wear it whenever you ride… it can reduce the severity of brain injury in a crash by 88%, and it could save your life! Replace your helmet anytime it’s involved in a crash, or if it becomes worn out after normal wear and tear.

    Rules for multi-use trails

    Ride, skate, and walk single-file, on the right side of the trail and with the flow of the other trail traffic. Don’t block the trail. Groups should be in single file when other trail users are present and should never use more than one-half of the trail to allow for the flow of traffic.

    Control your speed!

    Obey speed regulations. Slow down and use caution when approaching or overtaking other trail users.  Riding a bike down a hill at excessive speeds is a hazard to the cyclist, as well as any motorists, pedestrians or equestrian traffic the cyclist may encounter. It can also be dangerous in areas where wildlife crosses the roadway. Keep speeds within the posted limits; just like motorists, speeders on bikes may be ticketed.

    Who yields the trail?

    Before passing another trail user, be courteous and make your approach known. A friendly greeting like “Hello, passing on your left,” or ringing a bell, is considerate.

    • Bicyclists, skaters, walkers, and others yield to equestrians
    • Bicyclists and skaters yield to walkers
    • Bicyclists yield to skaters
    • Downhill users yield to uphill users
    • Faster users yield to slower users

     

    Never spook animals; Leave no trace; Respect wildlife; Plan ahead

    Stay on existing trails and don’t create any new ones. Pack out at least as much as you pack in. Carry identification and some money with you in case of emergency. 

    Parking

    In certain areas of the county, motor vehicle parking for cyclists can be hard to come by. The parking congestion in some locations results in some cyclists standing in the roadway while preparing for their rides. With vehicles passing through, this can present an unsafe situation. As a courtesy to other road users, please stand off the road.  Cyclists must avoid parking their vehicles too close to the roadway. Check for "No Parking" signs. In some areas, there is signage pointing cyclists toward recommended parking areas. Sometimes the best place to park is a little farther from the road.

    Waste

    Parking areas and bike routes themselves can become littered with garbage in the busy seasons. Please be responsible about discarding your litter, or hold onto it until you return home. Check around your vehicle after your ride to be sure you aren't leaving behind any litter. Leave no trace, and help us keep Jeffco's roadways beautiful. Likewise, use public restrooms at or near your chosen route. Avoid encroaching on private property in search of a bathroom break.

    Local Cycling Clubs and Advocacy Groups

    Bicycle Colorado External Link Icon
    Bike Jeffco External Link Icon
    Team Evergreen External Link Icon
    Rocky Mountain Cycling Club External Link Icon
    Bike Arvada External Link Icon

     

    Last Updated: 4-23-2014