Nails in Colorado trail spark concern over sabotage of mountain bikers

20 May 2016 18:36 #11 by ScienceChic
Thank you for sharing your perspective Jukerado, I wasn't able to make it to that meeting with Rosier and no one's shared what it's been like with the cyclists since then. That very much disappoints me to hear the bicyclists have continued to be such a problem, I will be sure to pass it along to our Commissioner.

My husband took up bicycling a few years to get in shape. He rides trails as much as he can, but sometimes those trails cross or include roadways. There are roads he refuses to go on precisely because they aren't safe enough. He's a careful and considerate rider yet he's had several near accidents, and has crashed to avoid cars from hitting him, one instance of which broke a part on his bike that was irreplaceable and cost us $2K to replace the bike. I worry about him every time he goes out.

The inconsiderate asshole behavior is on both sides and there absolutely needs to be something done to accommodate both drivers and riders. There are roads bikers shouldn't be on until they are improved, and many of them can do better following the rules of the road. If that means Jeffco patrolling and ticketing so be it, it's for safety concerns. Will those improvements cost money? Sure. Where there's a will, there's a way. It sounds like there needs to be a lot more dialog and solutions implemented. Know anyone who's willing to take that on?

"Now, more than ever, the illusions of division threaten our very existence. We all know the truth: more connects us than separates us. But in times of crisis the wise build bridges, while the foolish build barriers. We must find a way to look after one another as if we were one single tribe.” -King T'Challa, Black Panther

The truth is incontrovertible. Malice may attack it. ignorance may deride it, but in the end, there it is. ~Winston Churchill

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21 May 2016 08:03 - 23 May 2016 08:22 #12 by Jukerado
I've been noodling on this for a long time, compiling thoughts, talking to frustrated residents, making calls. Here are some points, responses and attitudes:

- In Colorado, "recreational needs" always outweigh property rights. Always.

- The government will get their taxes no matter who lives on a piece of land. So if you don't like what's going on around you, surrender, give in, sell out, and move. Because the next owner will pay those same taxes.

- We're a recreation state and that means money and money controls politics.

- It certainly wasn't the mountain folk who petitioned the legislature to allow bicycles on the roads, but the mountain folk are the ones paying the price.

- A lot of bicyclists come from out of state to bike these roads, and that means revenue for hotels, restaurants, and cycle shops. So on paper, that revenue benefits everyone in a robust economy, no matter the impact on the lives of residents.

- "It would be impossible to require licenses/ID tags/registration of bicycles, because so many are from out of state." Which makes me wonder why out of state vehicles and motorcycles and trailers and RVs can't ditch their plates at the state line.

- "We want to educate the cyclists, but we can't reach the majority of them because they don't belong to clubs or are from out of state." In other words, you have free rein to do as you please on our roads.

- "We want everyone to be able to enjoy the rich beauty of the mountains." ~ county

- The majority of the land in these canyons is zoned residential and agricultural, not recreational. This was the reason for the resistance to that proposed Adventure Camp on Ridge Road off of Pleasant Park. There are no rec areas between Jeffco Open Space on Deer Creek Canyon and Meyer Ranch - so the legislature, apparently none of whom live up here or care or can be bothered to see the situation, have turned the roads themselves into a rec area.

- "Jefferson County doesn't control these roads." I love that one, from a county official.

- And yet, we have Colorado Statute § 42-4-111. Powers of local authorities
This article shall not be deemed to prevent local authorities, with respect to streets and highways under their jurisdiction and within the reasonable exercise of the police power, except those streets and highways that are parts of the state highway system that are subject to section 43-2-135, C.R.S., from:
(h) Regulating the operation of bicycles or electrical assisted bicycles and requiring the registration and licensing of same, including the requirement of a registration fee, consistent with the provisions of this article;

- Why isn't this being done? Because I believe the county officials are swayed/influenced by (or scared of?) bicyclists who outnumber the property owners. They might go away and take their money with them, or protest, or write a blog - while the property owners are busy living their lives and paying their taxes and wondering why the county is intent on destroying their lifestyle.

Did I mention that during the Lion/Lime Gulch fire, big signs were put up on the roads banning bicycle traffic? Guess what - bicyclists kept coming, through the smoke and haze, as the ranchers were bringing down their livestock in trailers to the fairgrounds.

- "If there's a problem, call the sheriff." Sure. We all do. Except the county won't match population growth with expansion of law enforcement; so crimes in Littleton and other urban areas 'down in town' take precedence - and if the stretched-too-thin sheriffs are 'down in town', they and we know they can't get up here for a traffic issue. Believe me, we love our sheriffs, they are wonderful.

- "One day the county will probably require us to put up picnic tables every 100 feet on our own land. And when they do, I'll be standing here with a rifle." ~ citizen

- "You're not gonna do a damn thing!" ~ first resident to speak at that 2013 meeting, an elderly rancher who pretty much sidelined the agenda five minutes after it started, as it became apparent that the agenda was focused on how residents needed to get along with bicyclists. I still want to buy that man a beer, but he stormed out and I don't know who he is.

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22 May 2016 14:51 - 23 May 2016 08:40 #13 by Jukerado
I was just at the scene of a single vehicle rollover accident on S. Deer Creek Road, directly across from the fire station at Sampson Road. Vehicle was in the creek, on its roof. We heard the sirens stop from our place, so I jumped in my truck and went down to help. I'll rave about our first responders on another thread.

I saw the SUV in the creek and one rescue vehicle and one pickup at the scene (many more followed within minutes). I did a U-turn in the fire station driveway, and two bicyclists coming downhill were passing the scene and laughing. "Good job!" shouted one. They were maybe a dozen feet away from the SUV rolled on its top in the creek, absolutely no way they could have missed what was happening, and couldn't be bothered to do anything more than laugh and yell, "Good job!"

I rest my case.

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23 May 2016 16:01 - 23 May 2016 16:02 #14 by ScienceChic
Jukerado, thank you for your comments. As soon as we started having this discussion, quite coincidentally, we (and Jeffco Sheriff) got tagged on Facebook by Share the road with cyclist it's the law with the message below:

May 20 at 8:38pm ·
Jefferson County Sheriff's Office My Mountain Town we are getting reports of a cyclist was Hit Deer Creek road before the S Murphy Gulch turn in Colorado We are unable to get the details According to Google map looks to be hardly any passing room on the road.,-105.197...w!2e0!7i13312!8i6656 . Anyone with information about this accident please Private message us

This started a great conversation with residents, here are their 2 comment threads which I am working on drafting into a letter to send to our County Commissioners, along with the feedback you've provided here.

Lakin Prouse: While this is super sad and I always give plenty of room to all bikes since I have the deadly weapon in my car....they ride up and down deer creek 2, 3, 4 wide around those corners.... I've seen so many cyclists in that area that are not careful whatsoever. That said I hope everyone involved is ok!
Unlike · Reply · Message · 11 · May 20 at 10:18pm

My Mountain Town: We discussed this very topic today on our forum; I'd not realized it was still such a problem. I hope someone can step forward and work on getting a dialog going again between residents and cyclists, this is not good for anyone. Donald Rosier participated in one a while back, perhaps he would be willing to help again?
My Mountain Town: Conifer, Pine, Evergreen, & Bailey forums: Nails…
Like · Reply · Remove Preview · 1 · May 20 at 10:34pm

Tami Johnson: Agreed. Saw someone absolutely flying down that road around a curve this afternoon. The speed limit is 20. Does that not apply to cyclists? Hope s/he is alright...
Unlike · Reply · Message · 5 · May 20 at 10:39pm

My Mountain Town: It should, they are supposed to obey the laws of the road, same as vehicles.
Like · Reply · May 20 at 10:59pm

Lakin Prouse: Out of 100 cyclists I see on deer creek maybe 6 obey the law....seriously it's horrible. I drive so so slow because I'm really afraid to turn one of those sharp curves and nail one of them flying wide around a corner.
Like · Reply · Message · 2 · May 20 at 11:02pm

My Mountain Town: frown emoticon
Like · Reply · May 20 at 11:04pm

SK Powell: Two obnoxious bikes were speeding through Indian hills right on my bumper weaving all over around 2pm. I turned off (with relief) towards Denver as the two bikers headed southbound on 285 at breakneck speeds. I have never seen a total disregard for speed and reckless biking in the mountains. It was like they were in a race...
Like · Reply · Message · 2 · May 20 at 11:17pm

Share the road with cyclist it's the law: Tami Johnson Yes cyclist can be ticketed for going faster then the speed limit posted.
Unlike · Reply · Message · 1 · May 21 at 6:45am

Share the road with cyclist it's the law: Lakin Prouse The rules for motorist requires motorist to only pass cyclist when its safe. and allow to pass in the next lane or in the in coming traffic with out interupting or causing a head on crash. Motorist are asked to please keep distance. We as cyclist are under a Move over law when Day/Night we ask motorist to Please move over into the next lane when you are passing cyclist for information be sure to stop by are group page
Like · Reply · Message · May 21 at 6:49am

My Mountain Town: I believe Lakin was talking about cyclists coming into oncoming lanes of traffic ("flying wide" as she put it) around blind curves.

As evidenced by the multiple comments, it's apparent that we have a grave and chronic situation in which a significant number of riders are not obeying the laws of the road or being courteous, and drivers/residents are getting frustrated which will lead to accidents like the one that was reported to have happened yesterday. Whether the fault of the driver or the cyclist or a pure accident, it's inevitable that more will happen if this continues and that's what we need to focus on fixing. I will be in touch with our local representatives. Any additional feedback you all could provide, cyclist and resident alike as we need both perspectives, would be most valuable. Thank you!
Like · Reply · 2 · May 21 at 7:42am

Tami Johnson: A few speeding tickets may help.
Like · Reply · Message · 2 · May 21 at 10:56am

My Mountain Town: I was thinking that as well.
Like · Reply · 1 · May 21 at 11:02am

Zachary Argabrit: When I was a kid one of the neighbors in deer creek canyon took a bicyclist head on coming up the canyon because the cyclists love to cut the corners flying back down as fast as they can. It's still a problem 20 years later. I think it's only gotten worse.
Like · Reply · Message · 1 · Yesterday at 6:16am

My Mountain Town: Thank you for your comment Zachary. It does sound like it's still a big issue.
Like · Reply · 1

Pat Crosson: I am sorry that anyone was hurt, however, dealing with the cyclists on an almost daily basis, they do make life difficult! Most of the cyclists obey the laws, but some lack common curtesy, i.e. peeing and pooping along the road, refusing to ride single file, etc. This makes it difficult to respect any of them! Speeding down hill is common to most. A drive to the Post Office that would normally take 15 minutes, can take up to 30 on a busy summer Saturday, secondary to all the bicycle traffic.
Like · Reply · Message · 7 · May 21 at 4:05am

My Mountain Town: Totally understandable Pat, thank you for sharing what you've been experiencing. We need this feedback.
Like · Reply · May 21 at 6:26am

Share the road with cyclist it's the law: Pat Crosson that is actually against the law these days stopping on the side of the road to do personal business is against the law.. If you see a cyclist breaking the law or speeding or putting others at risk please don't be afraid to call the Police but you need to realize every cyclist is required to follow all traffic rules.
Unlike · Reply · Message · 3 · May 21 at 6:51am

Pat Crosson: I would be calling the Sheriff every five minutes, but my cell does not work in the canyons!
Like · Reply · Message · 3 · May 21 at 7:02am

My Mountain Town: That does make it difficult when communications are impossible. Good point.
Like · Reply · 1 · May 21 at 7:43am

Share the road with cyclist it's the law: Pat Crosson i do wanna bring something to your attention that a cyclist was finned for this incident
BLM: Pooping cyclist started foothills fire|By TEGNA
Unlike · Reply · Message · Remove Preview · 2 · May 21 at 2:08pm

Pat Crosson: Thanks for sharing, it made my day. Just sorry that Idaho had a fire!
Unlike · Reply · Message · 2

"Now, more than ever, the illusions of division threaten our very existence. We all know the truth: more connects us than separates us. But in times of crisis the wise build bridges, while the foolish build barriers. We must find a way to look after one another as if we were one single tribe.” -King T'Challa, Black Panther

The truth is incontrovertible. Malice may attack it. ignorance may deride it, but in the end, there it is. ~Winston Churchill

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23 May 2016 16:35 #15 by Jukerado
Very glad to see all of these comments. The issue with the mountain canyons is that cyclists by and large can't do the nominal speed limit going up the steep hills, and when they refuse to ride single file - with no shoulder or bike lanes - they block traffic. Motorists get extremely frustrated by this, and end up tearing around those who simply don't respect or understand that most of the traffic is residents trying to go about their business. I'm not justifying such driving by any means, but it's a fact. And we're hearing more and more horns blaring throughout these roads. People are fed up with the rudeness and ignorance of bicyclists, and it's universal to the mountain dwellers.

And the other issue, as noted in those comments, is them tearing downhill. I was going up Deer Creek Canyon a couple of years ago and a cyclist came around the corner at an unbelievable downhill speed - in MY lane. I swerved off into a ditch to avoid hitting him, and when I looked in my rearview mirror, he was giving me the single digit salute as he sailed on down his merry way.

The crisis is expanding exponentially.

As for the "call the police" comment ... see my earlier remark. It is generally impossible for the sheriffs to respond to these calls when there are crimes and emergencies in other parts of the county. Offenders are long gone.

Perhaps some readers here saw the post on ICFPD's Facebook page. Scroll down to their post yesterday afternoon regarding cyclists - this was just after the Sampson Road vehicle accident. The residents aren't making this stuff up. Not only is local traffic being bogged down, but the response time for a critically injured woman was hampered by arrogant assholes who think our roads are a recreation area. That is unforgivable.

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23 May 2016 19:01 #16 by HappyCamper
This time of year we avoid the Pleasant Park and Deer Creek Canyon like the plague unless 285 is closed as the bikes there are horrible and the road are too skinny and curvy in my opinion to pass safely. I don't mind sharing the road but these roads are crazy.

I don't even like going to Evergreen on 73 during the summer anymore for this reason.

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28 May 2016 09:22 #17 by gmule
I shot this video in June of 2015 this is the beginning of Deer creek at Wadsworth. every weekend it is like an event of riders 600-700 every Saturday and Sunday invade our neighborhood.

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