Spring is coming and that means the wind and the big group rides. The majority of the group rides out there are ethical but there are a few that do more than cross the line. Bicycle Colorado is doing their part to educate riders and motorist on the law... with the law as Scott Christoher rides with the Colorado State Patrol. In addition to riders they are also looking for motorist who create dangerous situations for cyclist.
Scott Christopher, Bicycle Colorado outreach manager, recently joined Master Trooper Shannon Schwanke for a day patrolling Colorado roads. Trooper Schwanke said that he does stop bicyclists, usually to offer education on obeying traffic laws.
"I focus on unsafe situations that could put the bicyclist at risk," said Schwanke. Most enforcement during the ride-along involved speeding by motorists and expired vehicle registrations. Bicyclists observed during the day were following the rules of the road.
Schwanke has two key messages for the bicycle community: 1) Bicyclists can be ticketed for traffic violations; 2) The best reaction to aggressive motorists is to report the license plate number to the Aggressive Driver Hotline (dial *CSP on your cell phone for Colorado State Patrol).
This full-day experience with the State Patrol was an important component of Bicycle Colorado's Share the Road program goals of education, communication and collaboration with state law enforcement. Bicycle Colorado thanks the State Patrol for teaching us about their enforcement work and allowing us to directly observe it on the road.