Cyclist hit on Deer Creek Canyon this morning

From a friend on Facebook... a developing story!

"Today's ride was anything but fun. Around 9:00AM our morning group ride was heading up S. Deer Creek Canyon Rd when a motorist pulled up behind us and began to honk his horn incessantly. Then he sped up and rammed into one the cyclists smashing his bicycle and dragging him under the car. The man got out of his car, started swearing to no one in particular and then took the bicycle and threw it off the road. Notice the man's face as he doesn't have a care in the world. Not once did he apologize or seem to show any remorse."

Updates below

  • Rider was Bryon Nix USAC results & ACA results 2011 Colorado Masters Road Champion (and a whole lot more)
  • Driver did stay on the scene and the state patrol showed up.
  • Riders condition is not serious BUT more tests are to be done
  • Denver Post has picked up the story.
  • The Driver is apparently the grandson of a former USA President
  • This will be on 9News tonight, here is their version
  • Denver 7 News picked this up as well



Byron Nix on the ground after the incident

Statement from Thecyclist-lawyer.com

"This accident had the potential to be very, very bad -even life threatening, the way Byron's bike was sucked up into the front wheel of the truck -we are so grateful it wasn't worse than it was. We are also very grateful to the first responders for their prompt action in getting him to the ER, and to the Colorado State Patrol for responding to the scene and investigating and appropriately citing the driver. I'd also like to commend the cyclists on scene for their self restraint. I'm sure it wasn't easy to remain calm and collected with the driver standing there, but Byron's teammates did the right thing by taking photographs of everything and by remaining calm. Inciting an altercation would not have helped Byron or his case and would only have served to further increase tensions among residents/motorists in Deer Creek Canyon and cyclists who ride there."

Tips for Cyclists

- What to do if you are in an Accident
- Colorado Bike Accident Cards
- Insurance struggles if you are in an accident

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110 Comments

Legal but not smart

When you are riding up a canyon with no shoulder, it's smart to ride single file. Whether you can legally ride two abreast is irrelevant. Be considerate of motorists who are also trying to get to their destination. Passing a single rider by going across the double yellow is a whole lot easier than passing a group especially when they are two abreast. I'm not suggesting it is ever OK to intentionally hit a cyclist - no, it definitely is not. But if we cyclists were to show consideration for motorists, they might feel less animosity towards us.

Two abreast is safer on the road

"Passing a rider by going across the double yellow is a whole lot easier than passing a group especially when they are two abreast."

Incorrect. Passing a single-file group takes longer to do so and therefore more dangerous. A compact double-file formation is half the length, the passing vehicle spent less time exposed to oncoming traffic.

Nope, re-read that. "Passing

Nope, re-read that. "Passing a RIDER". That means one rider going alone. Compared to passing a GROUP. Smart groups will ride single file and allow space periodically so a motorist that needs to pull back in has some room. Just like when you are driving and passing vehicles on a 2-lane road, you need to be able to cut back in if you need to.

Legal but not smart

When you are riding up a canyon with no shoulder, it's smart to ride single file. Whether you can legally ride two abreast is irrelevant. Be considerate of motorists who are also trying to get to their destination. Passing a single rider by going across the double yellow is a whole lot easier than passing a group especially when they are two abreast. I'm not suggesting it is ever OK to intentionally hit a cyclist - no, it definitely is not. But if we cyclists were to show consideration for motorists, they might feel less animosity towards us.

So it's OK to run over

So it's OK to run over somebody with a car because they ride two-abreast? Even though that's legal?

Awww, did 'ems get slowwed down a bit?

Get over yourself.

How about ramming a school bus when it flashes its red lights to let the kids off? It slowed you down a bit, didn't it?

Nobody said it's OK to hit

Nobody said it's OK to hit somebody. However, we all need to learn to learn to work together. That means being smart and not riding two abreast, whether legal or not, in places where it is apt to cause conflict. Specifically, canyon roads that have no shoulder. It's all about consideration for the other, not elevating your importance above others.

Narrow canyon roads with no shoulder are perfect for 2 abreast

Solo cycling

If the lane is narrow, a solo cyclist should be near the center of the lane so motorists notice him sooner, and realize they must cross the center stripe to pass. If the cyclist rides near the road edge, it is likely to look like he can be passed without leaving the lane. Then, as the motorist gets closer, and realizes crossing the center IS required, there could be an issue. Perhaps there is oncoming traffic, or a blind curve, so the motorist has to suddenly slam on his brakes. It's much better if the motorist realizes sooner rather than later that passing without crossing the center line is impossible, and has the time to slow down safely, if that's required.

One might think riding in the center of the lane is nuts. But consider that to not be hit, you have to be noticed regardless of where you are riding. Now, given that, wouldn't you rather be noticed sooner rather than later? Where do you think that is? Riding at the road edge, or the lane center?

But isn't it easier to pass a cyclist at the road edge than one in the center of the lane? Not really. Either way, the oncoming lane has to be clear of oncoming traffic, because that center line has to be crossed regardless of where the cyclist is positioned. And if it is clear, passing a lane-centered cyclist simply means using more of that empty lane. No big deal.

Multiple riders
Now, once you accept that it's safer for a solo cyclist to be centered in the lane, it should be obvious that a group of cyclists riding single file at the road edge is not a good idea. At least some in the group should be out in the lane, for the same reasons the solo cyclist should be there: so motorists approaching from behind realize they must use the oncoming lane to pass; that that center line must be crossed.

And as long as some are out in the lane, what difference does it make if other riding behind or beside him? There is nothing wrong for 2-abreast riding. In fact, narrow canyon roads are perfect for 2-abreast riding. Even 3-abreast and 4-abreast... as other have noted, that just shortens the length of the group.

Let's remember these highways are not freeways. There should be no expectation of free flowing unobstructed travel. If there is a slow moving vehicle or group of cyclists, that's just part of traveling there. Deal with it!

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