What is Too Fast on Trails? Ride Trails or Roads?

By Bill Plock, Publisher of 303Endurance Network

I have a love/hate relationship with bike trails, plain and simple. I love to not worry about cars and but if I’m being honest I have had more close calls and scary moments on bike trails. With dogs not leashed well, kids, walkers and runners spontaneously zig zagging and other cyclists seemingly playing Mario Brothers and trying to pass at stupid times, I find myself in conflict on where to ride. Maybe you do too? Trails or roads???

As you probably know, yesterday two cyclist collided, on the Cherry Creek path, (article HERE) and there are very significant injuries. It is still being determined what happened. I have ridden that trail many times and it’s not my favorite, nor is the Platte River trail south of REI to Chatfield.

In the article below, KDVR (who also reported on the radar being used in Washington Park last week) took to the paths last night to check speeds of cyclists. Denver parks and trails have a speed limit of 15mph. But many stretches of trails are not posted and it’s kind of hard to not speed in wide open areas with little use I must admit. Just like it’s sometimes hard to not speed in a car on rural roads. I was amazed last week when so many readers commented that how do they know how fast they are going on a bike–give me a break, with phone apps, GPS devices etc, there is no excuse to not know. But what is too fast? Too slow?

Let’s face it, there are risks to riding a bike, to walking across the street to anything we do. As cyclists the best thing we can do is ride like an Elephant. Be big, be loud when you need to. Be deliberate, be predictable and in many cases ride single file and when in traffic, ride like you drive (hopefully), and respect the rules of the road. Lets also police ourselves so we gain more respect.

From Fox 31, KDVR reporter, Evan Kruegel

DENVER — Despite safety concerns, records obtained by FOX31 indicate only two cyclists have been ticketed for speeding in Denver in 2019.

The first was cited in early May for going 21 mph at Washington Park, and later that month, a cyclist was cited for going 26 mph on the South Platte River Trail. Both received $100 fines.

FOX31 put a radar gun to the test Wednesday morning along the South Platte River Trail.

Our crew set up between 8th Avenue, and 6th Avenue, and clocked bikers going 18, 20, 23, 24, and 27 mph.

The speed limit in all Denver parks, and on all city bike paths is 15 mph, a number park officials say bikers have been ignoring.

“We have some people that think they’re doing the Tour de France,” said Scott Gilmore, Denver Parks deputy manager. “They’re trying to go as fast as they can.”

Park Rangers have reportedly stepped up enforcement using radar guns, but Gilmore said at this point, they have not been directed to issue additional tickets.

“It’s not about driving revenue or giving tickets, it’s about educating the public about being safe on the trail system,” he said.

Read the rest HERE

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