Conflict between bikes, cars continues
Vail, CO Colorado
VAIL ” Adam Plummer can rattle off a number of close calls he has had with drivers while cycling in the Vail Valley.
Some of that comes from drivers who don’t pay attention to cyclists, he says, and other times, drivers express their hate toward him and riders.
“I’ve had one guy want to throw down with me,” said Plummer, 10-year Vail resident and lifetime cyclist. “He was swearing at me, even though he was in the wrong.”
Plummer was cycling near Vail’s post office when a man yelled at him to get off the road. Plummer confronted the man in the Timber Ridge parking lot and the man nudged Plummer with his car.
Cyclists like Plummer say drivers are failing to yield to them as Colorado law requires, either because of or absent-minded driving or loathing.
With the warm weather, cyclists are hitting the roads in droves and they want people to keep an eye out for them, they say.
Tim Moffet thinks that cyclists should accept some of the blame for the unsteady relationship, he said. A minority of cyclists talking on cell phones and breaking traffic rules make the others look bad, said Moffet, Vail resident and cyclist.
“You see cyclists being idiots,” Moffet said. “I just shake my head all the time.”
Moffet thinks that some drivers are incapable of paying attention and cyclists should watch out. “If you’re on your bike, you will lose in a contest with a car,” Moffet said. “Just give them some room.”
Drivers have nearly squeezed Kerry White off the shoulder along Highway 6 while she has been training for her 3,046-mile ride across the United States.
She has noticed a particularly nasty conflict between drivers and cyclists in the Vail Valley, she said.
“When I’ve gone through Indianapolis, they give you lots of room,” she said. “They don’t honk at you and give you the finger.”
Roundabouts are particularly dangerous, Moffet and Plummer said. Drivers should wait for cyclists to go through the roundabouts instead of trying to pass them, they said.
A car almost hit Moffet’s brother in an Avon roundabout Monday, Moffet said.
Cycling on the paved ECO trails is not an option because of people walking dogs and pushing strollers.
“We’re going down the road at some times going 20 miles per hour,” he said. “That’s not safe.”
Drivers should know that cyclists have the right to be on the road, too, White said.
“It would be nice if in the valley here people would learn to get along,” she said.
Staff Writer Steve Lynn can be reached at 748-2931 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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