Vail Daily letter: Rules of the road
July 5, 2016
Memories are short. I get that. And tourists don't necessarily know all the proper protocols on our bike paths. I get that, too. But I wrote a letter to the editor at Vail Daily the year before last, which really was a letter to the companies (on both sides of Vail Pass) that haul tourists up to the top with bikes on a trailer so they can enjoy the incomparable experience of gliding back down. My message was, for safety's sake, please tell your clients about the rules of the road. And for a while it seemed they got the message. Riding the pass as I often do, I subsequently saw precious few perils on the paths. Until today.
Pulling up the pass, I had tourists on their rent-a-ride bikes barreling toward me on the wrong side. That's careless enough when there's no yellow line designating left from right, but in both cases, on two different segments, there was such a line. Then, heading back down from the top, I came around a berm and a group of four tourists on bikes had stopped to take in the view, right on the curve where they couldn't be seen until too late. For me, it almost was! Later, another pair of rent-a-riders had dropped something, so they dropped their bikes in the middle of the path so they could walk back up to retrieve what they'd lost. All were accidents waiting to happen.
So, since memories are short and since we can't expect out-of-state thrill-seekers to know what to do, it's time once again to appeal to the companies that cater to them: please, please tell them how to stay safe. Which also keeps us locals safe. Tell them in a loud voice. Tell them twice. They're the first in line to prevent an accident.
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