If you live in Colorado, you’ve seen them– the spandex-clad champions of mountain highways, pedaling past stalled traffic on Interstate 40, the intrepid e-bicyclists of Denver, or the suburban riders coasting past with ding of a bell or an insistent “On your left!”
Bikers. “Cyclists,” if you prefer. If you are one, we salute you. And sometimes, if we are having a really good day, we are you. After all, what’s the point of living in Colorado if you don’t enjoy the great outdoors? And riding a bike is a great way to do it.
6821 miles of mountain biking trails
In June of 2017, Governor Hickenlooper unveiled the Colorado Trail Explorer, an interactive map that attempts to gather every hiking, biking, and multi-use trail in Colorado into a single location. The map — cpw.state.co.us/cts — is a real gift to cyclists, documenting 6821 miles of mountain biking trails, 24,906 miles of motorized trails and unpaved roads, and 1746 miles of paved bike trails. If you want to ride, chances are you don’t have to go far. There are over 400 miles of bike routes in Denver alone, as well as the B-Cycle bike-sharing program and Jump, Uber’s system of dockless e-bikes.
It seems there can be little doubt: more people are choosing to bike than ever before, not just for fun, but as a primary means of transportation. This is great news for the environment and humanity. Bicycling has many benefits, from improving overall health to reducing traffic emissions.
Bicycling is also safe, if everyone uses good judgment. Bike helmets are not legally required in Colorado, but they are a very good idea. Similarly, there is no law prohibiting talking on a cell phone while riding, but you still shouldn’t. When you ride, be aware of your surroundings. Most cycling fatalities occur because a driver did not see a cyclist. Wear bright clothes with reflectors. Use lights at night.
Bicycle Accidents Still Happen
Still, despite our best efforts, accidents will sometimes happen. Statistics are hard to come by, because bikes cause minimal damage to vehicles and don’t need to be towed, meaning most accidents are unreported. Further, many drivers who hit a cyclist flee the scene and leave the cyclist to fend for themselves. If this has happened to you, you know how painful and frightening it can be. In a collision with a car, a biker is at a terrible disadvantage. Injuries can be severe and long-lasting. If the driver fled the scene, you may think you have no recourse.
However, this is not necessarily the case. A lawyer can be pivotal in finding the evidence you need to recover compensation for medical bills, time away from work, and other losses. There may be traffic camera footage that can help you, or proof that the other driver was texting. If you’ve been injured in a bicycle accident, don’t delay. Call the legal team at Shafner Law.
But we hope you don’t have to. Put on your helmet, turn on your lights, and have fun out there!
Article by Molly Fuscher