Sunday, December 04, 2005

Participant Cap on Colorado Bike Events

When I visited the Tyler Hamilton Foundation site today I saw a link to Bicycle Colorado for the latest information on the event participation cap the Colorado State Patrol are putting into effect. The State Patrol is saying that bicycle events need to be capped at 2,500 participants for safety concerns. This is a huge blow to many of the big charity rides in that state.

The reply to Bicycle Colorado from the State Patrol states, among other things, "This policy is not punitive, as we are not limiting the number of events a promotor wishes to sponsor." That's all well and good, but there is a little flaw in that logic.

For the sake of arguement, let's say that a big event splits into two events to accomodate all of the participants they have had in the past. And let's assume that sponsors and participants will still be involved with this split event held on different days. Will this not give more of a chance for an accident to happen? For residents and/or motorists to get completely frustrated that their normal route is being blocked by cyclists for two days or weekends in a row and complain to authorities? And will this not potentially create additional ill-will between cyclists and motorists when there doesn't need to be a reason in many cases?

I understand the State Patrol's reasoning behind this new rule; they want all cyclists to be safe. That is a great goal! However, they are imposing additional financial hardships on events, many of which are in place to aid charities. Some of these events will not survive because of this new rule. Less participants means less money raised. Less participants also means less sponsorship dollars. Splitting events into different days probably means less participants and less sponsors, too. It also means more of a cost for organizers with additional permits (including from the Colorado State Patrol), equipment rental time, insurance and, yes, paid police details.

If you live in Colorado swing by the Bicycle Colorado site and sign the petition. Let's all hope there is a compromise that can be reached for the good of all cyclists and their safety.

Thanks for stopping by.


Fritz said...

Hi Donna,

There is no safety issue. CSP Chief Mark Trostel came right out and said that the problem is cyclists impeding traffic. He did agree last Friday to "study the issue" after meeting with several state legislators who criticized his unilateral decision. All interested people -- inside and outside Colorado -- should still sign the petition to let the CSP know that we want nothing less than a permanent decision against the large event ban.

Donna Tocci said...

Hey, Fritz! Thanks for the additional info. Let's hope there is a good and fair compromise after they 'study' the issue further.

Tim Jackson- Masi Guy said...

It seems "funny" to me that this is all happening in one of the best cycling states in the country- it just seems totally counter intuitive.

Fritz said...

Tim, I think it might be backlash on the part of some LEOs. Cycling is popular enough here to cause some traffic problems.

I live and ride in Boulder County and it's not unusual to see several hundred riders out on a nice day. They'll get clustered up near popular destinations like some mountain towns. Some drivers get impatient and a little resentful about having to wait their turn. Think of it as a CM ride, except it's on rural mountain roads.

I like Pat O'Grady's rant about the topic last Friday. He wrote, "Fess up, guys. Which one of you flipped Trostel the bird when he honked at you while you rode three abreast on some shoulderless Douglas County two-laner?"