Cycling on the Million Dollar Highway (US550)

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Re: Cycling on the Million Dollar Highway (US550)

Postby upndown » Wed May 23, 2012 10:06 pm

When I was in college, I drove a school bus to earn some extra coin. When the kids would get rowdy, I would pull off to the side of the road and tell them we aren't moving until they got quiet. I ended up with pissed off parents that had to wait for their kids at the rural stops. Then a veteran driver told me to stop pulling off to the side. She said that it wasn't nearly as effective as driving in granny gear. She said it drove the kids CRAZY to drive in 1st gear! Much more so than pulling off to a full stop. She was right. They would quiet down much sooner when I did that. Where am I going with this you ask? That's effectively what a cyclist is forcing a vehicle to do when they don't allow them to pass. It's like making them stick it in granny gear...and it drives them nuts. But, being an avid cyclist myself, I know to weigh the risks of pulling as far to the right as is practical and inviting a car to pass. You eliminate any possible escape maneuvers by doing that. And it only takes once. Its a choice you make at the time, given the conditions at that moment. Same roads, same rules, same rights - but 3000lbs outweighs 14lbs using anyone's math, so choose wisely. If you think it is safer to ride the inside wheel well, and force the vehicle to wait, then do it. But try to make eye contact with the person in the sports car that just wants to let those ponies run, so they know you are aware they want to pass and that your not just trying to be an a$$hole...that you'll let them by as soon as you can safely do so.
With that said, how many of you are going to take the kids out for a ride and put it in 1-low going down main street just to see if it drives them nuts? You know who you are. Please do report back.
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Re: Cycling on the Million Dollar Highway (US550)

Postby TravelingMatt » Wed May 23, 2012 10:16 pm

madbuck wrote:Perhaps instead: "The speed limit is the maximum speed at which one can travel without being prima facie evidence of a speed that is unreasonable or imprudent under the conditions then existing, not a required minimum speed." Phew!

I'll go along with that...

One clarification from the actual law: Cities and towns can declare their speed limits statutory, but this is not the default.

When I lived in Chicago I biked to work for many years. Craziest car driver I ever ran into was someone who drifted into the bike lane I was riding in so he could make a right turn right in front of me... and his car had a "Share The Road" bumper sticker on it. And you people here think you have it bad.
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Re: Cycling on the Million Dollar Highway (US550)

Postby DaveSwink » Thu May 24, 2012 12:08 am

[quote="livetothemax96"][quote="KCurmudgeon"]has anyone passed a car before? I did once on Vail pass (I hit 60mph, not the brightest idea of my life, probably won't do it again). But what are peoples opinions on passing traffic, it has happened to me a lot on Mt. Evans where a cyclist will draft behind me for a little while and then pass, thoughts?[/quote]

I would not recommend drafting behind a car. Some drivers, like me, will immediately slow down as quickly as they can while being safe. That is gonna take the fun out of flying downhill if the cyclist cannot safely pass. Tailgating is not safe in a car or on a bike, and the driver in front is involved in the decision process too.
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Re: Cycling on the Million Dollar Highway (US550)

Postby mountaingoat-G » Thu May 24, 2012 1:05 pm

If a car passes me in a courteous way (even just doing what they are required to do by law) I usually wave with some sort of acknowledgement as a form of saying "thanks". It helps build good will and is genuine.

Most drivers in CO are familiar with driving near bikes and I think it is a learned skill. Having actually done the Iron Horse race many years ago, I know the road in question. The most dangerous drivers there IMO were the large semis and the motorhomes (usually out of state, from a state that I won't name).

Oh, and to answer the question about passing, I did pass a double-trailer semi going down the north side of Coal Bank once while training for this race. I can't remember the exact situation, but logic tells me that the truck must have been going excessively slow and I had adequate sight distance to pull off a maneuver like this. Doesn't happen very often, to be sure.
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Re: Cycling on the Million Dollar Highway (US550)

Postby bob863 » Thu May 24, 2012 8:32 pm

I always prefer cycling UP to Silverton from either Durango or Ouray...that's where the challenge lies....

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