Holly Klein: Hazard on the recpath on Dillon Dam
My father and I were enjoying a nice bike ride – from Dillon to Officer’s Gulch and back. When we started our ride, there weren’t very many riders on the path, but we knew that by the time we would finish our ride, the bike path would be busy. As we began our ride, we both mentioned that the concrete pylons along the bike path that are supposed to be “caution” markers looked quite ominous and anything but a good way to caution people to slow down. But, we filed that feeling to the back of our minds as we made it through without incident. On our way back, we stopped at the Frisco Marina to call my Mom to tell her that we’d be back to Dillon in another 15 minutes – so that we could all enjoy a Father’s Day lunch together. Who would have known it would take us quite a bit longer than that to get there!
I was rounding the corner by the Glory Hole on the Dam Road heading towards Dillon and as I made my way through the center of a “caution” pylon, I noticed another rider was coming toward me. It then dawned on me that he would be jockeying for position with my Dad (who was behind me) to get through the middle of the concrete pylon as well! As I turned around, my heart sank. The guy who passed me made it to the center of the pylons faster than my father, and without too many choices and not much time to react (though my Dad wasn’t going very fast), he was forced to go to the outside of one of the pylons. He made it past the pylon, but one of his tires slid off the side of the bike path and he slammed to the ground. The other rider didn’t stop and probably didn’t even notice that the accident had happened. Other riders stopped (thank you!) and helped, but it turns out he has a broken collarbone and faces four to six weeks of recovery and is in a lot of pain.
I think I speak for many riders and those yet to experience our bike paths when I say that this “solution” for slowing riders is absolutely the worst idea! I suppose my Dad is lucky – it could have been worse had he bounced down the jagged rocks and into Lake Dillon. I don’t believe for one minute that he is the only person who has been hurt, and he is an experienced rider. Imagine the novice bike rider trying to get through when there is traffic! I think it’s time that we find a better solution! A small speed bump might help slow riders down – or a stop sign might be a better idea. A concrete post on a bike path is NOT the answer. I hope someone is listening who can influence a better solution.
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