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Call me a Fred
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I saw this and wondered what is going on.

Some bicyclists who have received verbal warnings from Larimer County Deputies for apparently legal riding behavior have contacted Bicycle Colorado. We are in communication with Larimer County Sheriff Jim Alderden to get information on his enforcement practices and to offer support for safe bicycling outreach. We are also speaking with local advocacy group Bike Fort Collins and other bicycling clubs and groups. We will provide a full report this week.
 

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Shirtcocker
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Diphthong
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that Sheriff sounds like a bad stereotype. On the other hand, you can't fault him for enforcing the law.
 

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Shirtcocker
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This guy has a big thorn in his side for cyclists. Permiting races up there was put to a stop because of him and some on city council. After some effort by bicycle colorado, race bans were lifted but the welecome mat sure isn't out for us.
 

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Yo no fui.
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I wonder if it was the same cop that pulled me over in Loveland once for rinning a stoplight on a Sunday morning when no one was around (except for the cop). He pulled me over and went off about group rides for a few minutes and let me go. This was several years ago.
 

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j-dawg
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So proud ...

of my county :rolleyes:

Larimer County is quite the interesting place to live. It stretches basically from I-25 to the Continental Divide and from just north of Longmont to Wyoming. For a county that, to an outsider, doesn't look very diverse, it is a real melting pot of backgrounds and styles.

Ft. Collins for the most part is a lower key version of Boulder though we would never admit that :) Lots of high tech, suburbs, a university, a cool downtown/walking area, and lots of runners/cyclists/etc. Definitely the most culturally diverse part of the county and not quite as conseravative.

Then you have Loveland, which I have never been able to figure out. They consistently get ranked one of the best places to retire. I'll leave it at that. They've stolen a lot of growth from Ft. Collins the past few years because they were willing to give away the store to any developer who would build a big box retail establishment. I suppose that has raised their tax revenues but has killed most of their downtown and smaller businesses (in my opinion).

Add those two to Estes Park, Berthoud, and all the mountain and rural areas and you get an interesting mix. Somehow out of all this we continue to elect complete whackos. Our sherriff looks downright reasonable compared to some of the county commissioners we've had. Do a search on some of the Op-Ed's written by former commissioner Tom Bender and you'll wonder how we've survived. I do think the tide is turning. Although lots of people in the county endorse the points of view of these people, they are starting to realize they really aren't that good at what their job is: running the county government. So a lot of them are being tossed out.

So what was this thread about? Oh yeah, cycling in Larimer County. Fortunately, Bicycle Colorado is all over this. They've even asked people to stop sending e-mails as they would rather be the voice of the cycling community. I think this is the right approach. There are lots of active cycling clubs/teams in the county and they are coordinating with BC to make sure the laws are interpreted correctly and the dialog is civil.

So who's up for the next RBR ride being in Larimer County? We really do have some great cycling. :)

jg
 

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Ehhhh, it's the law. If you're doing what you're suppose to be doing, you shoudn't have any issues. It's the ones that wanna try and fudge the line that seem to have issues with this kind of topic. Or the finger pointers with their "well they're breaking the law too, so get them" attitudes. Didn't we cover this in elementary school?
 

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Still waiting......
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Can't really say I have a huge problem with cops pulling people over for obstructing traffic. The key thing here is if they are obstructing traffic. I see people riding like idiots around here all the time. Last weekend two guys were side by side on the hill up the Horsetooth Mtn Park, on a very busy day and were really clogging up traffic. They made no attempt to go single file, despite the line of cars behind them trying to pass. I've seen the Oval ride take up entire lanes on Vine, and heading to Johnstown.

What I don't really care for is how the sheriff is handling this. Telling Boulder County residents to stay off "our" roads. Saying if you don't have ID on you if you get pulled over you're going to jail immediately. Writing in his blog that cyclists that did get pulled over were "copping an attitude" when from what I've heard/read the cops pretty much started the whole process by acting like jerks from the moment they got out of their cars. Although just seems like SOP for them on all traffic stops.

It just seems the whole thing could have been handled a lot better from a PR standpoint. That being said the Sheriff does have a history of being a tool, so it's not shocking. Remember the racing ban a few years ago? One of his deputies waived a guy on the bike leg of triathlon thru a light at a busy intersection right into traffic and the guy got killed, the obvious answer - ban all racing in the county. When pushed for the reason for the ban Alderden said "I didn't put the ban in place, the county commisioners did, I just made the recommendation" When the commisioners were asked they said "We're not experts in that area so we just followed the sheriff recommendation, it was his call." Round and round with no one accepting responsibility.

Would it have been that difficult to post a statement saying the number of complaints about cyclists has been rising, that officers were going to start pulling cyclists over and issuing warnings, but after 2 weeks they would be writing tickets.
 

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Cat 6 rider
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Pwnt said:
Ehhhh, it's the law. If you're doing what you're suppose to be doing, you shoudn't have any issues. It's the ones that wanna try and fudge the line that seem to have issues with this kind of topic. Or the finger pointers with their "well they're breaking the law too, so get them" attitudes. Didn't we cover this in elementary school?
Either a police officer has to enforce every law he sees broken- in which case he'd never get five minutes from his house as he writes up his friends and family members for every little infraction, or he has to use judgment. Like one cop I talked to said, it's not that he won't pull over a motorcycle, it's that he gives them more leeway because he's been to enough crash sites to know the guy acting like a jerk on the motorcycle probably won't hurt anyone but himself, while the guy in the car might kill somebody else and walk away. And if he's pulled over the motorcycle for only slowing for the stop sign, his eyes aren't on the road watching for the guy trying to 'drift' his tuner around a corner near the school.

Cops should follow the golden rule. If I was on a bike and did that, is my behavior so egregious that I'd expect to get pulled over?
 

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Shirtcocker
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Yo no fui.
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FYI: http://bicyclecolo.org/page.cfm?PageID=45

Colroado Revised Statute, section 42-4-1412 (my emphasis added)

Operation of bicycles and other human-powered vehicles

(1) Every person riding a bicycle shall have all of the rights and duties applicable to the driver of any other vehicle under this article, except as to special regulations in this article and except as to those provisions which by their nature can have no application. Said riders shall comply with the rules set forth in this section and section 42-4-221, and when using streets and highways within incorporated cities and towns, shall be subject to local ordinances regulating the operation of bicycles as provided in section 42-4-111.

(2) It is the intent of the general assembly that nothing contained in House Bill No. 1246, enacted at the second regular session of the fifty-sixth general assembly, shall in any way be construed to modify or increase the duty of the department of transportation or any political subdivision to sign or maintain highways or sidewalks or to affect or increase the liability of the state of Colorado or any political subdivision under the "Colorado Governmental Immunity Act", article 10 of title 24, C.R.S.

(3) No bicycle shall be used to carry more persons at one time than the number for which it is designed or equipped.

(4) No person riding upon any bicycle shall attach the same or himself to any motor vehicle upon a roadway.

(5) Any person riding a bicycle shall ride in the right-hand lane. When being overtaken by another vehicle, such person shall ride as close to the right-hand side as practicable. Where a paved shoulder suitable for bicycle riding is present, persons operating bicycles shall ride on the paved shoulder. These provisions shall apply, except under any of the following situations:
(a) When overtaking and passing another bicycle or vehicle proceeding in the same direction;
(b) When preparing for a left turn at an intersection or into a private road or driveway;
(c) When reasonably necessary to avoid hazardous conditions, including, but not limited to, fixed or moving objects, parked or moving vehicles, pedestrians, animals, or surface hazards.

(6)(a) Persons operating bicycles on roadways shall ride single file; except that riding no more than two abreast is permitted in the following circumstances:
(i)When riding two abreast will not impede the normal and reasonable movement of traffic; or
(ii)When riding on paths or parts of roadways set aside for the exclusive use of bicycles.
(b) Persons riding two abreast shall ride within a single lane.

(7) A person operating a bicycle shall keep at least one hand on the handlebars at all times.

(8)(a) A person riding a bicycle intending to turn left shall follow a course described in sections 42-4-901 (1), 42-4-903, and 42-4-1007 or may make a left turn in the manner prescribed in paragraph (b) of this subsection (8).
(b) A person riding a bicycle intending to turn left shall approach the turn as closely as practicable to the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway. After proceeding across the intersecting roadway to the far corner of the curb or intersection of the roadway edges, the bicyclist shall stop, as much as practicable, out of the way of traffic. After stopping, the bicyclist shall yield to any traffic proceeding in either direction along the roadway the bicyclist had been using. After yielding and complying with any official traffic control device or police officer regulating traffic on the highway along which he intends to proceed, the bicyclist may proceed in the new direction.
(c) Notwithstanding the provisions of paragraphs (a) and (b) of this subsection (8), the transportation commission and local authorities in their respective jurisdictions may cause official traffic control devices to be placed on roadways and thereby require and direct that a specific course be traveled.

(9)(a) Except as otherwise provided in this subsection (9), every person riding a bicycle shall signal his intention to turn or stop in accordance with the provisions of section 42-4-903; except that a person riding a bicycle may signal a right turn with the right arm extended horizontally.
(b) A signal of intention to turn right or left when required shall be given continuously during not less than the last one hundred feet traveled by the bicycle before turning and shall be given while the bicycle is stopped waiting to turn. A signal by hand and arm need not be given continuously if the hand is needed in the control or operation of the bicycle.

(10)(a) A person riding a bicycle upon and along a sidewalk or pathway or across a roadway upon and along a crosswalk shall yield the right-of-way to any pedestrian and shall give an audible signal before overtaking and passing such pedestrian. A person riding a bicycle in a crosswalk shall do so in a manner that is safe for pedestrians.
(b) A person shall not ride a bicycle upon and along a sidewalk or pathway or across a roadway upon and along a crosswalk where such use of bicycles is prohibited by official traffic control devices or local ordinances. A person riding a bicycle shall dismount before entering any crosswalk where required by official traffic control devices or local ordinances.
(c) A person riding or walking a bicycle upon and along a sidewalk or pathway or across a roadway upon and along a crosswalk shall have all the rights and duties applicable to a pedestrian under the same circumstances, including, but not limited to, the rights and duties granted and required by section 42-4-802.

(11)(a) A person may park a bicycle on a sidewalk unless prohibited or restricted by an official traffic control device or local ordinance.
(b) A bicycle parked on a sidewalk shall not impede the normal and reasonable movement of pedestrian or other traffic.
(c) A bicycle may be parked on the road at any angle to the curb or edge of the road at any location where parking is allowed.
(d) A bicycle may be parked on the road abreast of another bicycle or bicycles near the side of the road or any location where parking is allowed in such a manner as does not impede the normal and reasonable movement of traffic.
(e) In all other respects, bicycles parked anywhere on a highway shall conform to the provisions of part 11 of this article regulating the parking of vehicles.

(12)(a) Any person who violates any provision of this section commits a class 2 misdemeanor traffic offense; except that section 42-2-127 shall not apply.
(b) Any person riding a bicycle who violates any provision of this article other than this section which is applicable to such a vehicle and for which a penalty is specified shall be subject to the same specified penalty as any other vehicle; except the section 42-2-127 shall not apply.

(13) Upon request, the law enforcement agency having jurisdiction shall complete a report concerning an injury or death incident that involves a bicycle on the roadways of the state, even if such accident does not involve a motor vehicle.

Section 2. 42-4-802 Pedestrians' right-of-way in crosswalks.
Pedestrians' right-of-way in crosswalks.

(3) No pedestrian shall suddenly leave a curb or other place of safety and ride a bicycle, walk, or run into the path of a moving vehicle which is so close as to constitute an immediate hazard.
 

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Carrying ID Next Week

Within the last few years the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that all state laws requiring people to carry ID are unconstitutional. There are exceptions for many situations such as driving a car and this may apply to bicycling as well since in some states such as the one in which I live, bicycles are legally considered to be vehicles with all of the same rights and privileges as cars. In the same ruling the court let stand laws which require one to provide law enforcement officers with one's correct name when asked but explicitly stated that the cops can't take you to jail for not carrying ID. In the same case the court struck down all loitering laws because people in this country have an inherent right to be in a public place without apparent purpose and because loitering laws have always been selectively enforced. For example some old retiree sitting on a park bench wouldn't get busted but a young vato would.

The confusing nature of the colorado cycling law is not unusual. Almost all laws are as vague, self-contradictory and subject to interpretation as this one. In some cases the courts have struck them down because of this.

Regarding Sheriff Alderan: Isn't Alderan the planet that gets blown to smithereens at the start of the first Star Trek movie.
 

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Yo no fui.
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Tlaloc said:
Within the last few years the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that all state laws requiring people to carry ID are unconstitutional. There are exception for many situations such as driving a car and this may apply to bicycling as well since in some states such as the one in which I live, bicycles are legally considered to be vehicles with all of the same rights and privileges as cars. . . .

. . .

Regarding Sheriff Alderan: Isn't Alderan the planet that gets blown to smithereens at the start of the first Star Trek movie.
Interesting analysis. Although bikers have the same rights and responsibilities as drivers, ther could be a distinction in that drivers must be licensed by the state.

That was Star Wars.
 

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Yo no fui.
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Tlaloc said:
My mistake. Science fiction movies are not my area of expertise.
Star Wars is scifi? I thought it was just an awesome cultural touchstone. :D
 
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