Simple Bike Rides Turn Deadly

By: Elyse Webb
By: Elyse Webb

A simple bike ride, turned deadly for two people yesterday. To help prevent something like this from happening, there are some important rules to follow.

Here in the Grand Valley biking is a huge sport and a means of transportation for many, but without complete protective gear or proper riding, a simple bike ride could turn deadly.

In just one day there were two fatal bike versus car accidents and both incidents had one thing in common. An early morning accident happened on highway six.

"No light or reflective tape was on the rear of the bicycle," says Colorado State Trooper, Ron Greasley.

Then only fourteen hours later on North Avenue another bicyclist was killed.

"The victim was not wearing any reflective gear. He had on dark clothing so he was basically blind to the driver," says Linda Bowman, Grand Junction Police Department.

Trooper Greasley says, the driver of the vehicle involved in the early morning accident, reported that he did not ever see the bicyclist. Yet, easy way to fix this visibility issue is to follow the law, by using the proper lighting on your bicycle.

"A bike on the highway at night, you better light that thing up like a Christmas tree," says Troy Rarick, Bike Shop Owner.

While cyclists and motorists do need to respect each others space, some say it's best not to keep a constant eye on each other.

Rarick says, "Don't look at what you don't want to hit, and if you stare at something, it usually pulls you to go in that direction."

Positioning in the bike line is also significant. Experts say to stay to the far right to avoid traffic. Rarick says that if you are too far right, often motorists give you less room and if your wheels slip off the pavement you will fall into the left into the cars."

Still in some cases, as with last night's, there is no bike lane. Sometimes there is just a little white line that separates the sidewalk from the street and there is no buffer.

Here in the Grand Valley bike lanes can be anywhere from three feet wide, to non existent. So it is extremely important for both bicyclists and motorists to always be aware of their surroundings.

Rarick explains, "People say, I don't see the bicycles, but its like did they really not see them or are they not in the habit of noticing?"

By adopting this simple habit of a watchful eye, lives can be saved.


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