A quarrel about the licensing of a charity ride has spiralled out of control in Colorado, US, with Jefferson County commissioners now seeking legislation to give them the power to ban cyclists from roads of their choice. The legislation would be state-wide, with Lance Armstrong's Aspen training grounds also under threat.
The argument started when a charity ride applied to use a section of the Deer Creek Canyon road, but was refused a permit after oppostion from local residents. Colorado is seen by many as a cycling mecca but there's plenty of bad feeling between cars and bikes, with Deer Creek Canyon a particular conflict zone. In spite of the fact that the sample emails shown to a local newsaper seemed to show both support and opposition for the event, the commisioners refused the permit with only one, Kevin McCasky in favour: he stated that the event was being punished "for the sins" of earlier confrontations between cyclists and motorists.
The fallout from the quarrel is even more worrying though, as the commissioners look to vote themselves powers to close roads to cyclists. "We want to have people enjoy our mountains and our roads, but we don't want to have someone killed doing this", said one commissioner, Faye Griffin, seemingly ignoring the fact that most cycling casualties involve other road users too. Also, we note that commissioner Griffin hasn't advocated a ban on motor traffic to very effectively deal with the casualties that that mode of transport causes.
Obviously this is all far away from the shores of dear old Blighty but it's a very dangerous precedent: we at road.cc have lost count of the times local councillors have been reported as coming back from 'fact finding' missions abroad chock full of clever ideas. Don't let banning cycling be one of them. Email the Jefferson Couty Attorney's assistant at cblake [at] jeffco.us to register your feelings on the proposed legislation.
Dave is a founding father of road.cc, having previously worked on Cycling Plus and What Mountain Bike magazines back in the day. He also writes about e-bikes for our sister publication ebiketips. He's won three mountain bike bog snorkelling World Championships, and races at the back of the third cats.