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Denver Cruiser Ride launches safety campaign, tells cyclists to follow laws

Denver Cruisers, Westword, Renee' Gautreaux 2590455.jpeg
Denver Cruisers.
Don't be a salmon, don't be a ninja, stop at red lights and carry a noisy bell. These are some of the messages behind a new bike safety campaign for the weekly Denver Cruiser Ride -- one encouraging cyclists to ride with traffic and use lights. As Cruisers founder Brad Evans summarizes: "Don't be stupid."

As part of the weekly e-mail alerts sent out for the well-known Wednesday night group ride in Denver, Evans has started including links to a "Denver Cruiser Safety Campaign."

1 Denver Cruisers safety campaign - salmon.jpg
Denver Cruisers
"We've promoted these rules since the very beginning," says Evans, who founded the Denver Cruisers in 2004. "Now that the ride's bigger, we have to do it louder."

Every Wednesday night, hundreds -- Evans stopped counting at 500 -- participate in the Denver Cruisers group ride throughout the city, in costumes based on specific themes, such as celebrity night.

Citywide, more Denver residents are hopping on bikes, causing an overall increase in collisions. And likewise, the Cruiser Ride has at times struggled with safety concerns (and sometimes with a reputation for being a rowdy, dangerous bunch).

That's why Evans -- who earlier this summer was dealing with a major trash problem -- decided to launch a campaign encouraging good safety habits. And he wanted to promote a message that maintained the fun, light tone of the Cruisers, which has its last ride of the season tonight.

The Cruisers' safety page, now linked in weekly e-mails, features the following:

Why Promote Safe Bicycle Riding? The honest answer to this was that we never planned on becoming advocates for safety -- in fact, in the very early years of the DCR, the goal was nothing more than to have fun with friends on bikes. As the ride grew, it became increasingly apparent that a "code" of sorts was going to have to be implemented in order to encourage an atmosphere that didn't appear as a pell mell, anarchist free for all on the streets of Denver each and every summer's Wednesday night.

The page includes links to other parts of the site, with one page explaining how to be a good cruiser (obey stop signs, stay off sidewalks, ride with traffic) and another explaining how to be a bad cruiser -- with a list of "SEVERAL SIMPLE WAYS THAT YOU CAN DESTROY THE FUN WE HAVE EVERY WEDNESDAY."

A lengthy waiver also acknowledges the serious risks that come with bad behavior.

Continue for more messages of the safety campaign.



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3 comments
bradkevans
bradkevans

I'm quoted as saying "...if Denver were a real city..." this was a reference and comparison to numerous European cities that long ago realized that a city dominated by autos was NOT a long term solution. While Denver has made awesome strides to improve its bicycle infrastructure, it is also one of a handful of cities in Colorado that bans bikes on sidewalks. The bottomline is that almost every US city is designed for cars and pedestrians, and it is a rarity that bicycles are part of the planning mix, ultimately giving all users of our roadways heartburn when dealing with one another. Until there is shared respect, by all users and a political will to alter our course, our cities will continue to be dominated by the automobile. Check out how the Dutch got their cycle paths: http://youtu.be/XuBdf9jYj7o

bradkevans
bradkevans

 @RobertChase we definitely don't take kindly to "bad" cruisers. Did you expect us to roll over and play dead?

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