The conversations at Ride The Rockies have recently been about the climbs and how we all did traversing them. The more amazing tales are the ones of survival. Like the story about Bob.

After climbing Independence Pass, Bob had a huge mechanical issue because the derailleur hanger sheared off, and took six wheel spokes with it, while he was descending at thirty miles an hour. Scary. Very scary in fact, but Bob was both skilled enough, and lucky, to be able to stop safely.

Repairing a bike can be easy (a little more complicated while traveling). Not so easy when the body gets injured, as we heard an example of that on day three with the descent from Vail into Copper Mountain when a Colorado State Officer announced the trail was closed for a time due to a cyclist accident. I can’t speak of the details other than that. I don’t know if they were in RTR, or if they just happen to be using the same public path we were. But details of an accident won’t save more lives — riding safely will.

I met a tandem couple riding (from north Florida), and they stressed the need for safe drafting. Overlapping wheels is all too easy. Plus, when passing, do not get too close (a rule I need to remember more), because it won’t be good if the cyclist moves when you are brushing past their shoulders. They mentioned the biggest car concerns are when cars turn right and cut you off, or they turn left into you. Watch traffic and be ready to use your brakes. Stay attentive for cars, and other cyclists.

During our last evening in Copper Mountain, at the cycling seminar Scott Mercier talked of a safer life — one of integrity. Living a life where one won’t regret the unsafe practices of cheating, for example, because he believes there is a real value to integrity. Playing by the rules is safe, and Scott is in a happier place for having done that. And thanks Scott for the enthusiastic, inspiring talk, and leaving us charged up to hit Ute Pass! 

Prayers and some cycling love if you have been, or know of an accident victim. Add in your safety tips on Facebook comments!