New Belgium’s Urban Assault Ride came to Denver this weekend. They posted the route the winners plotted and used on their facebook page. On their first three directions, the winning team helpfully noted that they would be on the sidewalk. I suppose this is preferable to riding down a one way street the wrong way, but riding on the sidewalk is dangerous and illegal in Denver. Let’s take a look at the law:
Sec. 54-576. Riding on sidewalks.
(a) Riding bicycles or electrical assisted bicycles upon or along sidewalks, whether on public property or private property opened for use by the general public, shall be unlawful except:
(1) When the operator or rider thereof is a uniformed city employee or uniformed state employee or uniformed federal employee, which are working as part of their official duties and are riding a bicycle or electrical assisted bicycle or a police officer riding a bicycle or electrical assisted bicycle that is a marked or unmarked official police bicycle or electrical assisted bicycle or while engaged in the discharge of his or her official duties; or
(2) When the operator or rider of a bicycle thereof is engaged in the delivery of newspapers;
(3) Where the sidewalk is part of a designated bicycle route; or
(4) When the operator or rider thereof is preparing to dismount and park the bicycle or electrical assisted bicycle at a location on the block on which the bicycle or electrical assisted bicycle is being operated, or the operator has just mounted and has not yet crossed a street or alley.
I don’t really care who wins. I was playing for fun, and finished, I think, a solid two hours after the winning team. But if New Belgium is so pro-bicycle, they should also be pro-bicycle safety. The event staff standing at the corner of Arapahoe and 17th watching hundreds of cyclists go the wrong way down one way streets and riding on the sidewalks didn’t do a service to cycling or to New Belgium’s brand.