The ride started just outside Lincoln Park with the ceremonial ribbon cutting.
Note, first of all, the thin red carpet spread across the width of the bike lane. This is BikeDenver.org's all purpose red carpet. It has been rolled out at pretty much every function of theirs I've been to, even if it's just bike parking. It is awesome.
And now, a closer look at who the folks are in the photograph.
- Me. Behind the car and outside the frame of the picture.
- John Hayden, Denver realtor and member of the mayor's Bicycle Advisory Committee. He was at the ribbon cutting for the MLK bike lanes.
- An especially Nordic looking member of the Denver Housing Authority. This picture doesn't do him a lot of justice; he was the size of a small car.
- Councilperson Judy Montero, whose write-up of the event can be found here.
- Ismael Guerrero, Executive Director of the Denver Housing Authority.
- Somebody I thought I recognized, but it turns out now that I don't, but I had already labeled her in the picture, so ... sorry.
The ride itself was pleasant. It showed riders recommended ways to get from Lincoln Park to downtown to the high school to the Light Rail and back to the park, where there were Clif Bars and cupcakes.
I fell in beside a jolly old couple at one point in time to hear the gentleman exclaim that it is easier to bike in Denver than in Asheville, North Carolina! I have visited Asheville and thought it was lovely, so I chatted with him about the area for a moment. He turned out to be Senior City Planner Emily Kreisa's dad, in town for a visit.
If during the course of your job you get to go on a nice, slow bike ride through downtown with your mom and dad, then you've got a pretty sweet job. Well done, Emily. And, your folks are cute. I liked it when your mom was noticing out loud which foot everybody put down when they stopped.
And then towards the end of the ride, a funny thing happened.
The peloton had just come to a four-way stop when this car behind us whipped over across the double yellows and into the opposing lane.
Ironically, he had his left turn blinker on, in full dutiful compliance with the traffic law. While sitting on the wrong side of the road, in flippant disregard of that traffic law. It was obvious that the driver was of two minds when it came to following the rules of the road, and that he couldn't be trusted.
So he was intent on executing a left hand turn, but so were we. The peloton, taking advantage of the right-of-way to which, as law abiding citizens of the road, we were entitled, began its left hand turn. The driver, should he simultaneously execute his turn, would have to continue driving down the English side of the road until he had passed the entire group, at which point he could merge--probably while signally properly--back into the proper lane.
Unfortunately for him, he never got that far. When he initially pulled up to the intersection, he unbeknowingly pulled up alongside the two bike cops who were leading our ride, one of whom immediately shouted a stern and impressively coppy "HEY!" and corralled him.
I rode on, swept down stream by the bike current, and didn't see the conclusion of that interaction. I doubt he was ticketed because I saw the cop again shortly thereafter, but I believe the motorist won't soon be repeating that maneuver!