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By: Don Enninga, ABATE of Colorado Northeast Regional Coordinator
Here’s what the Colorado Department of Transportation found out from their recent survey of Colorado Drivers. There are several items on their survey but this article is focusing on issues that have a primary impact on motorcyclists.
New CDOT survey reveals risky roadway behaviors
Most Coloradans engage in distracted driving and violating posted speed limits
Results from a new statewide driver survey by the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) found that nearly all Colorado drivers engage in distracted driving. This is just one of problematic driving behaviors CDOT learned from 897 Coloradans in a survey administered between February and June 2020.
“Over 9 in 10 Coloradans admitted they drove distracted in the last week. Being present behind the wheel can be especially hard with all of the pressures people are under right now with the challenges we face with the COVID-19. Unfortunately, distracted and impaired driving are contributing to a tragic pattern of increased roadway fatality rates in the past months.
Some key findings from the survey include:
- In the seven days prior to the survey, 92% of respondents reported driving distracted. Of things people did most often, eating food and drinking beverages tops the list (32%) of distraction behaviors. Selecting entertainment on a handheld device (21%) and talking on a hands-free cell phone (18%) were the second and third most common distractions.
- While 69% of respondents strongly disagreed that they could drive safely under the influence of alcohol, fewer people strongly disagreed that they could drive safely under the influence of cannabis (57%) or prescription medications excluding cannabis (50%).
In 2018, there were 632 traffic fatalities in Colorado. Nearly 25% of all fatalities involved an alcohol impaired driver.
Distracted driving was the contributing factor in 54 (8.5%) of the 2018 fatalities.
What can we do?
Distracted driving crashes have a devastating and quite often deadly result for motorcyclists when vehicle operators are not paying attention to the very serious task of controlling their vehicle. This is a battle that the motorcycling community has been engaging in for several years by promoting awareness campaigns and working with legislators to come up with an acceptable distracted driving bill that will help protect vulnerable road users. Unfortunately, each year a bill has been introduced, it has met with defeat. The 2020 Colorado State legislative session was rudely interrupted by the China virus or the distracted driving bill that was put forward would have had a fairly good chance to make it through to become law. This was one of the bills that got put aside once the legislature did get back to work.
There is discussion about bringing a similar bill up in the next Colorado legislative session. I would hope that all motorcyclists would get engaged with their legislators should a distracted driving bill become a reality again. I find it interesting, at the very least, that motorcyclists in Colorado seem to have a lot of trouble coming together on issues that affect us all. There have been instances where several groups have been able to work on issues such as the distracted driving bills but there are many more groups that need to be engaged in these important discussions. As we work to improve the lives of all who ride, take the time and energy to become involved, make your voice heard and let those who legislate know we are here and not going anywhere! Until next time, have a great fall, ride safe and enjoy your life in this great state!
The full 2020 survey results are available on CDOT’s website at:
On October 18th, The Becker Band and Cool Biker Lunch and Rides hosted a poker run for Mike and Krisi Schaff who were lost from a tragic motorcycle accident on 104th Avenue last month. They left behind three children Tony, Kayli, and Kristian. The poker run raised $5,000.00 for the three kids. The organizers would like to thank the five venues for letting them use their places for the poker run: Eagles #3226, Tailfeathers, Floodstage, Cheers, and Brewski’s.
There were over 80 raffle prizes donated to the cause. A big thank you for the following donators:
The organizers would also like to give a shout out to the volunteers. Thank you Ed Collins, Kristi Strother, Babette Canacari, Erik Crystal Raymond, Joe Dory, Jennifer Kaup Dory, Patricia Broncos Pere, Michele Tusi, Mary Macias, Samantha Callahan, June Hutch, Crystal, Heather Pevan, Katie Pearson, Tom Pearson, Nanette Rice, Linda Sue Fick, and especially to Moon Angell for working the raffle prizes even when a tragedy happened right before and she plowed through it like a professional with the help of Kimberly Ray Khaos, Georgette Lynn, and June Hutch. Thank you thank you everyone!!!!
I was blessed to have met Tony Schaff, the eldest child of Mike and Krisi and asked him what it was like growing up in the Schaff household, and he happily answered, “Our home was full of life, memories, and new lessons. My siblings and I loved to do anything with our parents especially when it came to growing up and learning how to work on our cars or to mow the lawn. Our memories and life lessons with them have made us who we are today and even with this big obstacle in front of us, it is another life lesson we are going to have to work through. Even though they are not here with us in person to help us, they are here in spirit to guide us past this terrible situation we’ve been put in!”
He walked me through what happened the day of the accident, “I learned about the accident about an hour after it took place! I was with my girlfriend and something did not feel right because my parents said they left the Eagles off Huron at about 7:27 p.m. Saturday the 26th. We went driving to look for them and not even 5 minutes into the drive we found where the accident had taken place and where police officers were still trying to figure out what had happened that night! About a half hour of being there, the officers finally told me that it was my parents and that they were not going to be coming home that night or ever again!!”
After asking him how he and his siblings are handling the situation, he said, “they are having a hard time, but we are working through together. Our family is close. We just need to find a way to make every bad time we have, better, especially having family from Utah here to help as well!”
He went on to say that his plans for being responsible for his siblings is to make sure they are staying safe and going to school if they feel capable. He said, “I have so much family here to help I’m just trying to make sure we keep a roof over our heads and food in our stomachs while we go through all the ins and outs of trying to make sure they’re taken cared of after the funeral, and they go out into the world on their own.”
Since the accident, Tony has noticed how drivers are not paying attention and turning into traffic not caring and just running red lights seemingly just to go to their destination faster. He wants to tell everyone, “check more than twice when you’re about to turn into on-coming traffic and to stay off your phones while driving, so you can keep full attention on people’s lives and your own while on the road!!”
Tony expressed his feelings about the poker run, “Where do I even begin? Saturday was Amazing! To see all the support from people we never even met that just wanted to help my siblings and I was unbelievable. I am still speechless about it. All I can really say is thank you to everyone that came out and helped. Thank you to you Audrey and Cool Biker Lunch and Rides for helping plan it and getting it set up!! Thank you so much!!!”
The community has voted and the results are IN for the 2020 Colorado Rider News BEST of the BEST contest. Below are some Thank you posts from the winners.
Due to COVID-19 Pandemic related restrictions, the MC-1 Foundation has changed is starting point for the 7th Annual MC-1 Honor Run (being held Sunday, September 27, 2020).
This year’s Honor Run will be dedicated to all Law Enforcement, Firefighters, and EMS personnel whose service and sacrifice keeps our communities safe.
This year will be the 7th year for the MC-1 Honor motorcycle ride and was started in 2014 for Sgt. David Baldwin from the Jefferson County Sheriff’s office who was tragically killed in the Line of Duty after being struck on his motorcycle by a wrong-way driver
Registration is online ONLY, and all riders participating in this event, must pre-register, please click here to additional information. There will be no registration at the event.
By Audrey Paulus – Stormy
LoCo4NoCo Rides is a Facebook biker group page that focuses on Northern Colorado residents. It is the only active one that organizes and hosts rides. I met the founder, Coy Wylie, back in May when he and some riders and the Cool Biker Lunch and Rides group stopped at the Mishawaka Amphitheatre along Poudre Canyon. We introduced each other and instantly became great friends. He told me now he has time to ride, “COVID started it all. The COVID-19 pandemic has brought global suffering but has also brought some unexpected benefits.” He is a professional real estate agent and when the Colorado Real Estate Commission virtually shut down his industry, from late March to early May, right at the peak of the buying and selling season, he needed something to fill his time. He wanted to find some new people who were as enthusiastic about motorcycles as he was and make some new friends. He posted in a biker Facebook group and invited people to join him on a ride out of Fort Collins for that same Sunday afternoon. I then encouraged him to start up his own group page where he can control it, post rides, and meet new people in his area. We also talked about how this is a good way to network and that it helps you become more visible to the right people and you can gradually become that one person that “knows everyone”. I jokingly call him the King of the North.
Coy had just begun to use the brand “LOCO4NOCO” (crazy for Northern Colorado) with his real estate business, so he called the group LOCO4NOCO Rides. Within a few days, the group began to grow. From the start, the focus has been on group rides and community. He stated, “In three months, we’ve grown to over 350 members with regular group rides and a weekly bike night at various venues around Northern Colorado. It has become evident that this is more than just riding, it’s about finding like-minded people who love the motorcycle culture.”
Over these months, since COVID-19 has impacted the world in such a negative way, LoCo4NoCo Rides has become a positive force for motorcycle lovers in Northern Colorado. They have covered a lot of miles, drank a lot of beer, and built a community that has helped them weather these trying times.
I brought some members from Cool Biker Lunch & Rides with me to join LoCo4NoCo Rides on a ride to Cameron Pass and Snowy Range one sunny afternoon. Coy led us up Cameron Pass to a small-town Riverside in Wyoming where we had lunch at Bear Trap Bar and Cafe. Riverside has a population of 50. It is a quaint town; I always believed tiny towns have so much character that may otherwise get a little lost in the bigger towns. After lunch, we proceeded to Centennial via Snowy Range Scenic Byway. It was more scenic than any of us could have imagined! If you get tired of the Peak to Peak route, you need to head over to Wyoming and explore the beauty of Snowy Range. If you live in Northern Colorado or if you want to ride some different roads from time to time, I highly recommend joining Loco4NoCo Rides on Facebook and get all the info about their next ride, bike night, or event.
Slow Speed Motorcycle Skills Handling for ALL Riders.
When someone hears “slow speed precision riding” the topic instantly brings to mind the finely tuned skills of our Country’s Motor Officers zipping through seemingly impossible curves at extreme angles at unbelievable speeds, in a seemingly endless sea of traffic cones; which usually provokes a sense of wonder and amazement at what can be done with a motorcycle in skilled hands. Many of us look on wistfully, sometimes secretly wishing we could ride like that. Others are dismissive, feeling there is no real-world use for such maneuvers on a bike.
The fact of the matter is that none of us ride motorcycles because they are safe. All of us can ride; not all of us can ride extremely well. The necessary instruction can be prohibitively expensive; and not everyone learns at the same pace. Many of us need some extra help. I would always recommend that everyone pony up and take one of the many available Advanced Classes in Colorado; but what happens after that? One weekend of a skills classes a month is insufficient to instill the ideals and professional teachings you can learn at one of these classes. Riding skill is perishable and must be nurtured in a positive way, unlearning bad habits and cementing new ones in our skills repertoire, which will only happen with repetitive practice of whatever it is we need to learn.
Bucks FUNday Motorcycle Practice (BFD) in Lakewood CO was created to bridge this skills gap. The idea was to create an arena, an outlet, where riders of all skill levels can meet up regularly to practice what they know, build on their existing skillsets and foster an intimate relationship with their motorcycle, giving them the confidence and tools to progress to their next level, their next Class, and rinse and repeat. Practicing will save your life; your safety and capabilities on the roadway depend on you knowing what it is you need to do, and effortlessly being able to perform it, often in matter of microseconds. As skills are put through the repetitive wringer, they become muscle memory and second nature, freeing our minds to more efficiently process what is happening around us and dealing with emergencies without the burden of “what do I need my bike to do, right NOW?”
BFD hosts a weekly free and open, semi-structured arena that is dedicated to the practice and discipline of Slow Speed Motorcycle Skills Handling, braking, and evasive maneuvers, for all bikes and all riders. In its two years of operation, Buck Lynn and Christy Tyo have been fortunate to be able to assist several hundred riders improve their skills and confidence at slow speeds. They have nurtured and built relationships resulting in the distinct advantage of a nationwide support system through the National Civilian Motorcycle Competition Network, Motorcycle Skills USA, and the Skilled Motorcycle Riders Association, that consists of many of our Nations finest Motor Officers and Civilian Riders and Expert Instructors, all of whom share their passion for Motorcycle Skills and Safety and often lend their knowledge and critiques, all in this National group effort to spread the skills, enable relationships, and produce Safer Riders.
Locally BFD is proud to work to foster training relationships with the local Denver Grom Squad, and the Canyon Riders Association as well as several local Police and Sheriff Departments, resulting in a delicious smorgasbord of cross training, enhancing the all-around skills of a vast, diverse selection of riders.
MCRider ™ said it best when he said that it doesn’t matter how many times you succeed or fail in Practice; out on the road it most certainly does; life is often a game of inches, and Skilled Riding is ALWAYS a game of inches. In your practice, the error on one gate makes it impossible to succeed at the next. Out on the road, the inch you needed to avoid an accident (THAT gate) was offered to you a few seconds ago. As riders we must learn to recognize these inches and scrape and claw for them because on the Practice Range those inches mean the difference between success and failure; but out on the road, they mean the difference between life and death. Out there, the consequence is greater.
You can find Bucks FUNday in Lakewood in one of two locations, every week, year-round, if its above 40 degrees and there is no snow on the ground. They try to avoid inclement weather, but they do practice in that, too. Visiting BucksFUNday.com will direct you the FB Page and Group where much of their current schedule and training information can be found. Their Practice is free, regular, and completely accommodating and customizable to all skill levels of already-endorsed riders. They only require that you wear a helmet. Full gear is encouraged. Show up anytime for an hour, or the whole session, and practice whatever it is that troubles you or join us in an exhaustive list of exercises; Bucks FUNday has successfully removed every conceivable barrier to training, and rendered irrelevant the many excuses one may use to NOT become a better rider. All you have to do is show up. Love for the Ride. This is FUNday.
Exerpt from 9News: “The driver of a truck seen in a video swerving into a motorcyclist (Quentin Quidley) on Interstate 25 last month faces numerous charges, including attempted first-degree murder, the Colorado State Patrol (CSP) announced Thursday.
Alberto Mota, 38, faces other charges that include vehicular assault and child abuse because his 12-year-old daughter was in the truck with him at the time of the incident.”
Thanks to a good Samaritan with a dash cam who caught the whole incident on video and with the help of 9news, CSP was able to investigate this matter with live action video, as Mr. Mota claimed to troopers he had simply made an unsafe lane change, which resulted in the crash.
This type of road rage is all too often not prosecuted because there is no live video of the crash. However, that is beginning to change as more riders are wearing or have dash cams on their bikes and drivers are now putting them in their vehicles.
Colorado Rider News will keep you updated on this case.
BikerDown will be hosting our 7th annual Motorcycle Awareness ride called the LOOK TWICE SAVE A LIFE run. Rescheduled for September 5. Guaranteed T-shirts included with your advanced registration – $25.00: Maps included with registration.
Thousands of Denver residents took Bandimere Speedway’s invitation to attend the “Stop the Chaos” on Tuesday night seriously and came out in droves by cars, motorcycles and by buses. The event was an expression of “Our God given right to demand a stop to the COVID Chaos Governor Polis has inflicted upon all of us with his Executive Orders and Public Health orders.”
“We are beaten down, but we are not broken,” the family said in a news release. “The support we have received from those who understand civil rights has been remarkable and we will continue to fight on their behalf of all venues.”Bandimere family
Bandimere violated a Court order over the 4th of July weekend and went ahead with their fireworks display. Bandimere did not limit the attendance to their holiday event and had record attendance.
The Jefferson County Public Health took the racetrack to court to enforce social distancing requirements at the speedways events and the Judge issued a temporary restraining order limiting their crowd size to 175 people per activity and that fans from different families stay 6 feet apart, which has caused Bandimere to have to cancel many scheduled summer events including the Mile High Nationals one of its’ biggest races of the year for the 2nd time.
The Bandimere family has said that limiting events to 175 people would put them out of business. They also believe that the governor’s orders are unconstitutional. The public was invited down to the racing surface to stand in Unity and group photo.