The Tour de Ladies is conducted on the open roads of Douglas County. All roads will have vehicular traffic. These roads include both marked and unmarked hazards. Although we go to great lengths to make the tour as safe as possible, you are only as safe as you ride.
Always remember that your safety is in your own hands and ride by these rules:
- Colorado requires cyclists to obey traffic laws.
- Wear a helmet at all times while riding.
- Always carry personal identification.
- Be predictable. Ride in a straight line.
- No headphones while riding.
- Use hand signals to indicate left or right turns, slowing or stopping.
- Never assume motorists see you or that you have the right-of-way.
- Move completely off the road and shoulder when stopped and resting.
- Warn fellow cyclists of road hazards.
- Only pass cyclists on their left. When passing, warn cyclists by saying, “On your left.”
- Cross railroad tracks at a right angle.
- Rearview mirrors are strongly recommended.
- Expect the unexpected; your first responsibility is to be safe.
First Time Riders
Concentrate first on learning how to ride safely and with endurance. The Tour de Ladies is an exhilarating challenge for you to enjoy. Here are some things to think about before you ride, during your ride and after your ride.
- Have your bike in the best mechanical condition possible. A touring or road bike is going to be the easiest to ride and is the most common type found at the Tour de Ladies event.
- Ladies! DON’T GET ON A BIKE WITHOUT A HELMET.
- Safety equipment also includes gloves. If you fall they protect the palms of your hands.
- Colorado Bike Law permits cyclists to ride two-abreast. But many motorists don't know the Colorado Bike Law, and drivers might think you rude. Riding two-abreast can also be hazardous when riding on a road with narrow shoulders. If you ride two-abreast, do so wisely - and with caution.
- Carry a spare inner tube in case you have a flat. Tour de Ladies will have SAG support along the route, but you might experience a flat tire on the Cherry Creek Trail, which is inaccessible to our SAG trucks. Even if you do not have the knowledge to change a tire yourself, someone will be glad to help.
- Ride to the right. Leave room for others to pass on your left.
- Don’t ride with an iPOD or MP3. You need to hear and see everything and everyone around you.
- Know your brakes and maintain distance between yourself and other riders. On a downhill, use your right (rear brake). Don't squeeze your left brake (front) on a downhill - that can throw you forward over your handlebars.
- Many women may be riding in a large group for the first time. While this promotes cameraderie, it also holds hidden dangers, i.e., running into each other and falling down. Keep your eyes and ears open at all times.
- Stop in safe and highly visible spots. Before you stop, make sure no bicycles or motor vehicles are immediately behind you. Stop at the right edge of the roadway and immediately move off the roadway. Stay clear of the roadway. If you stop at the crest of a hill or on a curve, do so with care. These are the most dangerous places to stop.
- Call out to fellow cyclists when you are going to pass (always on the left), or if you are pulling off or pulling on.
- Be predictable and don’t weave. Ride in a straight line to make it easier for those riding behind you.
- At all times, obey traffic laws. The Tour de Ladies wants you to experience a safe ride. Obeying traffic laws is the first rule of the road.
If you are new to cycling, especially cycling with a group, here are some group cycling rules to follow: (copied from League of American Bicyclists)
Follow the Rules of the Road
- Ride with traffic and obey the same laws as motorists.
- Use the rightmost lane that heads in the direction that you are traveling.
- Obey all traffic control devices, such as stop signs and stop lights.
- In a group, your actions affect cyclists in front of you and behind you, not just yourself
- Riders expect you to ride in a relatively straight line and maintain a constant speed
- When you need to slow down, ride around a road hazard, or turn, signal your intended action
Use hand signals
- Use hand signals to indicate turns.
- Use hand signals to point out hazards to others
Call out warnings
- Ride leaders should call out right turns, left turns and stops in addition to signaling
- Announce turns before the intersections to give riders a chance to position themselves
- Try to avoid sudden stops or turns except for emergencies
Change positions correctly
- Slower moving traffic stays to the right; faster traffic to the left
- Pass slower moving vehicles on the left; use hand signals to communicate your intention to do so
- Announce passes on the right clearly as this is not a usual maneuver
- Most cyclists do not have a full view of the road while riding in a group
- Announce potholes and other hazards so others can avoid them
- Call out the hazard and point down to it, either left or right
Watch for approaching traffic and traffic from the rear
- The last rider should frequently check for overtaking cars and announce “car back” clearly and loudly
- It is also helpful to announce “car up” on narrow roads or when riding two abreast
- On the Cherry Creek Trail, call “rider up” or “jogger with dog up” to warn of approaching trail users.
Watch out at intersections
- Leader should announce slowing or stopping at intersections if necessary
- Cyclists should not follow others through intersections without scanning
- Each cyclist is responsible for checking cross traffic; if you must stop, signal
Leave room for cars
- On narrow road or during climbs, leave space between every three or four riders
- Motorists will utilize the shorter passing intervals to pass the group
- Good relations with motorists is the responsibility of every cyclist
Stop off road
- When stopping for mechanicals or regrouping, always move your bike and yourself off the road
- Move back onto the road as a group after watching and waiting for traffic to clear
- Always yield to traffic in the roadway
Ride single file or two abreast
- It is illegal to ride more than two abreast on roads in Colorado.
- Ride single file between intersections; double up when the group stops at intersections.
- Ride single file on the Cherry Creek Trail.