Spring Motorcycle Riding in Colorado
With the snow melting and ski season ending, now is the time of year when motorcyclists in Colorado start revving up their bikes and getting reacquainted with the open road. With its gorgeous scenery and high mountain passes, Colorado attracts many motorcyclists who want to see the spectacular sights.
With the return of motorcycle season, the motorcycle accident lawyers at The Sawaya Law Firm want to offer some information on motorcycle safety, mention a few good routes to check out, and remind bikers of the steps to take if you’re involved in an accident. Keep reading to learn more and visit our contact page if you’re ready to get your free initial consultation.
A Few Tips for Motorcycle Riding Safety
It’s important for motorcycle riders to take precautions before and during their ride to avoid being involved in an accident. Here are a few safety tips to keep in mind if you’re planning a motorcycle ride in the near future:
- Give your motorcycle an inspection and make sure everything is in good working order. In particular, check your brakes, brake lines, brake fluid level, headlights, and tail lights.
- Check the tires and the air pressure. Check for any signs of dry rot if the motorcycle has been in storage for months.
- Always wear protective gear such as a helmet, safety goggles or face shield, long pants, gloves, and closed-toed shoes. A helmet can save your life if you’re in a crash. Many accidents happen because other motorists fail to see motorcycles. Wearing bright or reflective clothing can increase your visibility on the road and help prevent an accident.
- Follow posted traffic signs and obey all traffic laws. Road signs also provide warning of possible hazards to be aware of along the road.
- Don’t consume alcohol before riding a motorcycle. The presence of any alcohol in the body increases the chances of crashing by five times, the Motorcycle Safety Foundation says. Having a blood-alcohol level of .05 percent or greater increases the risk of crashing forty times. Alcohol impairs your reflexes and judgment, reducing your ability to handle a motorcycle safely even if you’re below the legal limit.
The Top 5 Roads to Ride Your Motorcycle on in Colorado
We’re motorcycle enthusiasts at The Sawaya Law Firm. Colorado offers many spectacular sights for motorcycle riders. Here are a few of our favorite routes to ride across the Centennial State:
- The Mount Evans Scenic and Historic Byway – Begin your trip in Idaho Springs, and take Mount Evans Road past ancient bristlecone pine, glacier-cut valleys, and up to mountain peaks at 14,000-plus feet elevation. This is the highest paved road in North America, and it offers breathtaking views of the Rocky Mountains. Don’t miss the mountain goats, bighorn sheep, and alpine lakes that you pass along the way. However, it’s important to be aware that the guardrails are non-existent at higher altitudes, and you need to be prepared for rain, wind, lightning, and snow any day of the year. The distance is close to 28 miles one-way and generally takes close to an hour to complete.
- Unaweep/Tabeguache Scenic Byway – This route runs outside of the Uncompahgre National Forest in western Colorado, through Unaweep canyon, and provides spectacular views of the Dolores and San Miguel rivers. As you make your way along Highways 141 and 145, you may see glimpses of Native American structures, ancient aqueducts, and various desert animals. The ride takes about three hours and covers approximately 130 miles.
- Trail Ridge Road Scenic and Historic Byway – A motorcycle ride is one of the few ways to get the full scope of Rocky Mountain National Park in one trip. The Trail Ridge Road Scenic and Historic Byway runs from Estes Park, all the way to Grand Lake. The trip covers 48 miles and takes roughly 2.5 hours. You’ll cross the Continental Divide on roads close to 12,000 feet above sea level. In addition to seeing mountain peaks, you may see elk, bighorn sheep, and possibly moose. The two-lane trail is open from May to October.
- Santa Fe Trail Scenic and Historic Byway – This trail begins at the southern border of Colorado in Trinidad and runs about 180 miles north to Lamar, taking you along a historic and beautiful section of Colorado. When you ride through the Comanche National Grassland park, you might encounter wildlife, such as antelope, hawks, falcons, and songbirds. Near the halfway point, you can rest at Bent’s Old Fort National Historic site, a pioneer fort from the 1830s. Then, pass through John Martin Reservoir State Park, which holds the second-largest body of water in Colorado.
- Los Caminos Antiguos Scenic and Historic Byway – You’ll enjoy some of Colorado’s most diverse sites when you travel along the Los Caminos Antiguos Byway. You’ll ride from the New Mexico border to Alamosa on this three-hour-plus journey, during which you’ll see the state’s oldest Catholic parish – Our Lady of Guadalupe, constructed in 1858. You’ll also journey through the town of San Luis, one of Colorado’s oldest surviving towns, as well as Fort Garland, one of the oldest military posts in the state. Then, you’ll ride through the Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve, which is home to the highest sand dunes in North America.
What to Do If You Are in a Motorcycle Wreck in Colorado
While we hope you don’t run into trouble on your motorcycle, it’s good to be prepared in case anything happens. Here’s what to do if you’re involved in a motorcycle accident:
- Get medical treatment as soon as possible and follow your doctor’s instructions precisely.
- Call the police and report the accident.
- Hang on to any evidence that documents your injuries and financial losses from the crash such as photos from the scene, medical records, police accident reports.
- Write down the details of the accident as soon as you can while they’re fresh in your mind.
- Start a journal to record how your injuries have affected your daily life.
- Stay off of social media and don’t make any statements about the accident.
- Contact a Colorado motorcycle accident lawyer at the earliest opportunity to review the accident and discuss your legal options.
If you’re involved in an accident, talking to a lawyer as soon as possible is crucial if you want the best chance of recovering fair compensation for your injuries. An experienced lawyer can act quickly to preserve evidence before it is lost or degrades. Get a free case review with the motorcycle accident attorneys at The Sawaya Law Firm by calling one of our offices throughout Colorado, or you can visit our contact page.