Waiting at the bottom of The Summer Road, I glanced right, then left.
Coast is clear, and I pulled out, heading down to Boulder for work. Within seconds, the white sedan was on my bumper. Unlike some of my friends, I don’t have that much ego when someone is right behind me. I’m happy to pull over and let them go by. I know Boulder Canyon can have wildlife standing in the middle of the road. The last thing I want is someone rear-ending me.
But since the construction started, opportunities to pull over are limited. The Boulder Falls turnout is barricaded off. Many of the turnouts are filled with construction equipment.
All of this became moot. As soon as I came round the curve, the driver zoomed around me, passing on a double yellow. I felt annoyed, not because I’d been passed. This driver put others at risk in his impatience to get down the hill.
But it got worse from there. He proceeded to weave back and forth behind the next vehicle, then passed him on a double yellow curve. He repeated this pattern two more times that I saw, including in a work zone with workers and heavy equipment along the side of the road.
The sum total of his efforts?
We both got held up at the 1-lane construction zone at the mouth of the canyon with Mr. Speedy ending up five cars ahead of me.
He ended up getting to Boulder approximately 10 seconds faster than me.
If you’ve read this blog at all, you know I”m not always the most patient driver. I’ve driven Boulder Canyon hundreds of times over ten years. When tourists are meandering along 10 miles below the speed limit, I get a bit annoyed. But not once during all that time, have I ever tried to pass someone on a double yellow, or even contemplated it.
I’ve seen the results of deadly accidents in the mountains. Cars slammed against the hillside. Cars flipped over on their roofs. Motorcycles strewn across the pavement. It’s heartbreaking to know whose son, daughter, or parent might have been lost forever because of one person’s seeming road rage.
It can be maddening to witness such reckless driving. Why isn’t there a police office when you need them? But you aren’t powerless. If you see someone driving recklessly on Colorado’s roadways, you can report them to the Colorado State Patrol, by dialing *CSP (277). They keep a record of the number of reports and contact the individual if they receive multiple reports.
In the meantime, the safest thing you can do if someone is tailing you is get out of the way and call it in.
Driving in the mountains is not the place to take chances, especially when lives are at stake.