ITD helps smooth logistics of annual
tri-state bicycle classic, fund-raiser
An endurance bicycle race that begins in Utah and terminates in Wyoming will bring more than 1,000 riders and their families to a route that cuts through southeast Idaho Saturday (Sept. 6).
The 26th annual LOTOJA Classic Logan (Utah) to Jackson (Wyo.) began with a small group of college friends at Utah State University and has become one of the nation's premier cycling races.
Riders and their support crews will start leaving Logan at 6 a.m. on Saturday and travel north to Preston, and then head northeast on Idaho State Highways 34 and 36 through Emigration (Strawberry) Canyon to the junction of Idaho 36 and U.S. 89. They will continue on U.S. 89 through Montpelier and then cross the Geneva Summit.
In the interest of safety, eastbound traffic on Idaho 36 will be restricted to local traffic and bicycles only from about 7:45 am until noon. Traffic also will be restricted in both directions on U.S. 89 to local traffic and bicycles only from about 9:30 a.m. until 2 p.m.
After leaving Idaho, riders will continue the 206-mile ride east on U.S. 89 to Jackson, Wyo.
The Idaho Transportation Department encourages motorists who travel the route on Saturday (Sept. 6), to use caution when encountering riders or their support staff. Pass carefully and leave a safe distance between cars and riders.
ITD traffic engineer Dan Harelson and his staff have worked diligently the past decade to ensure that bicyclists, their traveling entourage and general traffic co-exist safely while the ride winds along Idaho highways.
Not only has Harelson improved bicyclist and motor safety, but he has identified specific problems in the eyes of local governments and worked hard to resolve those concerns, explains District 5 Assistant Engineer Blake Rindlisbacher. At the same time, (Harelson) has worked with race organizers to ensure the event happens successfully in their eyes.
The race is designed to minimize traffic congestion by separating the bicyclists and support crew vehicle traffic throughout Idaho, explains Brent Chambers of Epic Events, which organizes the event. Epic provides overtime funding for the Idaho State Police to patrol the event.
Cyclists and their support vehicles are identified by race number. If a rider or support vehicle is operating unsafely they should be reported to a race official, and they will be penalized or disqualified, Chambers said.
Safety concerns can be delivered to one of the many amateur radio operators stationed along the course; one Ham radio operator will be located at every food station; they will be located in Preston, one mile before the Strawberry Canyon summit and at the Oregon Trail Center in Montpelier. Four other feed zones will be set up in Wyoming.
Entry fees and other fund-raising activities associated with the race benefit the Huntsman Cancer Foundation and Autism Spectrum Disorder Connections.
For more information about the ride, contact Chambers at P.O. Box 1912, Layton, Utah, 84041 or call (801) 546-0090. Information also is available on the race Web site: www.lotojaclassic.com . For information about impacts on traffic in Idaho, contact Harelson at (208) 239-3372 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
For information about highway conditions in Idaho, call 511 or visit the Idaho Traveler Services Web site at 511.idaho.gov .