LOTOJA bicycle classic to traverse part
of southeast Idaho Sept. 12
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 on Saturday, Sept. 12.
The 27th 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 5:45a.m. Cyclists travel north from Logan to enter Preston via South State Street. From Preston, riders head northeast on Idaho Highway 36 through Emigration/Strawberry Canyon to the junction of Idaho 36 and U.S. 89. Cyclists will continue on U.S. 89 through Montpelier and then cross the Geneva Summit headed for Wyoming.
Support crew vehicles will not share the same road as cyclists for the first 100 miles of the race.
Those vehicles will enter Preston via U.S. 91 (northbound), travel to Soda Springs using Idaho 34, and drive on to Montpelier using U.S. 30. From Montpelier the support vehicles will continue east on U.S. 30 to Border Wyo., where they will turn north on Wyoming State Highway 89. After leaving Idaho, cyclists will continue the 206-mile ride east on U.S. 89 to Jackson, Wyo., and finish at the base of Jackson Hole Mountain Resort in Teton Village.
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 12 noon. East of Montpelier, 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.
ITD encourages motorists who travel the route on Saturday, Sept. 12, to use caution when encountering cyclists. Pass carefully and leave a safe distance between cars and riders.
ITD traffic engineer Corey Krantz 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 Krantz 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 Brian Poole. At the same time, Krantz has worked with race organizers to ensure the event happens successfully.
The race is designed to minimize traffic congestion by separating the bicyclists and support vehicles 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, 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, Autism Spectrum Disorder Connections, and other medical research foundations. In 2008, the event raised more than $120,000 for these foundations. LOTOJA also sponsors local fund-raising groups that assist with passing out information about the race to residents in the area as well as providing feed zone support.
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 Krantz at (208) 239-3372 or via e-mail at email@example.com
For information about highway conditions in Idaho, call 511 or visit the Idaho Traveler Services Web site at 511.idaho.gov