September 9, 2010
If you've been following our blog for very long, you know that this past spring we announced the availability of maps for our newest route, the Sierra Cascades Bicycle Route. We were excited to see this route added to our network, and so were you. The maps have been selling quickly, with cyclists already out on the road and ride journals beginning to pop up on the Internet.
Unfortunately, we have been getting some reports that cyclists are feeling unsafe on portions of State Highway 89 in California. Specifically, from McCloud to Truckee. A significant economic activity in that area is logging, which leads to a fair amount of logging truck traffic on SR 89.
In response to this feedback, we have been in touch with the California Transportation Department (CalTrans), looking for assistance with the situation. From my conversation with a CalTrans district administrator, I discovered that there haven't been any recorded conflicts between cyclists and truckers. However, historically, the ridership numbers in this area are also very low. These two factors lead us to believe that a little education may be in order.
Normally, the first thing we do in a situation such as this — after the feedback has been verified — is to look for a reroute. While that is feasible in this case, it would dramatically change the character of the route. There are few roads in the region and even fewer that are paved. We'd have to leave that forested corridor and travel roads closer to the Central Valley or the Great Basin. We'd rather not do that if another solution can be found.
It was already in the plans to send out a letter to all the businesses listed on the maps to let them know about the Sierra Cascades Route. Included in the letter will be a Sierra Cascades decal to display in the front windows of these businesses if they choose. We are now considering doing a follow-up press release to these same businesses and the local newspapers emphasizing the positive economic impacts traveling cyclists have on communities, as well as providing them with a "Share the Road" message. We will also continue our dialogue with CalTrans about the importance of respecting and accommodating cyclists on the roadways.
We appreciate the intrepid cyclists who took on (or are still taking on) this challenging route in its first year. We hope that, with your continued feedback, we can update and improve this route and all the others in the Adventure Cycling Route Network.
Please send us your feedback and map corrections for the Sierra Cascades Route, or any of our other routes, via our map correction form.
GEOPOINTS BULLETIN is written by Jennifer 'Jenn' Milyko, an Adventure Cycling cartographer, and appears weekly, highlighting curious facts, figures, and persons from the Adventure Cycling Route Network with tips and hints for personal route creation thrown in for good measure. She also wants to remind you that map corrections and comments are always welcome via the online Map Correction Form.