Lyman Orton: Brutal chip-and-seal

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As we luxuriate in the slipstream of last weekend’s USA Pro Cycling Challenge, I hope the Routt County Board of Commissioners recognize the great economic and social value that cycling can bring to our community. When the dean of TV cycling announcers, Phil Liggett, used “Bike Town USA” while describing our community, it not only made us proud, it laid a marketing foundation whose value is beyond immediate calculation.

The camaraderie of the thousands of locals who appeared on TV having the time of our lives while watching the Friday sprint-finish on Lincoln Avenue, or lining Rabbit Ears Pass to cheer on world-class pros up close and personal, is still thrilling and could not fail to have been noticed by viewers the world over.

What a great place for a race and what a great place to ride a bicycle. Until, that is, those skinny tires with 100 pounds of pressure make contact with the county’s fresh chip-and-seal roads.

One can just hear the visitors exclaiming, “Whoa, no one told us about this when we made our reservations to come cycle in Steamboat Springs and Routt County!”

If we allowed our ski mountain to be in such poor condition, there would be an outcry to end all. Fortunately, the Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp. understands the importance of quality.

Now is the time for the Routt County commissioners to address this issue anew and manage their employees. While the Routt County Road and Bridge Department formulated its quiet plan to lay down the recent brutal chip-and-seal, the commissioners fiddled, not aware enough of the outcome to make their employees produce quality cycling surface.

It’s time for the commissioners to lead and to lay out paving policies to their road department that support actually being Bike Town USA and to assure that what gets specified for paving is actually what gets done.

Commissioners, it’s time you understand that your Road and Bridge Department is not giving you good advice. Certainly there has to be a balance between cost, durability and a quality cycling surface, but you are being given a Hobson’s choice that has as much smoke and smell associated with it as hot road tar on a summer day. We can’t call ourselves Bike Town USA and then not deliver the experience visitors and locals expect.

It won’t take long for disappointed cycling visitors to vent their disappointment on all sorts of social media, and once that’s out, there it lives forever.

Commissioners, you were great to listen to us cyclists eight years ago but you have now slipped back into prior poor habits just at the wrong time. The stakes are too high to screw up this time around. There are plenty of experienced cyclists in our county willing to help you get it right, and we stand ready to do so.

Lyman Orton

Steamboat Springs

Comments

exduffer 3 years, 3 months ago

I can't wait til yvb gets a hold of this one.

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flower 3 years, 3 months ago

Lyman who made Steamboat "Bike Town USA"? There was no public vote to take on this burden of increased costs of road maintanence to uphold your biking standards. I am so sick of someone elses ideals being forced on others. If you want the perfect biking experience develop your property to be the ultimate bike experience. Don't make me, a working tax payer, pay for your hobby. And no I don't think there is enough economic benefit from these two wheeled look-i-loos.

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rhys jones 3 years, 3 months ago

Yeah boo hoo. Real men ride fat tires. No Spandex neither.

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jhr2000 3 years, 3 months ago

The selling of "Bike Town USA" includes the ability to bike! The chip and seal program covered a number of area roads making it difficult, for a period this summer, even for a recreational road cyclist like myself to feel comfortable if for safety reasons alone. There has to be a better way!

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exduffer 3 years, 3 months ago

The "better way" would be to tailor your recreational choices to the wide variety available in this great place we live in.

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spidermite 3 years, 3 months ago

Mr. Orton, These are all extremely important issues you have addressed. Why don't you start a fund raiser. With the money you raise you will be able to take this project on yourself. Their will be routine maintenance costs. You will need to cover those expenses. Let us know which roads we will still be able to drive our vehicles on.

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jk 3 years, 3 months ago

Didn't the pros just ride over Cottonwood Pass which is a dirt road?? Give me a break you YOYOS!!!

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1999 3 years, 3 months ago

flower...great point.

I have been told by two city council members and one county comish that BTUSA should not be pushed through by a select group. I was told we would have a choice.

I wonder why our tax dollars are being used for this push that we don't need?

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pitpoodle 3 years, 3 months ago

Got to agree with flower. Just who do you think is paying for this? Me and the rest of the working stiffs who live here, that's who. Didn't I read that the economic benefit was minimal?

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rhys jones 3 years, 3 months ago

The "sustainable" lobby is another branch of the same weed: Freeloaders who want us to pay for their ride. I'd tell both groups to put it where the sun don't shine, and that is not Steamboat.

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bobnbobber 3 years, 3 months ago

Chip n seal them all, you don’t see me driving my subaru down the bike path do you? I like to ride my bike too, but this is getting out of hand. Bikes on every road, trail, path, you name it. Wish I could hike without worrying about getting run over, wish I could drive without worrying about running them over. Bike craze is here, guess I'll have to get used to it, but don't ask me to pay for it too. Bike town USA sucks, I moved to Ski Town USA 20 years ago, what happened to that? I pay for my ski pass to ski, I pay taxes for my lovely chip n seal roads.

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kathy foos 3 years, 3 months ago

Bobnobber get used to it.Bike's save gas and are good exercise .People stop with the spandex remarks.You are probably just jealous that your lardy arses would look odd with such a look.Obviously skiing isnt the only recreation(people also bike to work and fun)around here.Stop the chip and seal if its so brutal for the bikes.Quit making fun of bikers they are taxpayers too.Yampa Valley Boy, they are only bicycles,not communists.I dont ski,but I have to put up with that group.I dont bike(my brother took apart my bike and never put it back together as a child,so I went through life with a chip on my shoulder about bikes,)Whats up with you YVBoy?Why do you hate bikes?Did your sister take your bike apart and never put it back together,leaving you in total bike frustration?.Share the road and stop complaining.The commissioners should stop the inconsiderate actions against biker's.Oops they forgot.(they always do when it suits them)People need to run against these commissioners. Two of the commissioners just need to go,they have been there way.....too.....long.....How about running Mr. Orton?I would trust you way more than the ones we have now(except for Diane)

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bobnbobber 3 years, 3 months ago

Sun obviously can't read as I said in my post that "I guess I'll have to get used to it" and also stated that I like to ride my bike too. Thanks for the attempt at insult but I'm not loosing any sleep worrying about my fine ass in spandex or not. Why don’t you and Mr Orton get together and pull out your check books and pay for "better" roads, the ones I pay for and drive on work just fine.

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rhys jones 3 years, 3 months ago

sun -- This old guy would look fine in Spandex; my Marine dress blues still fit fine, with even a little extra room. I grew out of "Look at me!!" a while back, however, dropped Speedo about the same time, and find my baggy shorts with lots of pockets just fine for pedalling. I've posted my name, and anyone with a different opinion is welcome to voice it (or type it). Anonymity is not my game. You might be right; Spandex may not flatter many of our contributors, but this detractor is not one of them. I'm not jealous, more like disgusted. My t-shirts are cotton too, demonstrating how much further I have lost touch with the times. And I can find plenty of places to ride without chip-n-seal; my fat tires will go more places than I will take them. If all this crying I read didn't have personal financial motivations, I might be more sympathetic or less tongue-in-cheek critical.

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spidermite 3 years, 3 months ago

yvb, Sorry that gave you gas. It seems bicyclist can't ride unless their in a mob.. I love it when they congregate at the top of a hill. They will block off one lane of traffic. The lane your trying to drive in. This usually is a double yellow area - no passing zone. They stop to visit. You can cross the yellow lines and risk an accident. You would be at fault.. The bicyclist would probably ride past any accidents. Even if their were fatalities . They need to monitor their " pulse per minute rate".

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Zed 3 years, 3 months ago

Ride the ChipNSeal and harden the up. If you can't handle variability of the open roads, stick to the smooth bike paths. There are more important road improvements that need attention and would benefit everyone.

YVB - I am sure you made a hell of stink for those 5 minutes you had to wait and were probably cussing everyone out and honking at volunteers/bikers. And that was five minutes you were just going to spend reading/posting internet comments. The horror of it all....

spidermite: "The bicyclist would probably ride past any accidents." - Brilliant comment of the day!

Stay classy.

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spidermite 3 years, 3 months ago

yvb, Your priceless. No one works at the city hall on Friday. Recession and all. Yet we will be paving CR #18. Chip-n-seal won't due. There is always money ($75,000.00) to make sure one of our commissioners doesn't go bankrupt. You need to reconsider running for county commissioner . You aren't perfect but at least we know what your up to!

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Zed 3 years, 3 months ago

Why would you call "someone in charge" at city hall for a complaint about an event on a county road? You need to call the county commissioners and while you are at it, call the county road and bridge as well as the Sheriff. Want to guess how many complaints they logged about bikers this weekend?

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spidermite 3 years, 3 months ago

Zed, How many complaints were logged about bikers this weekend? Did they do anything about the complaints?

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1999 3 years, 3 months ago

It is my understanding that the county and police log hundreds of complaints weekly that are biker related.

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mtroach 3 years, 3 months ago

It's my understanding that you can make up anything and post it to the forum as fact without any evidence to back it up.

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cindy constantine 3 years, 3 months ago

Let us look at other "chip 'n seal" facts.

1) It is less expensive than full on paving saving the taxpayers money. 2) It is recycling at its most useful--taking old pavement, grinding it up, and reusing it making all the enviors and recyclers happy. 3) With 8 MONTHS of snow, it makes for a much "grippier" surface for all of us who chose to drive in the winter. 4) My fat tire bike has no problem on the surface making some bikers happy that the skinny tired folk may avoid chip and seal roads. : )

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1999 3 years, 3 months ago

mt roach...I didn't say that are bikers fault so don't get you panties in a wad.

you should call the county sheriff, road and bridge etc you'd be amazed at how many calls they get related to biking.

a higher up at Road and Bridge told me they hundreds of call weekly.

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Zed 3 years, 3 months ago

^ I call BS, I don't ever remember seeing a call in the police blotter and who the hell is a "higher up" at road and bridge? What, you can't name someone on here?

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cindy constantine 3 years, 3 months ago

Maybe a Sheriff's Blotter would be as entertaining as the police blotter--we don't know how many calls the sheriff receives about any infraction.

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Zed 3 years, 3 months ago

Sheriff's blotter would probably be pretty boring, lot's of livestock complaints? But don't they list sheriff calls in the Pilot blotter as I feel like I see them reference sheriff calls sometimes... My feeling is not too much really goes on in Routt county outside of traffic infractions, domestic disputes, animal complaints... That's why it is comical how dire some make the scofflaw bicycles sound, it is a problem that needs fixing for sure, but in the scheme of issues it is up there with loose cattle on the road.

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mtroach 3 years, 3 months ago

Zed, as a free range state , loose cattle are not a problem. Except for the rancher that has his livleyhood wandering away. Just like cyclists are only a problem for the impatient drivers like yvb who's life is turned upside down by a 5 min delay.

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1999 3 years, 3 months ago

oh the county, city police, sherriff gets call about cats, goats, cattle, high grass, low grass, rocks, turtles and just about anything else you can think of.

I am a biker too. I'm not trying to scofflaw bikers or make them sound bad.

my point was more about that people will call the city, police, county, sherriff, county bus barn, plow drivers and just about anyone else for whatever reason they can think of. bikers are one of the reasons.

oh and FYI...you are fooling yourself if you think the only "events" our law enforcement encounters are posted in the police blotter. those "events" are chosen as a representaion.

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spidermite 3 years, 3 months ago

mtroach, Loose cattle are a problem within five miles of any city having between five thousand and thirty thousand population. This area is not open range. Cyclist are a proplem if their actions endanger others.

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1999 3 years, 3 months ago

hey posters...its monthy calls not weekly.

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doubleottseven 3 years, 3 months ago

Lyman, Your letter is beyond ridiculous. I agree with most of the comments here...take your elitist person and all your elitist ideas and move to Boulder or maybe back to Vermont (if that is where you are from).

"one can just hear the visitors exclaiming, "Whoa no one told us about this....". Incredible statement! Oh, maybe Steamboat Springs should call everyone that is getting ready to move to the area and let them know which areas are the most desirable and have the best streets, best landscaping, etc, etc. That statement of yours just proves that you too expect people to let you know what you yourself should be researching and checking out.

And don't even get me started on the Road & Bridge Department, "Road & Bridge formulated a quiet plan". Give me a break. Chip seal has been a part of Road & Bridge maintenance program for over 16 years and now you say they are quietly adding chip seal. Oh, that is right you are living on your smooth, dirt free, pot hole free street and don't get out there where the chip seal is actually saving the county money.

Lastly, I think your ideals and ideas about Steamboat are part of the problem...and have adequately ruined the character of Steamboat and are "quietly" turning it into another Aspen or Vail. Thanks alot.

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pitpoodle 3 years, 3 months ago

I like all the practical points Cindy made about chip & seal. It makes sense. I, for one, hope it keeps the bikers off Elk River Road. They are a danger to themselves and others.

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1999 3 years, 3 months ago

I like Aspen and Vail.

I would much rather turn into Aspen or Vail instead of Silverthorn.....which seems to be the direction we are heaeded.

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rhys jones 3 years, 3 months ago

We'll never be Aspen or Vail. Aspen and Vail are Interstate towns; any old hitchhiker can drop off there. Pretty as they are, and good as the skiing, too often they attract the Ted Bundy types, the highway prowlers.

You've got to have means to get to Steamboat, and a reason to come here. We get very few lowlifes just passing through, and I sorta like it that way.

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Zed 3 years, 3 months ago

YVB, what did your calls to city and county officials turn up about the road closing bike mob? It's funny how much time some whiners will spend on the internet, but when it comes to taking the time to find solutions you never see/hear from them. Maybe we could meet at the Multi-modal meetings?

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jk 3 years, 3 months ago

rhys, Aspen an interstate town? Not so sure where you got that from?? It's probably harder to get there by car in the winter than here.

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rhys jones 3 years, 3 months ago

jk -- I-70 runs about 38 miles away; I've thumbed it some, driven it lots. That alley is busier than Craig-Steamboat.

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Zed 3 years, 3 months ago

YVB, Why specifically is the county not happy about the city closing that road for a special event? Is there a county policy against closing roads for specific events because when the rally racing was in town numerous county roads were completely closed all over the county. The county also closes Elk River Rd for the Marathon every year, have you filed complaints over that and would you raise a stink over a running race down river rd? River rd has also been closed numerous times this summer due to disrepair, was the detour a major inconvenience?

Public roads are for many uses, not just traffic, but you are welcome to sit in traffic every morning if you like...

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Zed 3 years, 3 months ago

And the pentathlon, don't forget that uses River Road for the biking leg every winter. Be sure to call up and complain about it this year, maybe you have done that in the past.... You could single handedly get all of these events off of the "public" roads and we can get back to the business of "traffic".

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mtroach 3 years, 3 months ago

I'm fireing a letter off to Mother Nature right now to complain about the landslide that closed river road this spring. Forcing me to drive on US40 puts me in the crosshairs of the CSP and if I fail to dim my lights they might find out I was in town drinking. Totally unfair!

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exduffer 3 years, 3 months ago

Roach- Better hope she doesn't find out that you use plastic bags at the grocery store.

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Zed 3 years, 3 months ago

I love and have participated/volunteered for all of the events mentioned that use public roads (spectated the rally) and feel strongly that they are a major part of what makes Steamboat great, to lose them because you think the right to travel unimpeded is more important would be a blow to the interest of everyone in Steamboat. The fact that you are on pins and needles has more to do with your inability to accept delays in your car(personality complex?) and less to do with any number events that may use a road.

I have volunteered for the triathlon on River Rd and it is interesting how 99% of the motorists are not on pins and needles and in fact have no problem waiting/driving a little slower. It is that 1% of drivers who get nasty and irritated, were you the one in the white pickup truck that was endangering volunteers and competitors? stay classy YVB.

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mtroach 3 years, 3 months ago

Who said the events were held for free? The Stage Race, Triathalon, Pentathalon, and other cycling events are held for profit. Free enterprise at its best, using a public easement for private gain through a partnership with local government via a permit process that's OKed by law enforcement and elected officials. The triathalon is also subsidized by a grant from BTUSA, and the pentathalon is a city run event.

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1999 3 years, 3 months ago

how is the triathalon subsidized by a grant from BTUSA?

i'll check on that but I think it probably gets sponsorship money from RRC not BTUSA>

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1999 3 years, 3 months ago

i just checked the triathalon website and didn't see anything about BTUSA>

BTUSA was given money by the city (taxpayers) to pay their head person who quit because she wasn't getting payed enough and needed more money to support her family. (understood)

BTUSA is roughly a group of people working together to promote cycling in steamboat. GREAT!

just don't change the name of our town. we don't need to be BTUSA to attract great events and is evidenced by our past.

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mtroach 3 years, 3 months ago

I may be wrong but I thought some of the funds set aside for BTUSA funded a summer cycling event schedule. Funding was given directly to the steamboat stinger, the triathalon, and other events for marketing of those events outside of the group marketing of the whole schedule. Please correct me if I'm wrong about this, it was in a pilot story that came out this spring.

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sedgemo 3 years, 3 months ago

I drive River Road every day... and lately began wondering why the bikes aren't required to display SLOW MOVING VEHICLE signs, as are all other wheeled vehicles not moving at or near the posted speed limit. All our ag equipment is required to display one, why not bicycles?

When I lived elsewhere the Amish buggies were also required to display them, which they rejected and took to the state courts to argue. They paid no taxes to use the road and caused more than a little road rage by their use of public roads, which were mostly narrow winding two lane roads with no shoulders. Over time, wide, paved shoulders were added to quite a few county roads, which made a vast improvement in safety for all concerned.

Perhaps a fund could be established (paid for by bicycle SLOW MOVING VEHICLE signs or maybe an income tax check-off item) which could be put towards adding safer paved shoulders to our roads over time. I can't believe the bikers enjoy playing chicken with large, fast-moving vehicles, and I don't appreciate having their lives in my hand at every turn, either.

Wide shoulders would improve the situation, as they did in Amish country, with the added benefit of making a sort of passing lane on those narrow roads.

The shoulders could be paid for (at least in part) by those who use them, and our roads remain unconstricted by people enjoying their own form of recreation.

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1999 3 years, 3 months ago

sedgemo.....you can not just "pave wider roads"

look around as you drive and think about where that extra 6 feet of road could come from, how much it would cost, how wide the driving lanes should be etc etc etc.

FYI.....the "fog lines" which i think you are calling bike lanes...are not bike lanes...they are simply there to distinguish the driving lane width.

while sure it's advantageous to have wide shoulders...it's not as simple as "paving wider roads"

we're talking millions of dollars per/mile. then of course there is upkeep.

routt county has roughly 150 miles of paved roads. you do the math.

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mtroach 3 years, 3 months ago

1999 search Pilot:" Event funding takes a hit" feb15,2011.

Clearly shows $4000 from city council to the triathalon promoters($2000per event). When asked about this funding I was told the Tri(s) would not happen without this funding as they do not break even. Why a company like Honey Stinger was given $2000 to produce an event is a question that's been bugging me all summer.

Sedgemo, what are you going to charge cyclists for these signs,$10,000 each would still not cover the Millions it would take to improve our roads. And really I would think the population in the Amish country is much greater than that of Routt county and this the number of conflicts greater. I ride all over Routt county and aside from the very forum vocal vyb noone seems to have a problem sharing our roads, and even vyb shares the road, he just complains about having to do so.

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1999 3 years, 3 months ago

I'm all for the city giving $$$$ directly to events like this that involve people staying in hotels and such. 4000$ is acceptable to me.

but..it came from the city .......NOT BTUSA

also...if honey stinger is putting on an event that also attracts hotel stays...i think 2000$ is also acceptable (i wonder if this was for the 50 miler)

also...i'd like to add...Honey Stinger is a sponsor in just about EVERY event in SBS and routt county. getting 2000$ back from the city is okay with me. they do alot.

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mtroach 3 years, 3 months ago

True that Hstinger does a lot for Steamboat, but the 50 miler drew 300+ racers at $75 each, why would a multi million dollar energy company, owned by Lance Armstrong(deep pockets) need my tax dollars to produce an event that grossed $20,000 for their coffers? No doubt they produced a great event, a new mainstay for our summer. It just bugs me when those that don't need a handout take one.

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1999 3 years, 3 months ago

I understand your point mtroach.

We are also now in bidding wars for the Pro Challenge. i'd like to see a cost benefit for that.

how much do we agree to pay? give away? etc etc etc.

seems giving money to this event is just subsidy for the ski corp for free international advertising while doing nothing for our local economy. similar to the airport subsidy.

people have lost their jobs, are defaulting on loans, losing thier houses and not able to pay rent.

i think we can do better than subsidize ski corps advertising.

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mtroach 3 years, 3 months ago

Bidding wars?? The Pro Challange isn't paid to come here, their expenses are covered by the towns that request and are selected to be on route. How next years route is determined is up to Medalist, and I don't think direct payments determine their route. If we chose to put our hat into the ring next year is not my decision, and like the btusa, I have no idea who makes that decision, or how it's made. I wish both were subject to public meeting and comment.

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1999 3 years, 3 months ago

don't be so sure they are not paid to be here.

they are an event organization just like the Triple Crown. We would need to be able to promise a certain number of free beds, free venues, free services, police, fire, ambulance, state troopers, local volunteers..... etc etc etc.

http://www.steamboattoday.com/news/2011/sep/02/steamboat-officials-consider-2012-pro-cycling-chal/

they are not doing it here because they love steamboat so much. they are doing it for money. can you imagine how much money the event organizers make? while our local shops made nothing (though it was a fun party)

the best/highest bid wins

they are basically using steamboat to launch their event...our hopes pinned on exposure = tourist dollars.

ski corps using the town $$$$$ for free advertsing.

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mtroach 3 years, 3 months ago

1999 I understand the promoter has needs. Those demands would be made the same for every town on the route. How would best/higest work if the needs were the same for every town? I doubt any town is giving them rooms in the low rent district or meals from McDonalds.

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1999 3 years, 3 months ago

mtroach...i am not sure what your point is...the fact is...someone is making money and it's not Steamboat retail and restaurants.

the promotors DO NOT do events for the fun of it.

the teams do not race for free.

the networks need to sell advertising

ski corp needs free advertsing.

what do you think?

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mtroach 3 years, 3 months ago

Point is that Steamboat did not "outbid" other towns to get the race. The race chose to come here and this town did what was asked for it to happen. I did not think we were selected because we offered more than what another town offererd, thus we didn't outbid anyone for the event. I may be wrong, as I don't have much firsthand information as to the details of the selection process. If someone knows more please chime in.b

I thought the promoters made money from getting their sponsers exposure and by charging sponsered teams to participate. Teams have sponsers that pay their expenses for the exposure. Networks have commericials to pay for televising the event. Ski corp, and steamboat get exposure for their efforts and that will hopefully expand our tourist base. All these organizations work together to benifit each other, and bike race fans get to see the best atheletes in the world race on the roads we ride everyday.

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sedgemo 3 years, 3 months ago

Hey all, I DO understand about fog lines, and the cost of widening roads etc., I offered it as a STARTING point towards finding a solution to this polarizing issue. It's always easy to point out what we don't like but much harder to allow others their freedoms as well... and look for solutions that everyone can live with. We all love being outdoors or we wouldn't be here! I am conflicted about bikes all over the roads since it isn't just a single day or event anymore, it's anytime the sun is shining, and I don't want to crush them or hit someone head-on passing on a blind hill... so I drop back and wait, but sometimes it means 8 or 10 times on one passage along River Road. In my opinion it's just bad physics to have bikes and automobiles occupying the same driving lanes, period.

FWIW, The Amish country I lived in was actually very much LESS populated than here, the main town had a population of 828 for most of 15 years. They had very little tax base but of course, flatter land, so were able to widen shoulders OVER TIME to reduce the hazards of slower moving traffic.

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1999 3 years, 3 months ago

mt roach..WE paid for this event.

not the promotors or sponsors or ski corp or the riders.

WE DID.

the promotors run around saying "OOOOO international exposure. just jump thru these hoops." and depending on what we see as the benefit. we jump thru their hoops.

the fact is PEOPLE MADE MONEY and it wasn't steamboat. they are not doing these races for free or just because they love steamboat. people bid on it. told them what they could offer. what they could pay.

come on.

also....from what I could see....steamboat hired an event company to put on the race in Steamboat. who paid them? who paid the state police. ambulance.sherriffs. road and bridge.city police? we did

it's all about money mt roach. not "o steamboat is so great" (though i think it is.)

I know thats how these things go..and thats fine....but we need to be able to weigh these things not get all stary eyed because some bike racer races in our town when his contract tells him to .

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1999 3 years, 3 months ago

I agree with what you are saying sed...but at this point what we have to deal with is "share the road"

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mtroach 3 years, 3 months ago

sedgemo, one of the problems we face when discussing better roads is budgetary. 2/3 of our county leaders don't accept cyclists as a user group on our county roads and thus could care less about allocating funding to build better roads. vyb is their spokesman on this forum. Orton's letter is his second call for action from these leaders. His first letter brought together 100 or so cyclists to a county comm. meeting to show support and ask for better roads. Now the county is once again having budget problems with just the maintenance of our roads to good cycling standards. I wish Routt county had the money to shoulder all of our roads for cyclists, or fix RCR14 to Stagecoach, or use smaller "chip" when resealing. They don't and noone want to pay for better roads through a tax, so here we are...with anti-cyclists saying we don't belong, and that our presence on the road is unsafe, and that we don't pay specific vehicle taxes and shouldn't have access to the right of way because of it. I disagree with most of the anti-cyclist statements 'cause I think the right of ways were created for anyone to use how they see fit, not for automobiles exclusively. The perception that road are built for cars is incorrect, roads were built to allow efficient transportation and unless you pass a law saying recreation on our right of ways is banned, I'm going to ride my bike on them.

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mtntrekker 3 years, 3 months ago

If motor vehicles, trailers, etc. have to pay a license fee to pay for roads, so should cyclists. If you ride a bike on the roads, you should have to get it licensed. When you buy a new bike, the seller adds a license fee to the transaction, which then goes to the road and bridge dept. Sell bike vanity plates! That would be cool for the cruiser bike crowd. Or the county clerk adds a bicycle road use tax to your car license fees, whether you own a bike or not. Put shocks on your road bike. Many options out there. I don't care one way or the other about chip and seal. Although I wish there were shoulders on the more bike travelled roads (Elk River Road, River Road).

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sedgemo 3 years, 3 months ago

As I understand it, any vehicle moving consistently 10 mph or so slower than the published speed limit is required to display a SLOW MOVING VEHICLE sign on the rear when traversing public roadways.

If I drive my hayrake on the road without the sign I can be ticketed, and though the tractor is pretty big I worry about being hit from behind since I can't get over far enough due to the highway markers along the shoulder.

Why do bicycles NOT have to display a SMV sign? Perhaps if a special version was made (thx mtntrekker) and cyclists paid for it (like motorcycle owners etc. do) it would BEGIN to fund some improvements for all concerned.

I don't agree we have to "SHARE THE ROAD" with SMVs on a consistent basis. Single events we can all deal with, it's the constant danger for both cyclists and motorists that is disturbing.

Maybe cyclists should stay on the more open roads which have safe shoulders?

Or our laws revised so I don't go to jail if my truck mirror takes someone out as I try not to get in a head-on with someone else trying not to take out a cyclist coming the other direction.

Again, it's simple physics to me that cycles and automobiles are not compatible uses for the same footprint of asphalt.

Can't we find a better answer?

PS DISCLAIMER: I am not affiliated or aware of the identity of YampaValleyBoy. Whether I agree with YVB or not is my own business.

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mtroach 3 years, 3 months ago

Seg. Our laws have been revised so that vehicles must move more than 3 feet away from a cyclist. Now you want to change that so you can pass within 18 inches of a cyclist. Bravo you have taken vyb's indifference toward cyclists a new level.

How about we lower speed limits on every Routt county road to 25 mph? That would lower chances of speed related problems easily and without expense. The tickets would pay for the sign changes. The slower speed would also give drivers and cyclists more time to react to each other. Drivers would then think about their route home and avoid the slower roads like rcr14 in favor of better built and maintained highways.

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mavis 3 years, 3 months ago

WOW... bikers should HAVE to pay to PLAY it is simple!!

and wow mtroach.... there ya go... lower the mph to 25 mph on county roads and watch the road rage... but better yet the bike races are going to have to be monitored at that speed limit too... and to top that if they don't scoot of fthe yellow line their fines are DOUBLED for not yielding and then if they do it 3 times they LOOSe the privlidge to bike on the road..... sounds GREAT in a few years we will pay for great roads AND "race paths" and we can all get along again!! FYI it is to the point that basically only the drivers react to the cyclists they are all jamming to thier ipods and really don't bother to move these days.

By the way mtroach I can only hope you are soon hoping to build an addition onto your house so you can deal with the incredible fluctuations in drive time from a gravel pit to your house because of the stop lights and bikers!! in the end you will pay for the expense because the people that work for a living have to deal with the fluctuations and hold ups we now have in BTUSA!! Justremember to not take it out on the person delivering your service if they had to drive to town at 20 MPH!!!

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mtroach 3 years, 3 months ago

Mavis. I'm not the one who wants permission to "take someone out" rather than slow down and share the road. And for all you anti-cyclists winter is comming and the cold weather will do two things: 1. Provide snow packed roads and poor visibility to reduce your drive safety. 2. Remove 99% of cyclists from the roads. Your problem with cyclists happens only 5 months of the year. The rest of the time noone rides. All this forum grandstanding for such minor problem that happens less than half the year.

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mavis 3 years, 3 months ago

mtroach- NO it actually is a 12 month problem. all of the people that are accustomed to riding their bikes DAILY in the middle of the road for 5 months then FORGET how to drive in the winter and still think Driving in the middle of the road is OK

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mavis 3 years, 3 months ago

Since few of the bikers hunt.... out of curiousity.. how would you feel if river road and all of 14 was closed for 8 weeks during the summer??? You all ovbiousely didn't read the hunting article about buff pass being closed for 8 weeks.... so I ask you bikers what would your response be if your favorite route was closed during your prime season????

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mtroach 3 years, 3 months ago

Why do you think few cyclists hunt? I would say 2/3 of my friends also hunt and enjoy the outdoors off the bike. I can't explain why the USFS waited till now to fix that road, it was closed much of the summer to for this same project. Impacting everyone. I'm not going to complain about slow government response or unavailable roads and trails, there is always another place to ride. If you read the buff pass story the forest is still open you just need different way to access. I have no doubt that a hunter could easily hike up buff pass without any problem the road is closed to cars, not humans.

Mavis if you see drivers in the middle of the roads all year, maybe you should stay off the roads till you get your eyes checked.

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1999 3 years, 3 months ago

mavis...your logic is pure fanasy.

i bike and I hunt. i know plenty of bikers and hunters.

and to your "bikers are used to riding in the middle of the road so they drive that way too..."

well all I can say is.....

BAHAHAHAHA

get a grip and put the martini down.

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mavis 3 years, 3 months ago

Lots of people that bike hunt but I would have to say that 2/3 of them are vegeterians and don't so you might want to check that because they are the same ones claiming hunting doesn't bring any revenue to Routt County!

You tend to learn a lot about people's driving habits when you drive across the county twice a day!! So think what you want! Gotta love the predictability with the comments!! Have a good weekend

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1999 3 years, 3 months ago

you are delsional. and wholly misinformed.

2/3 vegetarians........

BAHAHAHAHA

so what is the predictability of the comments you speak of???...you predicted someone would call you out on your ridiculous assumptions....yup...thats predictable.

right again mavis.

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mavis 3 years, 3 months ago

99- you didn't "call" me out on anything-- we just have a difference of opinion which is totally normal. I would have to say the vast majority of the hunters I saw today in the grocery store and downtown did not have local plates. A lot of locals do hunt but it also brings in a lot of visitors.

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sedgemo 3 years, 3 months ago

@ MTROACH "Our laws have been revised so that vehicles must move more than 3 feet away from a cyclist. Now you want to change that so you can pass within 18 inches of a cyclist. Bravo you have taken vyb's indifference toward cyclists a new level."

??? I am the furthest thing from indifferent, I am extremely concerned. I said nothing about 18", only pointed out the reality of what happens daily in good weather, with cars and bikes coming in opposite directions. Three feet of clearance puts me squarely over the middle of the road on blind hills.

I mentioned earlier I always slow down... but sometimes this can happen six times in a mile. On River Road especially there are limited opportunities to pass safely, especially when cyclists are riding tandem in either/both directions.

The SMV sign idea would at least bring cyclists in compliance with other slow moving vehicles, and would begin to provide at least some funds for improving cycling conditions. I understand it's a drop in the ocean, but it is a beginning point.

Looking ahead I think we will only see more cycle/auto conflicts, and likely some fatalities. I hope I am not involved in any of them.

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mtroach 3 years, 3 months ago

Seg.bthanks for slowing down for cyclists, I always slow for hay equipment and show respect for anyone using the roadway. I would sugget to use an alternate route to town if RCR14 is too busy for you. Also you could try not passing on blind hills.

You did not comment on my idea of lowering speed limits throughout Routt county. If you, and approaching cars were going slower to begin with everyone would have more time to react to each other making the passes less dangerous. Even during chip-seal operations when the speed limits are set lower to save windshield from thrown rocks noone respects the speed limit and drives too fast to prevent damage to oncomming traffic. This shows me that our real problem is speed, and lack of concern for other road users, not slower traffic or cyclists. Let's face the fact that no ammount of bike licencing will pay for the type of improvments our roads need to allow safe travel for everyone. And really spending millions to put a shoulder on a road to minimize the 6-10 interactions you face with cyclists isn't going to be the most cost effective way to make these roads safer. I see stories from Boulder county where cyclists are hit on hugh shouldered highways cause once the road is improved, drivers feel safer going faster or pay less attention due to their increased level of security the bigger roadway provides. So the most obvious soluition is better enforcement of current laws to drive the point home that everyone derserves safe passage on our roads. That goes for cyclists that block the road as well as drivers that are speeding, distracted or otherwise endangering road users. Keeping in mind that automobile drivers will bear the brunt of enforcement as their misuse of our roadways will result in a far more trajic end result that anything a rogue cyclist could cause. Can you agree with this?

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Zed 3 years, 3 months ago

Sounds like YVB is out terrorizing cyclists this morning, there is an email going around of a beat up tan ford van that buzzed and honked at a small group of cyclists near Hilton Gulch. If you ride River rd, keep an eye out for this van as it is likely a repeat offender and with a few more calls to the *csp aggressive driver line it is likely law enforcement will catch up with him.

There are lot's of things I dislike, but I can't say the thought of using my car as a weapon to scare people has crossed my mind. I guess we have a South Routt Taliban fighting against the "hold ups" created by bicyclists.

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sedgemo 3 years, 3 months ago

Mtn.Roach,

I already mentioned several times I SLOW DOWN, I DON'T PASS ON BLIND HILLS, I AM A COURTEOUS DRIVER AND DON'T WANT TO HIT ANYONE.

I AM NOT SPEEDING. I AM NOT MISUSING THE ROADS, I PAY TO USE THEM AND HAVE TO TO GET TO WORK. I EXPECT TO SEE BIKES IN AWKWARD PLACES AND AM RARELY DISAPPOINTED. MY ALTERNATE DRIVING ROUTE IS ACTUALLY LONGER AND MORE DANGEROUS.

IF I HIT A ROGUE CYCLIST I AM AT FAULT, WHICH I AVOID AT ALL COSTS. UNFORTUNATELY, THE CYCLIST WILL BE VERY DEAD.

Lowering the speed limits will only cause more tickets to be issued, which doesn't change the situation on the roads. Bikes are still moving much slower than the posted speed limits. Your idea would work if we had speed limits set at 10 mph on narrow roads, but I doubt anyone would drive that slowly. Maybe a better answer is to motorize and license the bikes, or at least require the SMV sign.

I don't drive a tan van, either.

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mtroach 3 years, 3 months ago

Sedg. You don't have to yell. Thanks for keeping things safe. No thanks on "motorize " my bike. I think you miss the entire point of bicycle riding. And really, would a cyclist get any respect on the roads by displaying a SMV sign? You are just attempting to discourage cycling through excessive laws to suit your own purpose.

Please remember that the Speed Limit is posted to control the maxium speed allowed on the road. It is not the required speed for any user of the road. Please do not think that being prevented from going the speed limit all the time is somehow an assult on your driving rights or that some how you have the right to go to the limit all the time.

And belive me that if enough speeding tickets were issued, drivers would slow down or be forced to pay excessive insurance rates and or lose their ability to legally operate an automobile.

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sedgemo 3 years, 3 months ago

??? my purpose? excessive laws???

I am obeying the existing laws and suggesting cyclists do the same. Usually there IS a minimum speed and travelers going too slowly are required by EXISTING laws to display the SMV sign. Nobody has answered my question about why bikes don't have to, including yourself.

Your posts seem to aim for extremes in dialogue, I am looking for solutions. Guess I won't find them here. Happy trails.

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mtroach 3 years, 3 months ago

I did not answer your question cause I don't know why. I also don't know why you are looking for soluitions here. From your posts you seem like the kind of driver we want, scared about the dangers you auto could pose to a cyclist and driving in a respectful way.

It's all the careless drivers I'm worried about and nothing I say on this forum or do out on the road will change their behavior or attitudes. IMO, only law enforcement and stricter licence training and testing will change our lazy attutude toward road safety.

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Zed 3 years, 2 months ago

"IF I HIT A ROGUE CYCLIST I AM AT FAULT"

^ sedgemo, I disagree with this statement. Unless you are drunk, if you hit a cyclist you most likely will get a slap on the wrist and maybe a small dent in your car. There is a law that states a vehicle must give cyclists three feet to pass, want to guess how many times that has been applied? If you get hit on a bike, you are lucky if the driver even stops....

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mtroach 3 years, 2 months ago

Yvb.. you work to expand 'govment and bring about registration and fees for cyclists to pay for your respect on the roads and I will comply. As will most cyclists. But currently there is no law or registration requireing me to pay for the use of our roads.

Bring on bigger government and more encrochment to my liberty by a fee seeking berurocracy. What's next on your list, handguns, plastic bags? How about registering the 20% of coloradoians that are obese to take away their right to softdrinks and doughnuts? Will you be the one out taking away kids bikes when they are found with an unregistered bike?

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steamboatsconscience 3 years, 2 months ago

roach that is a pretty stupid comment. (also try spell check when you are angry) making bicyclists pay a fee will REALLY make government HUGE!!!! LOL! what it will do is make bicycle scofflaws accountable for their law breaking by having a license plate that can be used to bust you as you blow through stop signs. you want part of the road? you want improvements so you won't hurt your poor butt driving on chip seal then pay for it like the rest of us do with registration fees.

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sedgemo 3 years, 2 months ago

Zed, I don't EVER want to test the law but my understanding is the "failure to observe" ticket is issued to anyone hitting another from the rear.

I still think some sort of SMV sign or ID plate is a good idea, too.

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mtroach 3 years, 2 months ago

Conscience, sorry but my little phone is hard to type on and I can't always spell check my posts. I currently pay registration fees for the four automobiles and two motorcycles I own, is that enough? I only use ONE automobile or motorcycle or bike at any given time. I would gladly pay a reg. fee for my six bikes if it were required by law, but it is NOT. So for you and all the other register or get off the road posters out there I challenge you all to get off this forum and make a real change in our laws to make bikes registered users of the roads. Until then stfu.

Also,I don't complain about adding shoulders to our roads or the chip/seal maintenance. And really want all those cyclists that run stop signs, ride the wrong way on streets, and abuse the liberty of bicycle transportation off our roads or stopped and ticketed by police. That's not how I ride so bring on better law enforcement, i'm good. Further,if you followed yvb's other posts she is mostly anti big government and pro liberty, except for cyclists.

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