POLICIES AND PROCEDURES
There is an old saying that there are two seasons in Illinois – winter
and road construction. Just like death and taxes are
unavoidable facts of life, road construction and reroutes are unavoidable
of cycling. We have neither run a cycling
event, nor participated in any one run by another
organization, where some sort of road construction hasn't been affected the
ride in some way.
Although we won't know
when, where or how, we can almost guarantee
you that our
plans will change in response to road construction.
The best thing for our participants to do is be
open-minded and mentally ready for these situations.
We cannot completely eliminate road construction on our route, but we
do minimize the amount we have to deal with. About two to three weeks before
the start of the event we paint our
directional signage directly on our route, and make any necessary route changes
due to existing road construction. Unfortunately, this still leaves
two to three weeks when road construction can still occur. Because of the
chance of rain, we cannot
paint the route immediately before the start
of the event, and time is needed to change our route
documentation (cue sheets, maps, GPS dataset files, etc.) as necessary.
As much as we would like to know about and be able to avoid any road construction,
is not logistically possible considering the myriad of separate federal,
state, county, township, road district, and municipal transportation authorities
we would have to contact about our routes. It is much more effective and
efficient to reactively respond to any new road construction during the event
itself than to try
to avoid it beforehand.
- Click Here for more
information about reroutes around adverse road conditions.
The below situations happened during previous events, and hopefully will
give you an idea of what can (or cannot) be expected in terms of road construction
- and also a little snicker as well. We apologize in advance if you're a
road construction worker - you guys do a remarkable job - but road construction
can be a real nuisance during our events!
During and event, we received word
from a few participants that we had supposedly "missed" painting
at one of our turns. We found it odd that two members of our staff would
both miss a mark since the turns are painted before the start of the event
and also double-checked during the event
itself, but hey - no one's perfect!
The staff member who
scouted the route quickly drove back to that location to fix the situation.
The marks were
in fact missing, but the reason was not because we had missed a turn, but
because a road construction crew
had laid down fresh pavement on top of our markings! This had
to have happened after the time our staff member had
gone through in the morning, but before all the riders had arrived there.
At least it was fresh pavement for us!
It was approximately 7:00 in the morning when our scout came up on a road
construction worker stopping traffic on
a part of our Northbound route that went for about a mile and a
half. They were resurfacing half of the road at a time and had luckily started
the Southbound side first instead of the Northbound side.
The scout informed the road construction worker that a number of cyclists
would soon be coming through, and asked him
when they would begin resurfacing
the Northbound lanes. THe worker said he thought maybe around 11:00
am but couldn't make any guarantees.
The scout immediately phoned ahead to all the previous rest stop
attendants who would then inform our participants. Our participants would
have to ride at a faster pace and not waste time so they could
make it through the road construction
zone before the Northbound side got repaved. Thankfully, everyone made it
through in time, and we were lucky no one got stuck in fresh pavement!
As you can see, we encounter some completely unpredictable construction
situations, but at the end of the day we are happy our participants have
and it always makes for a great story!