Dear America’s Most Beautiful and Tour de Tahoe Participants,
This letter is a first. In my 25+ years of directing our events, I have never been in a position to plead with our participants for their safety and the future of our events. This, unfortunately, is now necessary.
The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) has historically worked extremely hard to both support our events and ensure utmost safety on the roadways for all cyclists as well as motorist. Caltrans is also in a position to grant or deny permits for our events.
Caltrans has received numerous comments, complaints and letters of riders not abiding by the Rules of Road & Ride. Violations that specifically include: Not riding as far to right as practicable; riding 2 or more abreast; Not moving to the right to allow following traffic to pass safely; and Not stopping at stop signs or allowing pedestrians to cross at marked cross walks. Registered event cyclists may be taking for granted, “Share the Road”, where cars are expected to share with bikes and obey rules of the road; but those same cyclists are not sharing the roadway with vehicles, or obeying the rules of the road themselves. We know that most of you obey the Rules of the Road & Ride, in that you Ride Responsibly and Share the Road with Vehicles and it may be small percentage of violators that have created this issue. Regardless, Caltrans grants Bike the West the privilege to conduct our Special Events on Public Roadways and all participants must comply with both the Rules of the Road AND Rules of our Ride, if we are to continue to host America’s Most Beautiful Bike Ride and Tour de Tahoe.
If this disregard for your safety and the safety of all roadway users continues, Caltrans will not issue our necessary encroachment permit to allow our rides to continue as a Rules of the Road/Ride event. This would be a devastating blow, not only for you, former and future participants, but also the National Fund Raising teams that attend annually and huge blow to the economic benefits that you and our events provide to our Lake Tahoe communities.
Only you, as a participating cyclists, can determine the safety and future of our events, and we are asking for your help. Please demonstrate to Caltrans and all other users of the roadways around Lake Tahoe, that you can and will Share the Road & Ride Responsibly. Caltrans will be video taping the ride and the California Highway Patrol will be in force to cite violators. If you knowingly cannot abide by the Rules of the Road & Rules of our Ride, please do not register for our events. Your safety, and the future of cycling in Tahoe, is too important to risk. If you see instances of unsafe cycling, please remind others to Share the Road & Ride Responsibly, for their safety and yours, and for the future of our events.
We want you to enjoy your experience riding around Lake Tahoe and we ask you to help us continue to produce America’s Most Beautiful Bike and Tour de Tahoe. We ask you to comply with and abide by, not only the Rules of the Road, but also the Rules of our Ride:
Bike the West
AS A REMINDER:
YOUR SAFETY AND FUTURE OF THIS RIDE DEPENDS ON YOU
“ABIDE BY OUR RULES OF THE ROAD / RIDE”
“SHARE THE ROAD” MEANS VEHICLES SHARE THE ROAD WITH CYCLISTS AND CYCLISTS SHARE THE ROAD WITH VEHICLES
YOU MUST RIDE SINGLE FILE, WHEN AT ALL POSSIBLE, EXCEPT FOR PASSING
PASSING MANEUVERS MUST NOT EXCEED TWO ABREAST
PASSING PERMITTED ONLY TO THE LEFT AND AS A SAFETY COURTESY, PLEASE CALL OUT: “PASSING ON YOUR LEFT”
YOU MUST MOVE AS FAR TO THE RIGHT AS PRACTICABLE TO ALLOW FOLLOWING VEHICLES TO PASS
YOU MUST PULL OFF THE ROAD SURFACE AND STOP, IF NECESSARY TO ALLOW EMERGENCY VEHICLES TO PASS.
YOU MUST STOP AT STOP SIGNS AND STOP LIGHTS AND ALLOW PEDISTRIANS TO CROSS
YOU MUST MAKE PROPER HAND SIGNALS WHEN TURNING
PLEASE BE COURTEOUS OF VEHICLES TURNING ON TO THE COURSE FROM SIDE AND CROSS STREETS.
There are other Rules of our Ride that include wearing a helmet and no head phones and others for your safety that are not listed above. Please understand that registration and participation in this event does not entitle participants to violate the Rules of the Road / Ride, nor in ANY WAY allow for unsafe riding.
“SHARE THE ROAD & RIDE RESPONSIBLY”