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  1. #1
    Its a Lemming thing... jester69's Avatar
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    Why do we mark routes with paint?

    From what i have read here, the SOP on a big charity ride or century is to send somebody out with a big can of dayglo spray paint and mark all the turns by painting on the road.

    Isn't this a bad idea, I would think so because:

    1) it is destructive and vandalism, the paint stays long after it is wanted.
    2) it ticks off the people that live there (a friend lives here on a road often used for rides, they had the guy painting on the roads arrested for vandalism)
    3) shouldn't people be able to follow directions anyway? Hand out a nice map, maybe laminated even?
    4) wouldn't a nice sign be better, then come take it up when the ride is over?

    Maybe you guys use water solulable paint or go black over it when you are done, but I bet not.

    I'm not opposed to organized rides, I just don't like hanging out with non cyclist friends and having to listen to a 10 minute tirade on what a bunch of asshats cyclists are. The least we could do is try not to vandalize peoples neighborhoods.

    take care,

    Jester
    If you are in St. Louis, MO or surrounding areas it is imperative that you check this out: www.stlbikeworks.com.

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  2. #2
    Bike Happy DanFromDetroit's Avatar
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    At least with paint you won't get incidents like these

    I suppose that if you can't use flour then cones or ribbons (like trail markers) would be best.

    3) shouldn't people be able to follow directions anyway?
    You must have known the answer to this even as you wrote it.

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    At least two of the group rides in my area attract four to five thousand riders. That's a lot of maps! It's much more practical to mark the road, not to mention a safety issue. Many of the riders in the big charity rides are not experienced in riding with a group. They have a hard enough time riding the bike and doing the distance. Now throw in reading written directions while riding in a group.
    I agree that sometimes the organizers of these rides can get carried away with the amount of marking they do. But between the electric company, the phone company, the water company and the local township I don't think the bicycle tour markings stand out.
    One possible alternative would be good old colored chalk. I live on a cul de sac and when we have block parties we let the kids draw on the street with chalk. It lasts for weeks but isn't permanent.
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  4. #4
    Suburban Cyclist OctoberBlue's Avatar
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    One organized ride that I rode utilized brightly colored duct tape on the road in the shape of arrows -- blue for the west to east route and yellow for east to west.

    Colored chalk might be a good idea, but if it rains/snows on the day of the ride, you're in trouble.
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  5. #5
    Mercrudgeon Bikedud's Avatar
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    Why would someone complain about a 12" circle with an arrow indicating direction attached to it, painted on the road surface?

    How is it destructive? painting doesn't degrade the road surface.

    Painting is cost and result effective.
    With paint you can promote a safer ride by identifying potential road hazards.
    We use paint specifically designed for road painting. It fades fairly quickly and dries immediately so there is no danger of a car riding over a freshly painted symbol and damaging the paint on the car.

    We paint county maintaned roads with the county's permission in a very rural area. No one has complained and most everyone appreciates being advised that a few hundred cyclist will be riding through on the appointed day.

    Signs are expensive and you have to put them beside the road or on private property.
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  6. #6
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    The Denver Post's Ride the Rockies tour in Colorado uses extensive road markings on the roads the tour uses, and they have done so for years. They not only mark directions, but also hazards to cycling like potholes, rumble strips, etc. This improves safety not only for the cyclists but for the motorized traffic as well, since the cyclists are less likely to crash or swerve suddenly when an unmarked hazard appears. The paint does not last that long with the winter road conditions in Colorado, and it is not a hazard for the motorized traffic. Of course, the towns on that tour are a lot friendlier to the cyclists, since they bring money in. It sounds like your area has some people who are not pleased at having any cyclists using the roads. Ride the Rockies also has volunteers stationed at critical turns to provide directions and traffic warnings to the cyclists. They also have the cooperation of the Colorado highway patrol and local law enforcement as well. You might try working woth the local officials inyour area to see if that helps any.

  7. #7
    OregonBound
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    Originally posted by jester69
    From what i have read here, the SOP on a big charity ride or century is to send somebody out with a big can of dayglo spray paint and mark all the turns by painting on the road.

    Isn't this a bad idea, I would think so because:

    1) it is destructive and vandalism, the paint stays long after it is wanted.


    I'm originally from St. Louis myself (as your profile indicates you are) and some directional markings on the pavement are least of spray paint one is likely to see. At least it isn't gang tagging.

    2) it ticks off the people that live there (a friend lives here on a road often used for rides, they had the guy painting on the roads arrested for vandalism)

    Sounds like a genuine *******. Perhaps some cyclists could give him a taste of "targeted enforcement." It has been my experience that with enough scrutiny, virtually anyone can be caught violating the law.

    3) shouldn't people be able to follow directions anyway? Hand out a nice map, maybe laminated even?

    Have you ridden on many large group rides? Even with markings -and- cue sheets, a fair number of people will manage to get lost.

    4) wouldn't a nice sign be better, then come take it up when the ride is over?

    And whose property shall we put the dozens of signs on?

    Maybe you guys use water solulable paint or go black over it when you are done, but I bet not.

    Correct.

    I'm not opposed to organized rides, I just don't like hanging out with non cyclist friends and having to listen to a 10 minute tirade on what a bunch of asshats cyclists are.

    Get new friends who have a clue or tell them to shut up.

    The least we could do is try not to vandalize peoples neighborhoods.

    I don't accept your contention that simple markings on the pavement is vandalism.

    Paul

  8. #8
    Its a Lemming thing... jester69's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Bikedud
    Why would someone complain about a 12" circle with an arrow indicating direction attached to it, painted on the road surface?
    I dont know, but they did. The area in question that the rides go through used to be a farm community but now is filled with expensive homes. I think if one has permission from the government to paint that is one thing, but out where this ride is they know they could never get permission so go ahead and do it anyway.

    If the people that live there like their roads without dayglo paint all over them and pass laws to that effect, then their wishes should be respected.

    My friend said that by the end of the cycling season you end up with multiple colors and directions of arrows at every intersection, its a popular area for riding (wild horse creek area for those in the know.) I haven't ridden out there yet, but obvioulsy my friends family felt strongly enough about it to have the painter arrested.


    How is it destructive? painting doesn't degrade the road surface.
    May I come over to your house and paint all over your brickwork, I think your car might look better with a day-glo mural on the hood, perhaps something depicting the Knights of the round table, or maybe just some geometric patterns with arrows and circles. There is some value to aesthetics, and cyclists that don't live in an area have no right to overrule local laws without permission.

    I am sure that there are places where painting is appropriate, if permission is recieved from the municipality, or perhaps out in the boonies where nobody cares.

    Originally posted by OregonBound

    Get new friends who have a clue or tell them to shut up.
    Well, in my friends situation I can see their frustration at having their road uglified for them too. I couldn't really defend the actions of the organizer there, and just had to apologize. Wether or not we think it is the best way to do it, the person painting broke the local laws and was a vandal. He wouldn't have been arrested otherwise. If you are that unforgiving and militant towards your friends, I will make a note to avoid you.

    At least when friends complain about bikers "taking up the whole damn lane" I can argue why they are wrong on that point till i'm blue in the face

    take care,

    Jester

    P.S. here is an example where street spray painters ran afoul of the law IBM gets busted they clim to have used Bidegradable chalk, but their contractor goofed and used spray paint.
    Last edited by jester69; 09-15-03 at 03:00 PM.
    If you are in St. Louis, MO or surrounding areas it is imperative that you check this out: www.stlbikeworks.com.

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  9. #9
    Oh God, He's back! 1oldRoadie's Avatar
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    They make temporary spray paint...used by the highway department and the utilities (ever seen the "cable buried here" orange spray paint?)

    Any way its water soluble and goes away after a rain or two.

    Usually you can get a "contribution" from the utilities or highway dept.
    I can't ride and Frown!

  10. #10
    Its a Lemming thing... jester69's Avatar
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    Originally posted by 1oldRoadie
    They make temporary spray paint...used by the highway department and the utilities (ever seen the "cable buried here" orange spray paint?)

    Any way its water soluble and goes away after a rain or two.
    That would be good to use anywhere i'd think. If they were using that in my friend's neighborhood I'd definitely tell him to get a grip!

    I think I found where they sell the stuff here (look at the bottom of the page.)

    Looks to be called "spray chalk" and i'd defend anybody using that anywhere.

    So, I guess what i'm, saying is use the temporary spray chalk stuff, not the permanent spray paint

    At least, knowing it could be spray chalk and harmless/easily removed gives me a way to argue in the cyclists favor on this one.

    I'll stand by if it was real E.G. non temporary paint, my friend had a point and people shouldn't be doing that in his neighborhood.

    take care,

    Jester
    If you are in St. Louis, MO or surrounding areas it is imperative that you check this out: www.stlbikeworks.com.

    Bikeworks is: A nonprofit bike co-operative to benefit all who come in contact with it.
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  11. #11
    You need a new bike supcom's Avatar
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    [i]
    4) wouldn't a nice sign be better, then come take it up when the ride is over?
    [/B]
    One of the rides in my area recently put up signs the night before the ride. Someone thought it would be fun to steal a bunch of the signs and with no markings on the pavement, a LOT of folks got lost. Made for bad feelings all around.

    What's the problem with a few marks on the pavement anyway? It's not like the saidewalks are bing marked. Why not gripe about all the gl*******s who throw their beer bottles in the street. Or how about all the fast food trash littering everywhere?

  12. #12
    cxmagazine dot com pitboss's Avatar
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    I once lobbied for blue squirrels as trail/path markers. Just tie them to a tree or something with some slack so they have some freedom...and put them in pairs, so they can talk to each other about the local sports team, the economy and other squirrel-related topics.
    I was voted out. The city decided to use "safety orange" manatees instead. They don't have as strong a union as the squirrels do...

    And where can I buy an "asshat?" Do they wear them on the Tour?
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  13. #13
    Every lane is a bike lane Chris L's Avatar
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    Originally posted by supcom
    What's the problem with a few marks on the pavement anyway? It's not like the saidewalks are bing marked. Why not gripe about all the gl*******s who throw their beer bottles in the street. Or how about all the fast food trash littering everywhere?
    I was going to make that point myself. However I will add another to it. Why not complain about all the non-cyclist groups who spray their stuff all over the road, like the petrol-heads who painted "Senna RIP" on the Esplanade in Surfers Paradise six years ago - it's still there today. Why not complain about the markings that all the other groups paint on the roads?

    Sounds to me like some people just have a problem with cyclists in general.
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  14. #14
    Pat
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    Well your points are a little out of date.

    Our local organized bike rides use a temporary paint. The amount of time it lasts seems to depend on the brand but it gets mighty faint in a few months. Now years ago, this was not the case. In some popular areas, you would have maybe a dozen arrows of various colors at a single corner.

    The second point about reading a map is not really fair. If you are riding at anything faster then a glacial speed, reading a map is not very feasible. Also, there are quite a few people out there who are dern near hopeless with maps. I should know, I am married to one!!

    Another point for arrows, is that if you want people to come to your ride, you need to have some reason for them to come. I mean a few bananas and a few cookies and maybe a T Shirt really are not worth $25. So the arrows are a nice little plus. The riders can go someplace new and not have to worry about getting lost.

  15. #15
    Senior Member demoncyclist's Avatar
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    Most of the organized weekend rides that I have done use spray chalk, not paint. It lasts for a few weeks, as long as it goes down on dry pavement. You can mark wet asphalt with it, but it does tend to lift quickly that way. Even when paint is used, the road salt and scraping of the plows usually erases all traces after the winter.
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