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30th Year Of RAMROD Ride Will Bring 800 Cyclists To Mount Rainier National Park

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A "recreational" biking event will bring 800 cyclists to Mount Rainier National Park this week for the 30th Annual RAMROD, or Ride Around Mount Rainier In One Day.

With the ride set for Thursday, park officials are warning other visitors what to expect and what to watch out for.

"Due to safety concerns and to minimize impact to other park visitors, the number of riders participating in this non-competitive recreational ride has been limited to 800 pre-registered riders—all rider slots have been assigned and registration for the 2013 RAMROD has been closed," Mount Rainier officials said in a release. "Motorists coming to the park that day should expect some traffic delays, congestion around designated checkpoints and support areas, long lines of bicyclists sharing the roadway and extra emphasis by law enforcement of speeding and other traffic violations that could pose a risk to riders."

Park officials also stressed that "(D)rivers and pedestrians are cautioned that bicyclists in large numbers will be sharing park roadways, including the road east from Nisqually Entrance, Stevens Canyon Road, State Route 123 and State Route 410 throughout the day."

More so, "(S)low traffic along the riding route should be expected, as road shoulders are narrow or non-existent along many sections. Drivers may encounter bicyclists walking their bikes up the long grade or riding slowly to maintain control over sections of the roadway. Motorists are requested to use extra care when passing bicyclists, and to do so only when there is sufficient road clearance and an unimpeded line of sight to do so safely."

Comments

Where is the outrage? Same impacts that the Pro Challange would have in Colorado National Monument or The Tour of Utah at Cedars and Bryce. Oh thats right, it isn't really about the impact to the parks. This one is OK because nobody is making that "evil" money.


The park is still open to visitors, there are no chase cars, hellcopters, tv cameras, and all the additional hoopla that comes along with a professional bike race.

Rick


Those dang TV cameras. They are so destructive. And lord knows we can't allow "hoopla". Not to mention, the 800 RAMROD riders are likely to create more "hoopla" than the 128 in the Pro Challange.


So, if I understand Rick correctly, it's okay to have 800 amateurs impede park visitation for a whole day, but not okay to have 100 pros impact it for a few hours...

Just want to make sure I get the logic right. :)


You know, if I was a visitor from a long ways away who bought my plane tickets months ago and who didn't know this was going to be happening (I'm a local, and this is the first I've heard of it), and Thursday was the only day I had for visiting the park, I'd be incredibly ticked off. And I'd be fully justified in being so.

Also, how are TPTB going to deal with the bicyclists vs. the construction still going on at Stevens Canyon?


Megaera:
You know, if I was a visitor from a long ways away who bought my plane tickets months ago and who didn't know this was going to be happening (I'm a local, and this is the first I've heard of it), and Thursday was the only day I had for visiting the park, I'd be incredibly ticked off. And I'd be fully justified in being so.

Also, how are TPTB going to deal with the bicyclists vs. the construction still going on at Stevens Canyon?

A lot of things cause delays.

I've been slowed by construction at Mt Rainier, Hurricane Ridge, and Generals Highway. I've also been stuck for an hour when an RV overturned on Tioga Road. I've even been stuck in normal traffic for an hour or so. Things happen and we learn to live with them.


Magaera - Your scenerio can easily be addressed if two things happen. 1) The park places alerts on its NPS website. 2) The visitor plans ahead by visiting the site.

Unfortunately, the NPS has totally failed in item one. No alerts. In fact, from what I could see, no mention of the event at all. But that isn't the fault of the bike racers.


ec, I know this may sound a little extreme, but I am opposed to these events, profit, no profit, not because they are inherently bad, but because I truly believe the National Parks (so designated) should primarily be "nature centers" not simply available for all forms of recreational experiences. Our parks are pushing the limits of daily visitation as it is (during peak seasons), we must either continue to build more facilities or enact more restrictions on uses if they are to be managed as the national natural treasurers they are. Much contentious debate on this issue, but these large organized events need to be held where they do not intrude on the "nature center" experience. The Yosemite Valley experience is a classic case in point. As Barbara Moritsch points out in her excellent book, "The Soul of Yosemite", the crux issue is visitor use. I am sure we will never solve the issue to everyones satisfaction, but encouraging events the size of the "bike around Mt. Raineer, is not helping the situation no matter how worthy the event, at least in my own humble opinion.


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