Friday, September 8, 2017

Motherlode Bicycle Coalition to host two bike events in Amador County this weekend

Jackson Historic Bike Race and The Ione Five Mile Family Ride

Bicycling is becoming more popular in the Central Motherlode, more tourists, recreational cyclists, commuters demanding safe routes, businesses recognizing the economic opportunity — but our roads and streets remain an obstacle to taking advantage of that.

The Motherlode Bicycle Coalition was formed by a small group of Transportation Planners, Tourism and Civic Leaders in Calaveras County. This group mission is to create a culture of cycling in the Motherlode and to provide feedback to Cal Trans District 10 about road design, assisting rural tourism offices to identify popular cycling roads, promote cycling and increase the number of Californians who ride a bicycle in the Motherlode.

This group spent eight months working on bringing a professional bike race to downtown Murphy's or Angels Camp, but all roads were unacceptable to holding a Criterium bike race. A suitable location was found in downtown Jackson.

"We think it is time to invest in making bike riding safe for cyclists in Amador, Alpine, Calaveras, Tuolumne and Mariposa Counties," said Rob Williams, founder of the Motherlode Bicycle Coalition. "There are beautiful country roads that cyclists enjoy spending hours riding."

There are numerous counties and cities that have taken steps to promote cycling for its health and economic benefits to a local economy: Stanislaus, Sonoma, Sierra, Alpine, Napa, Santa Cruz, El Dorado, Sacramento, Lodi and Modesto.

Lisa Boulton, Executive Director of the Calaveras Visitors Bureau & Film Commission, shares that more tourists to our region are seeking bike riding opportunities, and adding safe routes will increase visitor options for recreation and enjoyment.

"Locals seeking alternative options to driving their vehicles to work are also likely to use the routes," she said. "Studies show that today’s innovating companies looking to base their operations outside of the Bay Area, are attracted to areas providing just this kind of infrastructure enhancing the quality of life of their employees."

In November 2016 the Amador County Transportation Commission (ACTC) surveyed over four hundred people living in Amador and neighboring counties about walking and biking. The ACTC sought input from citizens to update the Amador County Pedestrian and Bicycle Plan. What the survey showed is cyclists don't feel safe riding bikes in Amador County.

There are over 1000 cyclists in regional bike clubs who ride in the Central Motherlode, Highway 88, Sonora and Ebbett's Pass. There are three local foothill bike clubs but, most cyclists travel from the Central Valley to ride their bikes. The local and regional bike clubs include: Foothill Cycling Group, Erma's Diner Cycling Group, Golden Chain Cyclists, Stockton Bike Club, Horizon Bike Club M360, the San Joaquin Bike Coalition, Delta Velo Race Team, Central Valley Velo, Stanislaus County Bike Club, Elk Grove Cycling Club, Bear Valley Bike Club, Alta Alpina, and Project HERO San Joaquin. In addition, an estimated 250 individual cyclists or small groups of friends ride in the Central Motherlode and are not a member of a club.

Additionally, each year there are ten bike events that bring over 4,000 cyclists to the Central Motherlode and Alpine County: Amador Bike and Wine, Peddling Paths to Independence, Party Pardee, Mr. Frogs Ride, Ride4Art, Lodi Tour de Vines, Sierra Century, Rim Fire Century, Ebbett's Pass Century, and popular Death Ride. And, finally each year over 1,000 Northern California Nevada Cycling Association Bike racers come to Milton or Cooperopolis to race bikes on Easter Weekend and in August.

The Motherlode Bike Coalition and Red Kite Racing are holding an exciting USA Cycling sanctioned criterium bicycle race on a one mile loop in Downtown Jackson on Saturday, September 9, 2017 and a family oriented walk or bike ride along Dave Brubeck and Five Mile Road in Ione, on Sunday, September 10, 2017.

The concept is to promote the Bike Fest events within the California and Nevada cycling communities and local residents as the Jackson Historic Bicycle Criterium and Fun Fest- a season ending family festival for the competitive cycling community, as well as the surrounding residents.

Our goal is to make "Cycling in the Motherlode" an annual event bringing cyclists, spectators, tourists and community to ride a bike in the foothills of the Motherlode.



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