2008-09-04 / Letters to the Editor

Changes afoot for annual bike race

Planning and preparation for the 33rd annual Jamestown Classic is well under way. We have received our permit from the Town Council to sponsor the event on Monday, Columbus Day, Oct. 13. We are working with the Jamestown Chamber of Commerce to make this event less stressful for residents and beneficial for downtown merchants.

This year, we will be renting four portable toilets to reduce the lines at the Recreation Center's restrooms and errant racers using neighborhood bushes!

Parking will be improved for residents by directing racers to the west end of Narragansett Avenue between the fire station and four corners, and to overflow parking lots. Parking spaces between the fire station and Conanicus Avenue will be monitored and reserved for residents and non-racers.

The annual Jamestown Classic is set to take off at 8:30 a.m. We have made some changes this year in order to make the race safer and more fun. Those changes are the elimination of the children's race, combining all women's races into a single open category, starting two categories of juniors' races into one start, and requiring all racers to clear the race course at 10:30 a.m. before the start of the professional race categories. The last race starts at 10:55 a.m. and includes two laps of the island, for a total of 38.2 miles. We will also only have up to seven groups on the road at one time. This should reduce the traffic back-ups.

Our race course is the same as last year and we will be staging the event from the Recreation Center. The start/finish line will be on the crosswalk directly in front of the Recreation Center. The race course heads north on Conanicus Avenue to East Shore Road, turning south at Summit Avenue, and following North Road south to Southwest Avenue. The route passes the beach on Beavertail Road, going out to the lighthouse, where it heads back on Beavertail, to Hamilton, then North on Walcott to Conanicus Avenue.

We are looking for about 100 volunteers for this event, mainly as road marshals. Road marshals are assigned to an intersection where they control traffic during the course of the race. When the peloton or a cyclist is approaching, they hold traffic entering the intersection until the peloton or rider has passed. They also advise motorists of the need for caution if they are entering the race course. We can assign road marshals to intersections near their homes. It's a great way to see bicycle racing up close. High school students and others that need community service hours can receive credit for volunteering for the race.

If you are interested in volunteering for this year's race, please call me at 423-3496 or email me at m.schnack@verizon.net.

Mike Schnack and David Reardon

Jamestown Classic Race Coordinators

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