r Mountain Times - Lead
  Your Mountain,
 Your Newspaper
· Home ·  Classifieds · Columnists · Events · Gallery · Opinion ·
· Local Links · Story Archives · Tell A Friend · Contact Us ·
Pic of the month

Main Menu
· Home
· Classifieds
· Columnists
· Contact Us
· Event Calendar
· Gallery
· Lead Stories
· Tell A Friend
· View from the mountain

Who's Online
There are currently, 31 guest(s) and 0 Staff Online.

Search for stories containing:
Bicyclists Hit Some Bumps posted on 09/01/2013
 It was supposed to be bucolic biking through the Mountain community, but as it turned out, it was no ride in the park.

The Barlow Road Ride (BRR) is an annual event and was months in the making. It was slated for Aug. 17 and 18, and although it took off as scheduled, much of the event was aborted.

Clackamas County made a mistake. They had scheduled to chip seal Barlow Trail Road the week before the event. They rescheduled once the BRR leaders rose up in opposition – saying it would ruin the ride.

Mike Bezner, the county’s transportation engineering manager, did the right thing. He postponed the chip seal – a covering of a previously paved road that adds life to the surface. Chip seal is, as its name suggests, a rugged covering that includes loose rock and sticky tar.

Then Bezner went on vacation. Enter Sam Irving, the county’s road maintenance supervisor, who ordered the chip sealing of Marmot Road just prior to the BRR.


Marmot Road was also part of the route of the bike ride.

George Wilson, co-chair of The Villages at Mt. Hood, an avid cyclist, promoter of cycling tourism, and a spear carrier for the BRR, had drawn the attention of Bezner at a Clackamas County Commission Town Hall meeting in July – despite the protestations of county chairman John Ludlow, who proclaimed “roads are for cars.”

“Mike Bezner did the right thing,” Wilson told The Mountain Times. “His commitment was vital (to the success of the BRR). But when he left on vacation, someone (presumably Irving) didn’t get the memo.”

Apparently due to the problems leading up to the ride, only half of the number turned out this year, according to Wilson.

“All this nonsense about the chip seal affected many riders,” Wilson noted. “Plus, many riders, including me, turned back before Marmot Road. I have talked to other riders who told me this.”

According to Wilson and many other leaders of the BRR, riding on chip seal is a problem to begin with, but on freshly laid chip seal, it’s a mess.

Irving felt badly about the Marmot Road work.

“He was very apologetic for his faulty assumption that it was OK to chip seal Marmot Road before the Barlow Road Ride,” BRR Director Eugene Grant wrote to Wilson in an email. “Sam is going to do his best to mitigate the situation which is made worse because the sealing that creates a better surface and removes all the loose gravel is not scheduled until Monday (the day after the road ride).”
So despite the best efforts of BRR personnel, the ride was far less than successful.

Clackamas County Tourism did not escape criticism in the ordeal. Diane Lokting, who has been involved with bicycle tourism through her work with the Mt. Hood Cultural Center and Museum, has spent many hours working with Clackamas County Tourism to promote cycling in the county.

Lokting met with county tourism director Danielle Cowan to set up studios in the county to educate communities about bicycle tourism and identify opportunities to bring new revenue to the county.

“The recent debacle involving the dispute of and eventual graveling of Marmot Road by Clackamas County illustrates the disconnect between the actions and intentions of the County Transportation Department and the efforts of Clackamas County Tourism,” Lokting said.

In Bezner’s defense, on Aug. 19 – the day after the BRR – he apologized for the Marmot Road sealing in an email to Wilson.

“I am very disappointed (and personally embarrassed) that after all of our meetings and conversations that this happened,” Bezner wrote. “I hope we can still keep our dialogue going … Let’s use this as a way to move forward instead of an easy excuse to move backwards.”

Wilson was cautiously optimistic, but his thoughts roamed to much needed work that is required on the Mountain – Welches Road, Lolo Pass and Brightwood Loop being the most obvious examples.

“We must continue to advance safer roads for bicyclists and pedestrians in our community,” he said. “We have to get something positive out of this. Communication is vital. We need our roads fixed.”

by Larry Berteau/MT




Valid HTML 4.01!

Valid CSS!

All material ©2008 The Mountain Times and may not be reproduced/distributed in any form without written permission from the publisher.

Web Site Design Precision Artists 
PHP-Nuke Copyright © 2005 by Francisco Burzi. This is free software, and you may redistribute it under the GPL. PHP-Nuke comes with absolutely no warranty, for details, see the license.