The annual Share the Road bicycle ride returns on Monday, June 9.
The ride, now in its ninth year, is a 16-mile group ride to raise awareness of cyclists for automobile drivers.
Scott "Dude" Dudevoir of Cole Sport organizes Share the Road and told The Park Record about the ride's origins.
"It originally started as a memorial ride for one of our bike team members who was run over by a truck," he said.
Dudevoir helped form a Share the Road committee, "It got to the point where we worked with UDOT and got some Share the Road signs around town. I think the very first one was on Pace Frontage Road near the Home Depot."
While the ride originated as a memorial, the focus quickly changed to a simple message of road awareness.
"We've chosen to start calling it the Share the Road ride as opposed to a memorial ride, because we really wanted the community support, not just friends of this particular friend of ours. And we wanted the support of the Park City police and Summit County police. We've had the support of Utah Highway Patrol in the past, although right now it remains just Park City and Summit County Sheriff's," he said. "They help us on the ride with rolling closures and things like that and it makes an impact."
Part of raising awareness of cyclists is simply making sure there are signs around town to remind drivers to be aware. While "Share the Road" signs have become more common, the Park City Police Department has also been putting the awareness message on its large, mobile, electronic signs.
Dudevoir thinks the signs are important.
"It's funny, where a lot of them are placed, you're like 'OK how much of an impact does that really make,'" he said. "To me, if it makes one person think, you know, even when they're driving somewhere else. Great, yes, it's made an impact, it's had an effect."
"And that's even more important in a seasonal environment, especially right by the schools is a great placement for them, because we tend to forget about seasonal traffic and any kind of reminder like that, I think it makes a huge impact.
Dudevoir confesses that he has not always been highly aware of bicyclists while driving himself.
"I was pulling out of my bank and I had a habit of just going right up on top of the sidewalk, you know? Not stopping to see if anyone was coming beforehand. And another member of the Share the Road committee was on her bike. And it wasn't close but it was still like 'Oh jeez I gotta watch out for that.' And she kind of gave me the stink eye, but it was something I'd never thought of."
This year's ride will be dedicated to Pete Barquin, a local cyclist and ski instructor at Deer Valley who is battling Lou Gehrig's Disease or ALS.
"Very avid cyclist, both mountain and road," Dudevoir said of Barquin. "Super nice guy and everybody in the cycling community knows him and he's a big advocate for trail development and sharing the road. He's always been there supporting these kinds of events. And this year he won't be able to ride with us so we're dedicating the ride to him."
"There is a link on the Mountain Trails Foundation website," he said, "and people can click on that and if they choose to donate on Pete's behalf, then that money goes directly to Mountain Trails. There are also plans of putting a bench somewhere on the trail network up at Park City Mountain Resort with Pete's name on it. And that's something that he wanted. When he was asked by some of his close friends 'What would you like?' He said 'Well I want a bench.' So we're in the process of organizing that right now with PCMR."
Raising road awareness is a goal that will never be finished.
"You still hear every year about someone getting run over and sometimes killed on their bike and you oftentimes hear about that at the very beginning of the cycling season," Dudevoir said. "I think the message needs to be continued it needs to be spread more. But I would say, as a whole, when I look back nine years ago when we started this ride, and the effort and the campaign to make people aware versus where it is now, I think there's a big, big difference."
The route is the same as previous Share the Road rides.
"It's a 16-mile loop that starts in [the Cole Sport] parking lot," Dudevoir said. "It's led by a Summit County Sheriff cruiser and the Park City Police will probably have two representatives from each department. So it'll go S.R. 224 to Old Ranch Road to Trailside and then from there basically over U.S. 40, behind the Home Depot on the Pace Frontage Road and then back in on S.R. 248 and then back to our store."
The ride is open to anyone who wants to participate. "The only stipulation is that whoever comes should be riding an appropriate bike to make a 16-mile ride. I will be driving a support vehicle, so I'll have road tubes and extra wheels, things like that, if somebody flats."
"If someone flats with a mountain bike or something like that, we're just going to stick the bike in the truck," he said.
The ninth-annual Share the Road ride will begin at the Cole Sport parking lot, 1615 Park Ave. in Park City, at 6 p.m. on Monday, June 9. Call 435-649-4806 with any questions and follow Cole Sport on Facebook for any updates.