Area motorists are asked to be extra alert on Saturday, Sept. 7 as more than 1,500 cyclists race to Jackson Hole Mountain Resort from Logan, Utah, in the 37th annual LoToJa Classic.
Local motorists don’t face travel restrictions or road closures during the event, but should anticipate numerous groups of northbound cyclists on US-89 from Alpine into Jackson that Saturday afternoon and evening, said LoToJa Race Director Brent Chambers. Motorists are also advised that cyclists will be encountered through the road construction area on US-89 from Hoback Junction to Evans Road.
As cyclists approach Jackson from the south on US-89, they will turn left onto South Park Loop Road and continue north to Tribal Trail Road, Chambers said. There they will merge onto the bike path that parallels state Route 22. After crossing the Snake River on the bike path bridge, cyclists will turn onto state Route 390 (Village Road) and continue to the finish line at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort.
He added cyclists should start appearing on US-89’s northbound shoulder at Alpine around 1 p.m. and will be present throughout the day until dusk.
Motorists are asked to use caution while traveling on US-89 during LoToJa, and to anticipate encountering large groups of cyclists, Chambers said. Cautious passing is advised to ensure safety for motorists and racers.
Chambers defined “cautious passing” as slowing down, giving plenty of space (at least three feet) between the vehicle and cyclist(s), and patiently waiting for oncoming vehicle traffic to clear before pulling around a cyclist or group of cyclists.Although Jackson motorists don’t face road restrictions in their area due to LoToJa, they may if they drive south early on Sept. 7 while trying to reach Montpelier or Cache Valley in Utah, Chambers said. The Idaho Transportation Department will temporarily close US-89 to eastbound vehicle traffic between Montpelier and the Wyoming state line from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Traffic will be detoured either south or north on US-30. Also on that day, eastbound traffic on state Route 36 north of Preston between Riverdale and Ovid will be restricted from 7 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Chambers said LoToJa puts more than 1,500 cyclists, an estimated 1,200 support crews, and almost 700 volunteers on the 206-mile course.The route of this year’s LoToJa and additional information about the race are available at lotoja.com.