LoToJa will bring in 1,400 cyclists and thousands of supporters for this Saturday’s race

A file photo of the annual LoToJa Classic bicycle rac LoToJa is a 206 mile long, one-day race starting in Logan and ending at Teton Village, Wyoming. (Megan Nielsen)

LOGAN – This Saturday, Sept. 9, 1,500 cyclists and some 4,000 support crews will be in town for the 41st annual Logan to Jackson bicycle race, the LoToJa Classic.

A file photo of the 36th annual LoToJa Classic bicycle race goes through Logan, Utah the morning of September 8, 2018. (Megan Nielsen)

With that many cyclists on the road there may be some brief travel delays for Cache Valley motorists.

The first cyclists will depart from Sunrise Cyclery located at 138 N. 100 East beginning at 5:30 a.m. on Saturday. Other groups will be released at four minute-time intervals to keep delays to a minimum for Cache Valley motorists.

LoToJa Race Director Brent Chambers said cyclists and support crews will take two different routes to minimize congestion between Logan and Preston.

“All USA Cycling categories (licensed racers) will take US-91 and pedal through Smithfield, Richmond and Franklin,” Chambers said. “Meanwhile, all cyclosportive riders and relay categories will ride north on state Route 23 past Trenton, east through Cornish on state Route 61, then north on state Route 200 into Preston.”

Motorists in Logan may encounter cyclists between 5:30 a.m. and 8 a.m. on 100 East, 200 North, 1000 West, Airport Road, 2500 North, and Main Street (US-91) from 2500 North to Preston.

“Support crews for cyclosportive riders and relay teams will use US-91 out of Logan, while support crews for licensed racers will use Logan Canyon’s US-89 to Montpelier,” the race director said. Preston motorists and residents may encounter groups of cyclists throughout the morning as they enter the community from the south on State Street (state Route 200), turn left onto 8th South and proceed north on 2nd West to a feed zone at the City Park at 1st 2 West and 2nd North.”

Delays may also be experienced as cyclists re-enter Main Street at 3rd North from the west.

“Preston motorists and residents may also encounter more cyclist groups throughout the morning as they enter the community from the south on US-91 and turn onto 2nd East,” he said. “Those cyclists will proceed to 4th North, turn right and proceed east to 8th East. There they will turn left and continue north on 8th East to state Route 34.”

Preston City Police will be on hand to work with the event’s traffic control contractor to assist at affected intersections to keep traffic orderly and the Idaho Transportation Department will restrict eastbound traffic on state Route 36 northeast of Preston between Riverdale and Ovid from 6 a.m. to 12 p.m. Eastbound traffic on US-89 between Montpelier and the Wyoming state line will also be restricted from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.

“The temporary travel restrictions are used to increase safety for eastbound cyclists,” Chambers said. “Motorists are asked to use caution while traveling on these two roadways during LoToJa, and to anticipate encountering groups of cyclists. Cautious passing is advised to ensure safety for motorists and cyclists.”

A file photo of a past LoToJa Classic bicycle race that begins at Logan, Utah and ends at Teton Village, Wyoming. (Megan Nielsen)

Chambers defined “cautious passing” as slowing down, giving at least three feet of space between the vehicle and cyclist(s), and patiently waiting for oncoming vehicle traffic to clear before pulling around a cyclist or group of cyclists.

“LoToJa cyclists, support crews, event staff, volunteers and well-wishers represent an entourage of more than 4,000,” Chambers said. “We expressed gratitude to every community that LoToJa has the privilege to ride through.”

“We wouldn’t be able to safely hold the race without the consent and support of every community along the course,” he added.

LoToJa passes through northeastern Utah, southeastern Idaho and western Wyoming. There are also three mountain passes with almost 10,000 vertical feet of climbing. It takes most cyclists 10 to 13 hours to complete the ride. The current men’s course record is 8:18:29 and the women’s is 9:35:00.

LoToJa is the longest one-day bicycle race in America that is sanctioned by USA Cycling, the sport’s governing body.

During its 41 years of existence, LoToJa has grown into one of the nation’s premier amateur cycling races, attracting riders from across the U.S. and several foreign countries. It has also become a major fundraiser for the Huntsman Cancer Foundation and other health- related organizations. To date, LoToJa sponsors and participants have raised more than $2.7 million for these causes.

More information about the race is available at lotoja.com.

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