Friday, October 16, 2009

The Great Chip Seal Ride

Since last summer, cyclists in the Comox Valley have expressed concern over the fact that some of our popular cycling routes had been 'repaired' using a very rough grade of chip seal. The surface is not just rough; it is also uneven, making it very bumpy and uncomfortable to ride a bike on.

The concern over this ‘repair’ became alarm when it was discovered that the province plans to have most of the rural roads in B.C. resurfaced this way over the next few years because it is the cheapest way to maintain roads.

As a result of the protests from cyclists and support from the Comox Valley Cycling Task Force, a "Pilot Chip Sealing Project" has been done in the Huband Road area. Two different sizes of aggregate were used in this project and the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure (MOTI) and the local road Maintenance contractor EMCON have asked for local cyclists to evaluate which (if any) of them are acceptable for cycling.

To get this done in an effective way, the Comox Valley Cycling Coalition is inviting all cyclists in the Comox Valley to participate in a Chip Seal Evaluation Ride on Sunday, October, 18.

We will meet (rain or shine) at the Comox Valley Sports Centre on Vanier Drive at 1:00 PM and ride along Headquarters, Coleman, Bates and Waveland Roads to Larch, evaluate the new chip seal on Larch, Quenville and Headquarters to Stevedor and get together on Stevedor for discussion and evaluation.

Anyone not cycling, or cycling only part of the way can meet us at Stevedor Road at around 2:00 PM.

The Cycling Coalition will also invite representatives of the MOTI and EMCON as well as local politicians and MLA Don McRae to this event.

There will be evaluation forms available on site as well as in bike shops after the ride and the CV Cycling Coalition will have an online survey for further input.

The more cyclists we will have come out to this event, the more our voices will be heard. Chip sealing is planned to continue with Denman and Hornby Islands and Royston Road on the schedule for next summer. This is your chance for input in this matter, before more roads in our valley get surfaced with a grade of chip seal that takes all the fun out of cycling.