New signs greet tour riders
Thousands of cyclists Saturday pedaled past new signs, appropriately named and rolled out in time for the annual Icon Eyecare Tour of the Moon bike ride.
The 15 signs labeled “Tour of the Moon Byway” along Colorado Highway 340, South Camp Road and South Broadway are the culmination of a plan by State Rep. Yeulin Willett, a Grand Junction Republican.
The new signage replaces Monument Loop signage and lends a nod to the Coors International Bicycle Classic, a stage race over Colorado National Monument in the 1980s.
“It’s been like a five-year project for us,” Willett said.
Willett said he first focused officials’ attention on re-paving the tunnels of Colorado National Monument. The roadway previously contained some potholes that could have been dangerous for cyclists traveling at high speeds, he said.
Willett also championed a widening effort along Colorado Highway 340, a section of the roadway where a Grand Junction cyclist was hit and seriously injured by a motorist. Last year, the Colorado Department of Transportation added 4-foot shoulders on the roughly 1-mile section near Wedding Canyon.
“The last part of it is branding and signage,” Willett said. “I think it’s right where it needs to be. I just hope they promote this for motorcycling and hot rods and really showcase the Tour of the Moon.”
The $1,200 cost of the new signage was paid by organizers of the Tour of the Moon ride.
Saturday marked the sixth year for the sold-out event, which attracts more than 2,000 riders. The event generates an estimated $750,000 to $1 million in economic development to the Grand Valley, according to Visit Grand Junction.