Saturday, October 12
Sawyer's Creek Fun Park (across from Mark Twain Cave entrance) on MO 79
Nearly 8 miles of MO 79 has been resurfaced from Hannibal to Saverton, and included in the resurfacing of the highway was the addition of paved shoulders marked as bicycle lanes. To enjoy the beauty of the scenery along MO 79, bicyclists are invited to come out for the Highway 79 Color Ride which will be held immediately following a brief bike lane dedication ceremony at Sawyer's Creek. Runners are welcome, too!
"Bicyclists can ride as far as they want," said Mary Gibbons, a Hannibal Chamber of Commerce Ambassador and member of the committee who is organizing the event. From Sawyer's Creek to Routes E/N on MO 79 is about 7 miles, so cyclists can turn around there or go further down MO 79, although the lanes are not marked as bicycle lanes after Routes E/N. Those wishing for a shorter ride can turn around on MO 79 between Sawyer's Creek and Saverton. "While message boards will be up to alert motorists there are bicyclists and runners along MO 79, there is no formal traffic control," said MoDOT Area Engineer Brian Haeffner. Bicyclists are to ride on the shoulders with traffic; runners will run against traffic on the shoulders.
The Bike Lanes Dedication Ceremony will begin at 9 a.m. in the bottom parking area of Sawyer's Creek. Dignitaries are being invited to the event, and an official ribbon cutting will be held across MO 79 in front of Sawyer's Creek. Cyclists will line up along the shoulder in front of Sawyer's Creek behind the ribbon, and runners will line up along the shoulder in front of Mark Twain Cave behind the ribbon.
"We know this is a good area for cyclists and runners, so when we planned the resurfacing of the highway, we included adding better shoulders and marking them for bike lanes to help motorists be more aware of the pedestrian activity," Haeffner said. In addition to the markings on the shoulders, "Share the ROads" signs have been put along the highway to provide more awareness for drivers.
For more information about the Highway 79 Color Ride and Bike Lanes Dedication, please call Marisa Ellison, customer relations manager for MoDOT's Northeast District, at 573-248-2502
News Release - MO 79 Resurfacing
Sawyers Creek Fun Park will open its coffee shop that morning at 8 am for riders and ceremony participants. The cafe' will open 10 am serving breakfast until 2 pm.
Harvest Hootenanny being held at the same time at Mark Twain Cave!
The Hannibal Clinic is providing a free waterbottle to the first 75 cyclists!
Come join the fun!