Race technical director Chuck Hodge and organizers of the Amgen Tour of California, suggest that the fans and spectator use chalk instead of paint to write traditional road messages of encouragement during the bike race. “Please don’t use any paint on the roads,” Hodge suggested. “Chalk is ok and encouraged, just be safe about applying it!” He also added that they be mindful about the local residents and to use proper parking spaces and maintain proper trash disposals.
It is common practice for fans to write their favorites’ names, phrases and messages along the race routes, especially on the mountain climbs give support and welcome the bikers to town. Hodge tolerates such practices for as long as removable mediums are used.
Hodge recalled, “Especially in the first three years we had a lot of complaints. I know that it is the traditional thing to do in the races like the Tour de France, to write someone’s name in big letters.” He explained that a lot of towns, during the Tour of California detested the practice and had to settle some issues with the municipal officials.
He further said, “It’s a cool thing on a race day, we are all cycling fans and appreciate the tradition but when we are gone the next day, the locals don’t want to drive up the roads and see Levi’s name in six-foot high letters.” The route of the Tour of California has been determined to be free of permanent paint use on the roads as stipulated into an ordinance this year by the California Department of Transportation.
Hodge confirmed that the authorities do not want to see any paint on the roads as they did the past years. “As a matter of fact this was written into several of our permits. We will be in danger of not being able to get a permit in the future.”