Author Topic: Making a town "tour-friendly".  (Read 3322 times)

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Offline Popeye

Making a town "tour-friendly".
« on: May 17, 2008, 10:59:51 am »
Our town, Chester, IL (located 70 miles south of St. Louis, Mississippi river crossing) has enjoyed hosting cyclists for many years.  We are interested in making our town even more beneficial/enjoyable for riders.  Any suggestions?   What makes a community a great/preferred stop for cyclists?

Offline staehpj1

Making a town "tour-friendly".
« Reply #1 on: May 17, 2008, 04:47:26 pm »
We passed through Chester IL on August 6 2007.  Man o man was it hot!  We didn't stay there only because we would have had a very short mileage day if we had.  We did spend some time there mid day.  We enjoyed the Popeye memorabilia store, the little park and the library.  The people in town were very nice to us.  One thing that might have been nice would be if the Trans America Route was well marked with signs through town.

Most of the things that I look for in a town were there.  A few of those things are:
+ Nice people
+ A free or cheap place to camp (showers and a pool are desirable nice extras)
+ A library with internet access
+ Good drivers who aren't hostile toward cyclists
+ Interesting parks or shops
+ A bike shops that stocks parts and other things that we might need.

Offline John Nettles

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Making a town "tour-friendly".
« Reply #2 on: May 17, 2008, 09:26:21 pm »
I rode through Chester in 1983 and I still remember the absolutely beautiful life guard at the pool.  I was in my late teens and camped out near the pool.

As far as an ideal host town, well I enjoy free/low cost hiker/biker only bunk houses which is typically a donated house converted into a no-frills dorm style house with bunk beds, kitchen, etc.  Due to the summer heat, it would probably need to have AC or at least heavily shaded with lots of ceiling fans.

If you can't do that do to possible vandalism/cost, having a "campground" with large tent pads that are level; slightly raised (1 RR tie); semi-loose dirt (think vegetable cargen, not cement or gravel) to get tent stakes in; a few picnic tables; water faucet; bath house (hot water nice); pay washer/dryer in town; pay phone close by; electrical outlets (to charge cell phones), clothes line, and a "hitchin post" for the bikes.  I would like for it to be in walking distance to the library (internet), and/or wireless service.  All in the shade and so where car lights don't keep you up at night.

If lighted, have the lights either switched by the user or turn off 30 minutes after dark.

All for an honor system (put mone in box) low cost system.

I have tried for years to get ACA to consider working with town along the route to develop stopover towns like the above with no success :|.

As a person with a background in tourism destination development, I (as a town) would gladly spend the relatively small amount of money for the tax base and economic benefits.  It would pay for itself in a few years and help the local businesses.

Since Chester has/had a pool, the biggest expense is already taken care of (bath facilities and phone).

Hope you do it. Best of luck and whatever happened to that blonde?!?

Happy trails and may the wind be at your back!