POLICIES AND PROCEDURES
Warnings • Actions • Confirmations • Route Designators • Options Designators • Changes to Marks
We will paint directional signage marks directly on the road at every point
on the route wherever you need to do something and will be the only "permanent" signage
The directional signage marks we use are called Dan Henry marks (I don't know who Dan
Henry is or was) and are incredibly simple. They consist of a circle approximately
a foot in diameter with a tick mark painted on the outside that indicates
the direction you should go. They're that simple, and that effective.
We paint the marks using a fluorescent orange marking
paint which is very easy to recognize on the road surfaces and is rarely
used as utility markings. While the Dan Henry marks look like utility
markings to the untrained eye, they cannot be confused with any other utility
markings on the
road once you what they are. We've heard horror stories about
other bicycle rides that used marks and paint colors similar to those
for a gas line, and the participants ended up following the gas line
instead of the route!
There are three types of Dan Henry marks – warnings, actions, and confirmations.
A "warning" mark
will be placed approximately a hundred yards before something you have to
do, known as the "action." The warning mark's
tick mark of the will indicate the upcoming direction of travel you will
need to take. Sometimes the warning may be a little closer than a hundred
depending on the circumstances and we also try to put the mark on an uphill
slope whenever possible so you can see it from farther away.
The "action" mark
will be placed directly on the road at the spot where you need to do something,
such as in front of an intersection, and its tick mark will indicate the
direction of travel you need to take at that time.
Shortly after you perform
there will be a "confirmation" mark whose tick mark points forward
so you know that you did the right thing.
If you do something and do not see a confirmation mark, it is always
to good idea to go back and make sure that you see the confirmation
mark to make sure you didn't do the wrong thing. It's
a lot better to take a minute or two to make sure you did the right
thing than to bike several miles out of your way because you did
something wrong and didn't know about it.
A single mark pointing forward will also be painted on long stretches
to confirm that you are travelling in the right direction. We will
place these marks no more than 3 miles apart, often closer, and they
will generally be in between intersections so that you know it is
a confirmation mark because it couldn't possibly be anything
else because there's no where else to go.
Marks may also have an additional letter abbreviation to designate certain
parts of the route with as follows:
- RS – Short for Rest Stop.
Used to designate the route into a rest stop or main loading site.
- CT - Short for ConTinued.
Used to designate the route out of a rest stop or main lodging
- BP – Short for Bike Path.
Used to designate when the route goes onto a bike path from the
- BI – Short for Bicycle Illinois.
Used to designate where the route for the
Tri-State Tour deviates from the Bicycle Illinois route
on the Lakefront Path in Chicago and also
the supported route to our staging point in the RAGBRAI® ending town.
- TST – Short for Tri-State Tour
Chicago Century. Used to designate where the route for the
Chicago Century deviates from
the Bicycle Illinois route on the Lakefront Path in Chicago.
- NIR – Short
for Northern Illinois Ride.
Not used since
2007, but you may
see a few
these marks left
the Lakefront Path
in Chicago. If
present, they will
be very faded and
should be ignored.
Where an option branches off the main route, there will be two Dan Henry marks
at the warning point and action point, and one confirmation at the start of
each route option. The marks for the optional route will also be designated
by an additional letter abbreviation as follows:
- 100 - Century
- ROAD or PATH - Fully
paved, on ROAD or gravel bike PATH options
(always used together)
- T100 - Century option for participants
continuing on the Tri-State Tour
Chicago Century from Bicycle Illinois
- WC - Waukegan Century
option on the Tri-State Tour
- EZ - the less challenging or easier option
- H - the more challenging or Harder
- IN - INdiana option
Any old or incorrect marks on the road are marked as invalid by applying black
paint over them. If you see a mark that has been "blacked out" you
should ignore it.
Although our route generally remains the same year after year with
only a few minor changes, it is possible that an old, now incorrect
mark could still be on the road from previous years. For example,
an old mark could still be at an intersection where last year's
route turned right while this year's route goes straight,
and thus we wouldn't have needed to mark it now.
Any remaining marks from
previous years will be very faded and worn compared to the ones
from the current year, and you will definitely be able to notice
the difference in color and brightness since the paint we use is
degrade over a couple months. Regardless, we will still want to remove
old marks to prevent confusion so if you see an old, incorrect
mark on the ground please contact us so we can come out and black
it out to prevent
confusion. And if you have any questions, as always check
cue sheets and/or contact us.