Bicyclists who didn’t get enough peddling in during RAGBRAI last week can plan a trek with a new map of the state’s bike trail system. The 2008 version of the Iowa Transportation Map for Bicyclists is now available from the Iowa Department of Transportation.
Milly Ortiz, with the D.O.T., says the map includes information about 50 multi-use trails that are five miles or longer. The last bike map was released in 2005. "We added more trails that are longer than five miles than we did three years ago," Ortiz said. "The map also includes traffic information on all paved roads in Iowa." The information on traffic levels for paved roadways was added because more bicyclists are using Iowa’s highways.
Ortiz says the traffic level info will help bicyclists choose the routes that match their level of riding experience. The new map also includes a list of various biking related web sites and cycling safety tips. The D.O.T has reported damage to hiking and biking trails from June flooding in eight of Iowa’s nine metropolitan areas. Ortiz says many trails need costly repairs and could be closed for an extended period of time.
Ortiz says most of the flood-related trail closures are outlined on the website www.IowaBikes.com, but she says cyclists should contact city or county officials for more specific information. The new bike trail maps can be ordered, free of charge, from the Iowa D.O.T. They’re also available at most bicycle shops, Iowa Welcome Centers and local chambers of commerce.