By Mark Zalewski, North American Editor
Organisers of the Tour of California, the largest cycling event in North America, are asking the thousands of fans that line the roads each year to not paint on the roads as encouragement for their favourite riders. The plea comes after the past three years where residents who live along the roads have complained to the point where the race will not be issued permits in the future if it happens this year.
"Our course director annually has to go to almost 80 government entities each year for permissions, and we have been lucky enough to have some great believers out these among the counties and cities," said Chuck Hodge, technical director.
"The one issue that continues to come up... is fans painting on the road. Although a great tradition in some [parts] of the world it has become a huge issue at our event. We have annually fielded calls from public works departments and it has come to the point on at least two occasions that we have been told we would not be issued a permit the next year unless we address the issue."
Hodge said that alternative methods, such as chalk, would be preferable as long as they are not permanent.