In racy move, city takes off bikinis, rebuilds hump

Is there any truth to the rumor that someone put bras and panties on the Florida Road roundabout bicycle sculpture the morning of the big USA Pro Cycling Challenge? Was this outstanding event captured on film? Just to be clear, by “outstanding event,” I mean lingerie on the sculpture, not the bike race. – Victoria Secret

Action Line consulted with his far-flung network of informants, moles, whistleblowers, stool pigeons, snitches and spies. In journalism, we call these “authoritative sources.”

After a couple of phone calls, the answer came back “yes” to the prank but no on the photo (or at least not yet).

And just for the record, each of the five bike riders was adorned not in undies but in fluorescent green string bikinis, according to two independent witnesses.

“It cracked me up,” said Angela Eicher, a registered nurse at Animas Surgical Hospital. “I was headed to work a little past 5:30 in the morning, and there they were – matching bright green tops and bottoms on all five riders,” she said.

“I wish I took a picture, but it was still fairly dark that time of the morning.”

Independent confirmation of Bikini-gate comes from none other than Lt. Ray Shupe of the Durango Police Department, who was patrolling the road around 7 a.m.

“I can confirm the sculpture was adorned,” Ray deadpanned. Then let out a big laugh. “I got a real chuckle out of it.”

By race time, the roundabout riders were restored to their natural state, presumably by city crews assigned to make sure Durango’s 15 minutes of bicycle fame focused on Lycra-clad men and not cross-dressing statues.

There are “work-zone speed limit 15 mph” signs on North College Drive. Although there are many traffic cones, no work has been done since the speed bump was removed for the bike race. In fact, the work-zone sign appeared only a few days after the bump was removed and the work crews departed. It seems to me that the signs are there to slow down traffic until the speed bump is replaced, not to protect the phantom crews. Is this simply revenue-generation through ticketing (“fines doubled for speeding”), or are residents of North College Drive complaining about speeders? – John Lynch

It’s a traffic issue more than a money issue, and now it’s a non-issue because the speed hump has been reinstalled.

But wait, what’s that about “hump” instead of a “bump?” More on that in a second.

The city of Durango ditched the hump prior to the race as a safety precaution. However, just as its removal facilitated faster biking, so did it pave the way for faster motoring.

“Before we took the hump out, we went to the neighborhood and they overwhelmingly wanted it back after the event,” said our friend Levi Lloyd, the city’s superintendent of streets.

And for good reason. Mere days after the hump was dumped, drivers began defying the speed limit.

“In an effort to slow down traffic, we kept it a construction zone,” Levi said.

On Friday, the cones and sign were still there, but North College has its hump back.

So what’s the difference between a hump and a bump? Levi is the authority on this.

“Roads have ‘humps.’ They’re broader, more gradual and designed to slow down traffic,” he said.

“In parking lots, you typically see ‘bumps.’ These are narrow, abrupt and designed to really give you a jolt unless you slow down to a crawl.”

Anyway, the street-department crews made quick work in removing and reconstructing the traffic-calming device.

Yup, they really busted their hump.

Email questions to actionline@durangoherald.com or mail them to Action Line, The Durango Herald, 1275 Main Ave., Durango, CO 80301. You can request anonymity if you thank a visiting motorcyclist for spending the Labor Day weekend here.