Frequently Answered Questions (FAQs)
Originally designed for route marking on cycling events and tours, RouteArrows are easy to use peel-n-stick paper arrows, that are now universally used for runs, walks and a diverse range of event types! They are 3” wide x 11.9” long, and come on rolls of 250. They are available in a rainbow of 9 High Visibility colors, and have a strong, non-toxic, adhesive that sticks to any clean dry paved road surface. And being just paper, they will disintegrate away by average traffic wear! See RouteArrows on our shop page!
We have 3 unique types of RouteSigns, they are all: Reusable, Lightweight, Compact, & All Weather!
1) RouteFlectiv Signs: 12x12 inch square black signs with 4 Hi-Viv Reflective Arrow color options.
2) Blank Signs: 12x12 inch square signs, to be used with your RouteArrows.
3) Trail Signs: 8x8 inch squares of both black and white signs with both Reflective and Non-Reflective Arrow options.
Our Signs have perimeter holes to easily attach them to your stake, or existing hardware.
We have reusable Zip-Ties in two lengths and RouteCords to attach your signs to larger objects like trees, etc!
RouteLines are made from the same non-toxic peel-n-stick paper material as RouteArrows but are a continuous (uncut) roll, 3” wide x 195’ long. You cut the length to suit your event’s needs such as Start/Finish lines, BIG arrows, hazard marking, and spelling out words! RouteLines are great for a full or half marathon, triathlon, 5k races, or walking and cycling events too! The backing paper is slit to facilitate easy separation from the tape. They are available in the same Hi-Viz Orange as the RouteArrows Orange!
RouteBands are 1 inch wide Tyvek. A waterproof material invented by Dupont in 1955. Made in the USA and durable. Our RouteBand colors match our RouteArrows colors - as close as possible - so participants can easily identify their route color.
If your event needs more than 400 RouteBands, please contact us for bulk pricing information!
For Cycling Events:
Our time-tested route marking method uses 5 RouteArrows per turn. With 250 arrows per roll, that allows for up to 50 marked points per roll. Therefore, if you have more than 45 turns per route, you should consider a 2nd roll of that same color to be safe. In addition to turns, RouteArrows are also very helpful and often needed in and out of start / finish areas, rest stops, on signage or on an info sign at check-in etc. Having extra arrows in SAG or support vehicles is a good idea too!
For Running and Walking Events:
Two choices! Marking just the turns (like cycling events) or use "the bread crumb method", where you also place arrows (1-3) at given intervals ie. every 10th of a mile, 1/4k etc. to keep participants on route and motivated! Based on your chosen interval, you can calculate the number of arrows needed based on your route length(s).
The thing to keep in mind when choosing your color combinations: Contrast is Key.
Think about the color of the surface you're adhering your RouteArrows to as well!
Color combinations we DO NOT recommend using together, at the same event:
- Red-Orange and Orange
- Lime and Yellow and Lager
- Blue and Aqua
Not great but acceptable color combinations:
- Green and Lime
- Purple and Pink
PLEASE NOTE: We do not recommend using Blue and Aqua on the same event / day.
Many humans see color differently and may not be able to tell those colors apart.
For cycling routes, we strongly recommend putting RouteArrows “Left of the White Line” (LWL) not off to the right, in the shoulder/bike lane. The advantages: The road is smoother and cleaner LWL, so the RouteArrows will both stick better and be worn away quicker, which is a good thing! Shoulders and bike lanes come and go, so LWL is a more consistent location. Lastly, riders in a peloton (groups) will more easily see the RouteArrows LWL, as their view is partially obscured out in front by the lead rider(s).
If there is no white line, put RouteArrows 1-3 feet left of the pavement edge or as we say: “Put ‘em where cars hit em!” Also, DO NOT put RouteArrows on, or up against ANY white line or words (i.e. STOP). The RouteArrows attention grabbing contrast is greatly diminished against or on a white background. For additional route marking info see here.
Place all Pre-Turn RouteArrows at a 45 degree angle, either left or right. This allows the participant to easily distinguish and understand the correct turn direction much sooner. Turn arrows, placed at right angles to the direction of travel, are much harder to distinguish due to the very low angle at which they are seen. Place all other, (ie. “affirmation” and “confirmation” arrows) parallel to the direction of travel.
RouteArrows and RouteLines are also excellent for events such as half marathons, 5k races, walkathons etc. Unlike on bike rides, walkers and runners are moving slower so they need less notice time before the turn. We still suggest 5 RouteArrows per turn but they can be placed much closer to the turn than needed for cycle events. If you are using bigger RouteLines arrows 2-3 per turn is optimum.
That’s not a problem and we have you covered!
First, our Blank Signs are great for dirt trails, gravel roads, grassy fields, sandy beaches, and even on snowy routes! You put your RouteArrows on these black “Blank Signs” which make the bright RouteArrow colors really “POP!” We provide two heavy duty metal “Beefy Stakes” with each sign that are much stronger and stiffer than conventional “H” stakes used with most yard signs.
Second, we also have RouteFlectiv Signs! These reusable signs are one foot square, and have one daytime hi-viz fluorescent plus night-time reflective RouteArrow on one side. They’re are available in 5 packs and can be zip-tied (includes 20 reusable zip-ties per pack!), or otherwise attached to your own stakes, or existing roadside hardware (with permission, of course!)
Yes, depending on the intended interior surface!
RouteArrows are made with a fairly strong adhesive, designed to stick to course pavement.
RouteArrows can be used on smooth flooring like tile, hardwood, cork, linoleum or polished stone as well as on smooth interior walls, doors, trim or windows, etc however removal may be difficult or damage those surfaces or both.
RouteArrows can be used on textured flooring surfaces such as: short nap “industrial” carpeting, rough surface tiles and textured concrete. They may also be usable on cloth cubicle walls and textured drywall.
Always test a concealed spot to be sure you won’t do any damage during removal.
For offices or buildings with carpeted flooring, place RouteArrows very near the wall (1-2 inches) so they will be rarely stepped on. This will increase their lifespan, make them easy to see and make removal much easier too!
YES! Both RouteArrows and RouteLines are made with three ingredients: a mid weight paper, water-based ink and non-toxic adhesive. However, we don’t necessarily recommend eating them, they’re actually rather bland and flavorless! These eco-friendly ingredients do come at an additional cost, but we think it’s well worth it.
Yes! Our signage products have reflective options, both RouteFlectiv Signs and Trail Signs! We do not sell reflective arrows separate from the signs.
These are reusable signs with a hi-viz fluorescent plus night time reflective arrow. They're great for both daytime and low-light night time route marking.
We don't have glow in the dark RouteArrows ... yet!
There are 250 arrows (+/-) on each full roll. RouteLines are a continuous roll, 195′ long. RouteArrows are sold in full rolls, as well as partial rolls of 50 arrows!
Our 12 inch RouteArrows are highly visible and are easily seen by cyclists going 20+ mph!
You can easily make larger arrows with RouteArrows, see our blog post here. You can also make large arrows out of RouteLines.
RouteArrows are very quick and easy to apply! Just peel them off their backing, tip first, sweep the dust/grit away and place your RouteArrows down, one at a time, (spaced 2-3 inches apart when using multiple colors) and press them down repeatedly, or rolling over them with a roller, to assure a good bond with the pavement surface.
RouteLines are peeled and applied a bit differently: Cut the material into your desired length(s) with scissors or a tear. The cut line down the center of the backing makes it easy to separate the Orange tape from the backing. Place RouteLines sections as you would the RouteArrows, just be sure to clean the location well and press them down firmly with ample foot stomps or a roller to assure a good bond with the paved road surface. See removal instructions for the complete How-To!
*For a great way to efficiently dispense RouteArrows and RouteLines, check out our New Product – RouteCan!
Yes! In view of this, the only complaints we receive at RouteArrows are from local trail users about arrows left behind on “my path”. Each roll has two labels that say “Please remove RouteArrows from trails, paths and pedestrian areas after your event. Thank You!”.
We suggest putting RouteArrows on the street at the path entrance/exit, rather than on the path itself. If your event does need to put RouteArrows on a path, at any intersections or forks, you will need fewer arrows as it is a more visually compact area, but please use them as sparingly as possible and always remove all of them right after your event.
Please see FAQ “Can they be removed” for more info.
RouteArrows and RouteLines are a unique eco-friendly product designed to be worn away by daily traffic. This greatly reduces the time, effort, risk and fuel expense incurred with route marking an event. If they must be removed (from trails or paths, etc) there are two options.
1) The ”Tab to Grab” method: Place them out of traffic so they won’t be as abraded and worn. When placing each arrow, fold the tip under just a bit (~1/4″) to create that ”Tab to Grab”. To remove them, use a metal tool a “picker” to lift that tip, or an edge and then pull them up. This option works best with “fresh”, unworn arrows.
2) The Water method: Use this method if they are already well pressed down, well worn by traffic, or many days old. Wet the arrow; use a wire “block brush” attached to a threaded broom handle and brush them into mush that will quickly wear away and decompose.
See Removal Instructions here!
RouteArrows and RouteLines are just paper, designed to disintegrate from traffic wear, when properly located. The variables of traffic volume, weather, and their location on the street greatly affects their life span. If they stay dry and see light traffic, it can take weeks until they fully disintegrate. But, if they are exposed to heavy traffic they will be worn away in just days. If they get wet, (moderate rain) their lifespan can be less than a day with moderate traffic. The colors will naturally fade to white from daily sun exposure.
(If you might have rain, see FAQ “What if it rains on or before the event?”)
The adhesive manufacturer’s recommended shelf life is 6 months.
The new rolls of RouteArrows we ship are well within that time window, we have productions runs at least 2-3 times per year. Most events use their RouteArrows within that window and without issue. If you order RouteArrows more than ~4 months in advance, store them in a sealed container (like a 1 gallon Zip-Loc bag), so they will be as fresh as possible!
After your event, we suggest you store any partial rolls of RouteArrows in a sealed container, to prolong their usability until your next event.
Using a Gram Scale:
Full roll of RouteArrows = 845 grams
Cardboard Core = 45 grams
250 RouteArrows = 800 grams
Each RouteArrow = 3.2 grams
Your partial roll of RouteArrows weight in grams MINUS 45 grams = Weight of your leftover RouteArrows without Core
X − 45 grams = Y
Y ÷ 3.2 grams = Z (# of leftover RouteArrows)
Using an Ounces Scale:
Full roll of RouteArrows = 30 oz
Cardboard Core = 1.6 oz
Each RouteArrow = .12 oz
250 RouteArrows = 28.4 oz
Your partial roll of RouteArrows weight in ounces MINUS 1.6 oz = Weight of your leftover RouteArrows without Core
X − 1.6 oz = Y
Y ÷ .12 oz = Z (# of leftover RouteArrows)
For optimum results, place RouteArrows and RouteLines as close to the event as possible; within 24 hours is best. Placing your route markings many days or a week in advance will greatly reduce their visibility and usability by exposure to increased traffic and weather exposure. Remember, your marking crew will require much less time to put down RouteArrows, compared to using other outdated and messy methods such as spray paint, chalk paint or duct tape.
After being placed on dry roads, RouteArrows and RouteLines will survive a mild to moderate rain assuming very light traffic. If your event historically experiences lots of rain, RouteArrows might not be the best route marking method for you. RouteArrows and RouteLines will not survive moderate to heavy rain when placed out in traffic as they are just paper. But, if rain is forecast just before or on your event, place RouteArrows or RouteLines (on dry roads) out of the traffic pattern to increase their lifespan.
For events in potentially or consistently damp environments we suggest using our RouteSigns or Blank Signs, or our new ConeTop Signs (Version 2 Coming Soon!)
RouteArrows and RouteLines will not stick to wet or very damp roads. (Nothing does!)
In a word, no.
With those or similar conditions, consider using our RouteSigns, Blank Signs or ConeTop Signs (Coming Soon)!
Check them out in our shop menu!
We recommend ordering at least 3-4 weeks ahead of your event to reduce stress.
However, we strive to ship orders within one business day.
Full rolls of RouteArrows and RouteLines ship from MA via UPS standard ground, or Expedited shipping is also available (via UPS 2nd day or overnight). All other products ship from CA.
For standard ground, please allow at least 5 – 7 business days for delivery. Early am orders process and usually ship the same day, others ship the next business day.
Shipping cost and delivery time will vary with order size and your location. Please see Shipping Information for more details. If you have any questions or concerns please contact me: Randall Braun (650) 429-8859 (8am to 6pm Pacific Time) or email: email@example.com
RouteArrows come in a full rainbow of 10 High Visibility Colors! Red, Orange, Yellow, Lager, Lime, Green, Blue, Aqua, Purple and Pink! RouteLines are available in the same Hi-Viz Orange as the RouteArrows Orange!
Yes! You can write on RouteArrows with permanent pen / felt tip marker. A wide (1/2 inch) tip "sharpie" works well. The bigger the letters, the easier to see. We recommend writing on the Arrow BEFORE you peel it off and put in down.
We do not have custom colors or do custom printing for RouteArrows or RouteLines.
If you believe having a logo or label on the RouteArrows has high value, please consider getting a rubber stamp. However, we believe that due to the speed at which participants pass by the arrows, custom printing is of very low value.
RouteArrows come in full rolls of 250 arrows that are $86 per roll (+S&H), or partial rolls of 50 arrows for $24 per roll (+S&H). RouteLines are $85 per 195’ long roll (+S&H).
Consider your cost per rider: Events with 500 riders that use three rolls (have 3 routes) invest about 50 cents per rider. RouteLines‘ cost per event will vary (depending on # of rolls) but it is less than 45 cents per foot. You can use the bright Orange RouteLines as a start/finish line and also for marking potholes, cracks or other road hazards.
I (Randall Braun) first envisioned RouteArrows back in the late 80′s as I saw so many century events struggle with their route marking and also during my experiences while route marking the Davis Bike Club’s Foxy Fall and Double Century events. After months of prototyping, I finally brought RouteArrows to market in early 2007, RouteLines in early 2014, and the other products have steadily followed suit! See “Our Story” in the About menu for the complete story!
Ordering is easy! Use our online store. For further questions contact me: Randall Braun (650) 429-8859 (8am to 6pm Pacific Time) or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Yes, absolutely! From day one, RouteArrows has been proud to offer a 15% off discount to Non-Profit organizations! We have a simple in-house form with a line for your 501 (c)(3) (or similar) tax ID number.
To receive your personalized non-profit discount code: Fill out the form HERE!
Once we approve your request, we will send you your code via email ASAP.
Unfortunately, we do not offer refunds.
You can easily store the rolls in sealed containers (like 1 gallon Zip-Loc baggies) and they’ll be just fine for future events, or you could offer them to other organizations in your area!
Yes, we do! This website: “RouteArrows.com” sells and ships to US addresses as well as the Caribbean, the Virgin Islands, Canada, Mexico, parts of Asia and the Middle East.
As you probably know shipping costs to these other countries will vary and can be very expensive, depending on your location.
So before you order from outside of the US, please Contact Us to get an accurate quote!
We now have a UK/EU Distributor for European countries!
To Visit and Shop that site go here: https://www.routearrows.eu/
Please note: You will be responsible for the payment of duties, fees, taxes, tariffs, etc. to the authorities in your country upon receipt of this product. These fees are solely your responsibility.
Yes. We believe it’s important – we choose quality over price.
Our first product, RouteArrows (& RouteLines) are made at a 95+ year old company in Western MA, the first and only RouteArrows manufacturer!
RouteCans are individually hand-made by me at our world headquarters in Mountain View, CA just down the street from another small local company called…Google.
The “Can” portion is a newer product made by “the world’s largest plastics recycler” a 40 year old company based in Troy, AL. The other wood and metal parts and fasteners are all USA sourced, as are all the reflective materials.
RouteSigns (BlankSigns and RouteFlectiv Signs) are also handmade at our world headquarters in Mountain View, CA.
They are a fluted polypropylene plastic material (aka Coroplast®), from a 38 year old family-owned CA based plastics distributor and fabrication company.
We source our RouteBands from a US based company, they are 1inch wide Tyvek® event wristbands that are made in the USA!
We greatly appreciate all our USA manufacturers hard work, as well as our sources for their use of recycled materials!