Ah, The Days Are Getting Longer…

By Cecil "Zeke" Yount | Mar 12, 2012

With more daylight now available, walkers, cyclists, and participants in varied outdoor sports are enjoying the greening of the grass and the warming of the air. It is great to see so many folks out exercising and shaking off those winter blahs!

To help get things going, BicycleHaywoodNC, the local bicycle advocacy group, will be offering “new and newly returning riders” cycling rides beginning the first Thursday in April. For the 3rd year in a row, members of the group will assist those starting out as cyclists or those returning to the sport after some time away in getting back into the groove of proper riding within a group and appropriately sharing the road with motorists. These rides will all start at Rolls Rite Bicycle Shop on North Main in Waynesville. Gathering time is 5:30 p.m. and the weekly ride will begin moving around 5:45 p.m.

New this year will be some additional rides at different times and starting locations for more “seasoned” riders. These rides will focus more on fitness through longer rides of higher endurance requirements and will feature roads in and around Haywood County. The 4 routes of the Blue Ridge Breakaway will figure prominently  in these rides and should serve to give local riders a “leg up” on being ready for the 3rd Annual Blue Ridge Breakaway on August 18th.

Also, new this year will be the addition of themed rides. These rides will have a central concept behind the ride and may be educational, culinary, or just plain fun in nature. Rides of this type are generally slower and include a wider variety of skill levels and tend to be more along a cruise speed than a fitness speed. For more information on all the scheduled rides, visit www.bicyclehaywoodnc.org .

With more pedestrians and cyclists on the roads, opportunities for more interaction with motorists will certainly occur. In a perfect world, we’d all “just get along” and “share” like they tried to teach us in kindergarten. Unfortunately, that isn’t always the case. While the vast majority of Haywood motorists and cyclists are courteous to each other, there is always the small minority in both groups that keeps the relationships, shall we say, in a state of dynamic flux!

I find that lots of folks confuse what is legal with what is courteous. For instance, cyclists riding two abreast are perfectly legal in North Carolina but it may not be the courteous thing to do at all times. Motorists hanging out windows screaming at cyclists may be legal but is certainly not courteous and is a distraction to motorists and cyclists alike.

In a nation that is seemingly increasingly hostile toward each other, we would all do better if we behaved by the higher standard of behavior (courteous) rather than the lower standard (legal). I wonder how our daily existence would be different if we all tried to operate by the Golden Rule more often…

For more information, visit http://gr8smokieszeke.blogspot.com and www.bicyclehaywoodnc.org . You may also link to Zeke’s Great Smoky Mountain 2 Wheeled Adventures under Opinion on the Mountaineer’s website.