NATIONAL BIKE WEEK ROLLS TO A CLOSE

By Cecil "Zeke" Yount | May 20, 2012
Photo by: C. Yount Teaching the right turn signal to a young cyclist!

National Bike Week, celebrated this year between May 13th and May 20th rolled to an end under some great blue skies and wonderful temperatures. BicycleHaywoodNC, a chapter of Blue Ridge Bicycle Club, stayed busy throughout the week. With our regular monthly meeting held on Tuesday, we welcomed new members to the Council, enjoyed a fine Thursday evening “new and newly returning riders” group ride, paraded (so to speak) along the Haywood Hub to Main Street for “National Bike To Work Day” and enjoyed co-sponsoring a Bike Rodeo with the Town of Clyde, Viet Nam Veterans’ chapter, and Haywood County Parks and Recreation on Saturday. On Sunday, I think I spied a former owner/publisher of the Mountaineer out on two wheels transiting Raccoon Road!

The Comprehensive Haywood County Bike Plan identified a route from south Waynesville through Canton as the primary east-west corridor for cyclists. The western section of the Hub was utilized for the “Bike to Work Ride” on Friday morning. Starting off at Best Buy in south Waynesville, we rode under police escort along South Main to Allen’s Creek extension, through the Village of Hazelwood traversing Brown Avenue, past Waynesville Middle School to Boyd Avenue, and then along Bryson Street behind and in front of Central Elementary School. From there, Haywood Street provided a route by the Public Library to the First Methodist Church where we turned right to Main Street. We then rolled down Main Street passing the First Baptist Church, Town Hall, Waynesville Police Station and the many shops of Downtown Waynesville including “bicycle friendly business” Smoky Mountain Café. The ride terminated in the mini-park at the intersection of Main and Depot where Smoky Mountain Café hosted the riders with drinks and pastries before riders headed out to work. This year’s ride involved 13 riders including two “home schooled” children and their mom.  (Please note all the businesses/services accessible to cyclists along this mostly flat route!)

The Bike Rodeo on Saturday was a fun event that was, unfortunately, not well attended. Only six children took advantage of this opportunity to learn safe riding skills. The Town of Clyde blocked off an entire street where the seven skills stations were located. Each station demonstrated a specific skill for riding a bicycle safely. At least one future red headed racer may have been spotted in the group of six youngsters. Two Girl Scouts also participated in skill sets. Viet Nam Vets and BicycleHaywoodNC council members “staffed” the stations and taught the safe riding skills while hot dogs with all the fixings was supplied at Lynn Park. Booger, the drug interdiction dog, made his second annual appearance and demonstrated the amazing abilities that these dogs have developed.

All in all, National Bike Week rolled to a successful ending/beginning. More and more cyclists are being seen around the county this summer and that’s a good thing for all of us!

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.

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