Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Legislation, Meetings, and Trivial Observations

We are finally getting a day or two break from an especially wet spring season. It is a season that we’ve needed seriously so I’m not complaining at all about the interruptions due to rain and severe thunderstorms. The really good news is that we are now officially out of our 3 year long drought status. Of course, more rain means more grass mowing and other activities required to keep the yard from being reclaimed by the wilderness. I’ve joked to my friends about needing to find a way to mount a 46” mowing deck to a mountain bike in order that I be able to multi-task. I can just imagine the leg strength that would require!

Several different items of interest have been popping out over recent days. The N.C. legislature finally stepped up to the plate and passed a serious “no smoking” law that the Governor has already signed into law. While the law has its detractors, the good news for the rest of us will be the ability to go into public places and not have to inhale second hand smoke! The legislature has also considered some bills regarding cycling safety. House Bill 1451 addresses issues related to Bicycle Operation and safety. The bill contains specific language addressed toward harassing or endangering bicyclists by passing motorists (establishes $250.00 fine). The bill also speaks to what portions of the road/lane may be used by a bicyclist and requires that cyclists use bike lanes when they are available. This language is more vague than similar legislation that was just passed in Colorado. Dave Moulton, in his Sunday May 17th blog entry, has addresses the very issue of sharing the road. I snapped up this image from Dave’s blog because I thought it does a nice job of making the point about passing safely.

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Senate Bill 955 addresses the requirement that all bicycles operated from sunset to sunrise be outfitted with proper lighting. 

In other news: The next meeting of the Haywood Bicycle Advocacy group has been set for Tuesday, June 9th at High Noon in the Gateway Club in Waynesville, NC. This newly forming group will continue to work toward identifiable goals and selecting an appropriate name for the group, which now numbers 15 members. At last month’s meeting, the issue of Cycling Safety was paramount. This will likely help the group to focus in on helping identify safe cycling corridors within the local community. Our hope is that this will be the “pebble in the pond” that sends out ripples resulting in increased cycling awareness.

The fight against cancer: The Seattle, WA version of the Livestrong Ride is rapidly approaching. Kent Peterson, at Kent’s Bike Blog, has been challenged to raise $1000.00 for the cause. Kent has promised to shave his head IF his “team” meets/exceeds the goal. So, to aid Kent in achieving his goal, I’ve made my own personal donation and encourage others to do the same. You can help Kent get to his goal by donating via his Livestrong Page. So, check it out and, if possible, let’s send Kent to the barber!

And in the end… I was pleased and thankful to catch some time and sun to get to ride home yesterday. I noted a couple of things as I made the way from my office to Pisgah High School where my niece and her teammates have started their move into the State High School softball playoffs: 1) Two weeks off the bike DOES make a difference in your conditioning. (I already knew this… I’m just reminding myself AGAIN.), 2) Groundhogs can be irritable little critters when you surprise them by interrupting their meals along the roadside, and 3) there are lots of dead animal carcasses lining the gutters of the roads. It seems like I dodged 25 dead birds and other critters on my way home yesterday.

Until later,

- Zeke

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