Friday, August 5, 2016

It's About Time! NC Addresses Bike Related Laws

(Photo: Courtesy BikeWalkNC)

It’s about time. Timing is everything. The time has come. Time to myself. Time to get there. It’s all about time. There’s never enough time! I just need more time. The time is coming! How often do we concentrate on time in our daily lives?
Time is a constant. Well, until it isn’t. Time on a bicycle can have as many iterations and applications as in any other part of our life. It can be “I don’t’ have enough time to ride”, which is one of my personal excuses. “Timing is everything” really applies when you are being passed too closely for comfort and safety. “It was the time of my life” referring to those good old carefree days when we, in our youth, commanded the roads of Waynesville between the outdoor pool and the Little League Field in Hazelwood. Ron Leatherwood refers to that time in our lives as being the first bike commuters. Momma didn’t throw us into the minivan and drive us to the ball park. We slung our gloves on the handlebars and rode to the game.

Of course that was then in time and now we’re here in time when parents feel less safe allowing their children out and about on bicycles. Which is too bad because the result is an epidemic of overweight, out of shape children. Last week from my office window, I saw some visitors in a family “bike train” climbing Walnut Street. Dad was pulling the youngest child, three more children were in line on their own bikes, and Mom was bringing up the rear watching over all. It was time for a family of cycling tourists to be enjoying Waynesville.

Speaking of It’s About Time… Come October 1st, motorists may legally pass slower moving cyclists and moped riders on a double yellow line when it is safe to do so. HB 959 just passed by the legislature now allows legal passing in “no passing zones” if all safety requirements are met AND it requires a four foot passing buffer or complete entry by the passing vehicle into the opposite lane. That means that motorists no longer need to poke along behind a group of cyclists just because there is a double yellow line on the road. Of course, other safety factors must be taken into consideration such as it is safe to pass, there is no oncoming traffic or obstacles that would create a safety hazard. The bill also establishes other safety issues for cyclists including adding them to the “vulnerable users” definition already enjoyed by motorcyclists. For more information on the new law, visit BikeWalkNC’s website.
The Time is coming… We’re only 14 days away from the 7th annual Blue Ridge Breakaway. Registrations are looking good for the event, a great jersey (thanks to Brian Birthright) has been designed, and our volunteers are getting ready! Please note that jerseys should be pre-ordered at the time of the registration as it is unlikely any will be available for sale the day of the event. Early registrants are grabbing them up quickly!

Jersey Back
Jersey Front

We are excited to offer a King and Queen of the Mountain segment this year.

The segment finishes with the steepest grade of the climb as you enter the Parkway. The length of the timed segment is approximately 10.18 miles (Map My Ride source) and climbs from an elevation of 3052’ to 5358’ for an elevation gain of 2573’. Riders eligible for the KOM and QOM recognition must start the timed segment no later than High Noon (12:00 p.m.) Additionally, any rider “jumping” the course by not adhering to the approved route will not be eligible for the royal titles.

The King of the Mountain is sponsored by the Waynesville Rotary Club and the Queen of the Mountain is sponsored by Ms. Deb Wilson and Ken Wilson Ford.
For more information, visit .