Bicycles Anyone?

The northern Piedmont and foothills of North Carolina with its rolling hills and friendly mountains make for beautiful scenery.  The terrain is so beautiful and rolling that it has attracted many a bicycler to enjoy it.  I remember as a child riding my bicycle everywhere and it was a great joy to me, but I am concerned about how many are riding their bicycles these days.

Don't get me wrong; it is great exercise and is very enjoyable but I am afraid that these backroads are not compatible with bicyclers.  I live on a backroad which cuts through the King\Tobaccoville area of NC.  It has winding hidden curves and very little to no shoulder. The speed limit is set at 45 but no one follows the law and it is not uncommon at all to see vehicles traveling in excess of 55 miles per hour.

The bicycles traveling on this road are putting themselves and the cars in danger.  It is a simple matter of basic mathematics.  A car traveling at 55 miles per hour hits a blind curve with a bicycle on the other side doing 10 mph.  The car simply does not have enough time to safely stop.  I am not blaming the bicycler in this instance.  He has done nothing wrong but the fact remains that this is just plain unsafe for both parties.

What can we as a community do to solve this problem.  I like that the bicyclers have found a very good and healthy hobby, but I think we need to be proactive and keep them from riding on the more dangerous side roads.  I am in favor of bicycle lanes, but they are very costly.

Imagine as a motorist hitting a bicycler.  First you have hit someone and most likely killed them. This will involve possible lawsuits or criminal prosecution not to mention the family members grief at what has happened.  The mental trauma from killing another person would be devastating to the motorist.  Is a hobby worth this kind of trouble?

For now my recommendation to motorist is please slow down and to bicyclers please think twice before riding on certain roads.  Bicyclers, when you hear a car coming move over and don't ride in the center of the lane. To the legislatures I would ask you to try and pass a bill to keep the bicycles off backwoods highways and also to build bicycle lanes in places where they make fiscal sense.


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