Cycle NC seeks volunteers. urges safety during event

040319chnews cycle nc

Bicyclists make their way through Edenton during Cycle NC's last stop in Edenton.



Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Planning for this month’s upcoming Cycle NC in kicking into high gear.

During a recent meeting, the schedule and routes were confirmed for the April 26-28 event. Edenton will serve as the base of operations for the estimated 2,000 bicyclists who are registered to participate.

Volunteers are still needed in a variety of spots, from helping with registration to serving food at rest stops. For information and to sign up, visit https://ncsports.org/event/cyclenc_coastal_ride/volunteer/ .

According to event organizers, the first day of the event, Friday, April 26, will be the Chowan and Perquimans County route, which has stops at Sycamore Farm, Hertford, Nicholson House and Rocky Hock.

On Saturday, April 27, the bicyclists will head across the US 17 bridge, heading over to Bertie County.

Winds permitting, the visitors will travel south on Sunday, April 28, visiting Columbia. If it’s too windy, they will relive the Friday routes. Rest stops along the Columbia route include Waterside, 4-H Center, Creswell and Columbia.

Full descriptions of the routes will be released the Monday before the event.

Detective John McArthur, with the Chowan County Sheriff’s Office, noted that Chowan County residents must do what it takes to make Cycle NC volunteers and participants feel welcome, safe, and willing to come back next time.

“We can all work together to do this by being extra cautious on the roadways as we responsibly share the roads with these cyclists,” he said. 

Besides spreading Edenton’s famous “Southern charm,” car-driving residents can try to let bicyclists have the whole lane as they pass.

“Slow down and try not to ‘blow’ them off the road as you whiz by. Remember these men and women are our neighbors for the weekend, treat them as such,” McArthur said.

The American Bicycling Education Association recommends that when a group of bicyclists stop in places, such as the rest stops along Cycle NC’s routes, the front riders move forward far enough to ensure the rear riders could easily ride completely out of the travel lane before stopping.

“If a cycling group stops and waits for a reason other than waiting for traffic ahead to clear, it is a simple courtesy to move the bicycles off of the roadway temporarily, and return to the roadway when the group is ready to continue,” the nonprofit notes.

Edenton Police Chief Henry King offered tips for both cyclists and motorists sharing the roadways during Cycle NC.

Tips for bicyclists

* The same laws that apply to motorists apply to cyclists. Obey all traffic control devices and use hand signals to indicate stops and turns.

* Always wear a properly fitting helmet. Wear a helmet, no matter how short the trip.

* Ride on the right. Always ride in the same direction as traffic. Use the furthest right lane that heads to your destination. Slower moving cyclists and motorists stay to the right.

* Ride Predictably. Ride in a straight line and don't swerve in the road or between parked cars. Check for traffic before entering street or intersection. Anticipate hazards and adjust your position accordingly.

* Be visible. Wear brightly colored clothing that provides contrast. Use a white front light in low light conditions and a red rear light in low light conditions. Use a reflector or reflective tape or clothing anytime. Announce yourself by making eye contact with motorists

Tips for motorists

* Drive Cautiously. Reduce speed when encountering cyclists. Don't tailgate, especially in bad weather. Recognize hazards cyclists may face and give them space.

* Yield to Cyclists. Bicycles are considered vehicles. Cyclists should be given the appropriate right of way. Allow extra time for cyclists to traverse intersections.

* Be Considerate. Scan for cyclists in traffic and at intersections. Do not blast your horn in close proximity to cyclists. Look for cyclists when opening doors.

* Pass with Care. When passing, leave four feet between you and a cyclist. Wait for safe road and traffic conditions before you pass. Check over your shoulder before moving back.

* Watch for Children. Children on bicycles are often unpredictable. Expect the unexpected and slow down. Don't expect children to know traffic laws. Because of their size children can be harder to see.