Anyone who lives in Lewisville, NC knows that our town is a pretty popular destination for cyclists. I'll often hear grumbling about the inconvenience of having to wait behind large packs of riders, aka pelotons, on some of the beautiful country roads that make the town such an inviting place to live and bike. I don't hear many complaints about individual riders, or groups of two or three, but that's because they're relatively easy to pass even on our two lane roads with no shoulders.
All that being said I've also seen some crazy decisions made by impatient drivers. Passing just before a blind curve, passing on a rise with oncoming traffic too close for comfort, passing too close to the actual cyclist, etc. Part of me understands the frustration – most of us aren't cyclists and thus don't understand the draw of riding on roads when you could just toddle on down to Salem Lake or Muddy Creek and ride on trails without inconveniencing drivers – and I especially feel the frustration myself when I'm running late for something and am stuck behind a bunch of cyclists. But you know what? We need to get over it.
Here's the deal: just because most of us aren't cyclists and don't understand the draw of riding on our roads, there are obviously people who love it and that's their right. And "right" is the correct word because unless the laws change cyclists have as much of a right to the road as drivers of cars and motorcycles. Sure they need to follow the rules just like we drivers do, and I'm sure that some of them roll through red lights or do rolling stops at stop signs, but I'm also pretty sure that the same percentage or more of drivers do the same thing, and I'm absolutely positive that almost every driver in Lewisville has pulled a (technically) illegal passing maneuver on a cyclist.
Why am I bringing this up now? Because I just read this article about a Winston-Salem cyclist killed in an accident in Greensboro, and although it sounds like there might have been mitigating circumstances (blinding sun) it still reminded me that I'm in constant fear of seeing this kind of story in Lewisville. Whether we see our visiting cyclists as a blessing or a curse we need to respect their right to the road, and do everything we can to make sure we all share the road safely.
On a related, but different note: I think a nice little entrepreneurial venture would be opening a temporary refreshment stand near Shallowford Square. (Think hotdog stand with healthy stuff instead of hotdogs, chips and sodas). The cyclists tend to park downtown and launch their rides from there so I'd imagine they'd be willing customers once they're rides are done. There are also lots of folks who walk and jog downtown these days so I'd imagine they'd be a good market too. That's assuming you can get a permit from the town to do it, but it might be worth a try.