Tag Archives: lewisville nc

The Genesis of Lewisville’s Cycling Culture

In the region in which I live the small town I live in, Lewisville, NC, is a bit of a mecca for road cyclists. Several times a week you will see large groups of cyclists meet in downtown Lewisville and depart for long rides in several different directions. The good townspeople of Lewisville are split on their feelings about the cyclists – some welcome their presence and wonder how the town can make hay out of Lewisville’s reputation within the cycling community, while others find them a nuisance as they wait for an opportunity to pass the riders on Lewisville’s two-lane country roads – but they’ve been a presence for many years and in the ten years I’ve lived here I’ve always wondered how Lewisville came to be known as a cycling hot spot. Scott Sexton’s recent column in the Winston-Salem Journal reveals how it all got started:

(Gene) Gillam was born in Iowa and grew up in Greensboro before heading to The Citadel. He became a pilot with the U.S. Army Air Force and flew B-26 bombers.

Sixty-one times he flew missions over Normandy, northern France, the Rhineland and the Ardennes. He was shot down several times, and was rescued by French families and the French Resistance — the sorts of things that awe us today but were almost routine to men of his generation…

It was through his hobbies that a lot of people got to know Gillam. He was an avid runner and, later on, became something of a pioneer within the local cycling community. That’s where Ken Putnam, the owner of Ken’s Bike Shop, first met and got to know Gillam.

“He used to live out in Lewisville, on Grapevine (Road),” Putnam said. “A group of us would meet out at his house and just go ride. That’s why all the rides now start in Lewisville, because we’d leave from Gene’s house.”

Again, that might not seem like much more than a couple of guys out indulging a hobby — until you consider what has transpired since a handful of oddballs started heading west from Gillam’s house in Lewisville each weekend in the early 1970s.

The routes plotted out by that little group eventually got written down, named and taught turn-by-turn to new groups of riders as they discovered the sport. That small group grew by twos and threes, and turned into other groups of differing interests and abilities.

These days, hundreds of riders leave from Lewisville in any given week throughout the spring, summer and fall.

Walking With Purpose

I read Scott Sexton’s column about Ken Glazener with great interest because Mr. Glazener walks by my house just about every day and unfortunately I knew nothing about him other than:

  1. He walks alot
  2. He picks up a lot of trash which he totes back to his house
  3. I’m pretty sure he lives in the subdivision behind my house because when he returns from his walks he usually takes the road by our house back into the subdivision.

Other than that I knew nothing about him even though I’d seen him for years. Now I know what he’s been up to:

Most days, he walks upwards of 10 miles along Forsyth County roads with an equally scruffy dog by his side, carrying a plastic grocery bag that he fills with discarded cans and bottles…

Glazener is a retired dentist, “not rich but comfortable,” he said, while recounting one of the many times a kind stranger approached to offer a few bucks for a hot meal…

Some days he starts his walk with a plastic bag in his pocket. Others, he figures (correctly) he’ll find one that’s been tossed and he’ll use it. He recycles bottles and saves aluminum cans until he has enough – 200 or so pounds – to rate a trip to OmniSource, a scrap metal yard off U.S. 52 across town.

“I bet I get 300 cans a week,” he said. “Unfortunately most of them are beer cans. If I thought people were drinking them at home, sobering up and then leaving to throw them out on the roadside I’d be wrong. It’s scary to think about.”

The money he gets for the cans, a few hundred bucks a year, he sends to a scholarship fund he set up at the University of North Carolina School of Dentistry.

Since our house fronts one of the roads that Mr. Glazener travels I can attest to the fact that most of the bottles/cans discarded from passing cars contained an adult beverage before they were tossed. For 10 years I’ve been finding empty bottles of a certain brand of vodka and more empty PBR cans than I can even count in the ditch in front of our house. It’s disheartening to know that some of our neighbors are boozing it up behind the wheel and that they have such terrible taste.

Next time I see him I hope to thank Mr. Glazener for his service and for being smart enough to do his community service while also getting some great exercise. Let’s just say he doesn’t look close to the age, 71 years old, that’s mentioned in the article.

Update on Williams Road Bridge Repair in Lewisville

From the Town of Lewisville’s Facebook page:


The NCDOT now plans replace the bridge as a part of the necessary repairs that are needed due to a vehicle striking it some time ago. While work will start sometime around the month of January 2015, the bridge is not expected to be closed the until next March (2015).

The bridge will continue to be two lanes, but there will be added width to allow for a sidewalk to be added in the future.

The bridge is expected to be closed between March and August, 2015. Please share this with friends and family that may be effected.

NCDOT had said that the construction would begin this summer, so the delay is a bit of a bummer, but the expanded width to accommodate a sidewalk is very good news.

Loophole Hits Close to Home

Fox8 has a story about a family in Lewisville, NC that’s experiencing hard times due to a loophole in our country’s safety net. We can argue all we want about how our social safety net should function and how we should pay for it, but I think any of us would be hard pressed to argue against families like this being able to tap into it. This is exactly the kind of situation it should cover:

Pretty Picture -or- Even a Stopped Watch is Right Twice a Day

A friend was searching online for pics of our town and stumbled across a picture from my flickr feed. She emailed for permission to use it on our church's website, and when I looked at it I couldn't fathom how I could have produced it. Just goes to show that the right camera in the wrong hands occassionally produces results:

Bright Snow Trees, Lewisville NC, White Christmas 2010

Taken in Lewisville, NC on Christmas Day, 2010.

Much More Important Than Some Silly Election

While everyone else is distracted with the not-really-that-important presidential election of 2012, here at the JonLowder.com media center we're concentrating on far more consequential news — the return of 7-Eleven to Forsyth County, and Lewisville in particular. From a somewhat reliable source (the Winston-Salem Journal):

7-Eleven Inc. has returned to Forsyth County and surrounding areas, bringing its Slurpee drinks and Big Bite hot dogs.

The re-entry into the local market after more than 20 years is part of the convenience-store chain’s recent purchase of 13 stores previously operated by Fast Track. Terms of the deal were not disclosed…

Locations of local stores switching to 7-Elevens include 2375 Lewisville Clemmons Road in Clemmons, 1005 S. Main St. in Kernersville, 5076 Styers Ferry Road in Lewisville and 5916 University Parkway in Winston-Salem.

Rebranding of the stores will occur from December through early February.

People, this is far more exciting than the opening of Trader Joe's at Thruway. After all, does TJ have Slurpees? Case closed.

Here's the Lewisville location – I'm sure I'll meet you in line at the grand opening.


Lewisville Hires New Town Manager

According to the Winston-Salem Journal Lewisville has wooed Hank Perkins away from North Wilkesboro.

Hank Perkins, who has been town manager of North Wilkesboro for 10 years, is leaving his position to become town manager of Lewisville.

Perkins announced his resignation at the end of Tuesday night's North Wilkesboro town commissioner meeting, according to town officials. He'll work out a 30-day notice and begin his new job in July.