The Face of the Cape Fear Cyclists
What does Cape Fear Cyclists mean to you? The answer is different depending upon whether you’re a racer, tourer, endurance cyclist, neighborhood rider, or just out for fun. There’s one need which we all share, however, regardless of riding style: Bicycle Advocacy.
Sure, we can all ride bikes. But how and where do we and our children ride them safely? We would spend much more time pedaling if we could ride safely to school, work, the shopping center, the local park, the beach, or the college. Think of the contribution to fitness, the environment, and reduced traffic congestion. CFC is changing its emphasis to better meet this need.
The Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee of the Wilmington Metropolitan Planning Organization, also known as the WMPO BikePed committee, is involved in planning bicycle routes, paths, lanes, and signage throughout the WMPO area, which includes all of New Hanover County, the north eastern section of Brunswick County, and the southeastern section of Pender County. Based on a variety of needs, this committee has developed a detailed plan for the area and is working with local officials on implementation. The operative word is Implementation. How do you motivate state, county and city planners, developers, and builders to accept, prioritize and provide for the needs of cyclists. That’s where we come in.
With over 350 club members the Cape Fear Cyclists, as a voice for cyclists in our area, has a golden opportunity to support and contribute to the work of the Bicycle Advisory Committee in a number of ways: through communication, education, political effort, and prodding. But to do this effectively we must be organized. Now is the time for we as an organization to get active in this effort. Hey, other communities have done it and so can we.
Our plans include regularly held meetings including speakers, seminars, outside consultants and socialization involving CFC members, other cycling advocates, local officials and local politicians. The emphasis is on education, sharing of ideas, increasing community awareness of cycling, and plain ol’ political clout. We have to dispel some myths about cycling and educate our planners and officials as to what is needed for safe cycling. (Widening a traffic lane and not marking the cycling lane with a white line is not the answer, i.e. Eastwood Road.) To make this work we need everyone’s participation!
Your Cape Fear Cyclists Web Site will inform you about what’s happening, meetings times, and other events. Please read them carefully and participate. Bring your family and cycling friends with you. The more ideas the better. Above all, be involved and help us make the Wilmington area a safe cycling community.