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Originally published: 2014-05-19 13:14:56
Last modified: 2014-05-19 13:14:56

Our View: Drivers be aware

With the blossoming of spring in the High Country, those "share the road" signs suddenly take on an added importance. Bicyclists are again on our byways and highways, and drivers need to be aware of their presence.

This is true at all times, and especially so during events such as Saturday's Beech Mountain Metric. On that day, more than 750 cyclists will ascend Beech Mountain to raise money for local charities.

The narrow twisting mountain roads that attract drivers from and beyond our region are the same roads that attract cyclists for training and pleasure riding.

Slowing down and giving cyclists as large a berth as possible is part of responsible driving -- and part of every driver's responsibility in sharing the High Country, no matter what your mode of transportation. 

After all, bicyclists on the roadways are, by law, vehicles with the same rights and responsibilities as motorized vehicles.

When those rights are not respected, the results can be tragic. Tens of thousands of bicyclists are harmed in motor vehicle accidents annually throughout the United States.

And those results are no different in the High Country. Indeed, at 7 p.m. on May 21 a second annual Ride of Silence will be observed in downtown Boone. That event is part of a global movement to remember all bicyclists who have been hurt or injured on public roads.

All local bicyclists are invited, regardless of skill level. The silent ride begins at the Watauga County Department of Social Services.