Boone Area Cyclists hold annual meeting
by Anna Oakes
The Boone Area Cyclists held an annual meeting Tuesday at the Watauga Medical Center auditorium to renew memberships and provide updates about bicycling issues and accomplishments.
The club, formed in September 2009, has grown from 130 members in 2010 to 206 in 2012. The nonprofit's mission is to develop, coordinate and promote safe and accessible bicycling opportunities in the Boone area.
President Ken Johnson outlined the club's accomplishments of the past year and mentioned goals for the next year.
In 2012, BAC played a major role in the completion of Watauga County's Rocky Knob Park through volunteer trail building. The club also worked with the N.C. Department of Transportation to achieve the inclusion of bike lanes in the U.S. 421 widening project.
The club held a kid's bike rally, a Ride of Silence to honor those who have been injured or killed while cycling, the second annual Cyclo.via festival, Rocky Knob Fest and Take a Kid Mountain Biking Day.
The organization also received the L.E. Tuckwiller Award for Community Development at the Farm City Banquet.
In 2013, club leaders hope to continue the success of the club's events, complete a road cycling map project and revamp the club's website.
Vice president Eric Woolridge provided updates on area trail projects. The next addition to Rocky Knob Park will be a number of landscaping features, including a stone-paved trailhead area with benches and a bike wash station.
In addition, NCDOT recently awarded a $400,000 grant for the first phase of the Middle Fork Greenway Project to build an underpass under U.S. 321 near Mystery Hill and a $600,000 grant to connect the Boone Greenway Trail to Brookshire Park.
Dean Ledbetter, NCDOT Division 11 traffic engineer, introduced himself to club members and encouraged them to be actively involved in transportation planning efforts. The town of Boone recently received a NCDOT grant to develop a bicycle plan that will outline recommendations for bicycling infrastructure improvements in town.
For more information about the club, visit http://www.booneareacyclists.com.