Feb. 17, 2015. Boone Area Cyclists will gather for its annual members” meeting Tuesday, Feb. 24 at the Watauga Medical Center’s Councill Auditorium from 6 to 8 p.m. Folks who wish to join or renew their memberships for the 2015 calendar year may do so online at booneareacyclists.com or in person at the meeting. Refreshments will be served.
This year’s featured speaker is Ann Groninger, a North Carolina attorney who has been representing cyclists around the state for over ten years. She regularly speaks with advocacy groups and clubs around the state to help educate cyclists about their legal rights. In 2014 she authored the Ride Guide, a short book that discusses the complexities of NC’s laws as they apply to cyclists. She is an avid bike commuter and recreational cyclist herself.
Groninger is founder of bikelaw.com, a website that contains a wealth of information and discussion about how the law affects cyclists in NC and 18 other states. It’s also a network of attorneys who represent cyclists in these states. North Carolina is a gorgeous place to ride, but cyclists in the state have to deal with some archaic laws. Ann’s Ride Guide discusses the issues facing NC cyclists in depth and can be downloaded at the bikelaw.com website.
The meeting will also be a time to review BAC’s accomplishments for 2014 and look ahead to initiatives for 2015. The club’s mission is to develop, coordinate, and promote safe and accessible bicycling opportunities for all riders in the geographic area of Boone. BAC board members continue to sit on several town committees to advocate for cyclists of all types as well as attending conferences and meetings across the state. The club sponsors a variety of events and activities to reach out to all kinds of cyclists as well as working on longer term projects.
One such project over the past few years has been the partnership with Watauga County to develop and maintain Rocky Knob Park, a mountain biking and hiking area in Boone. BAC volunteers have contributed thousands of hours of labor to build the trails at the park, and work continues on trail development. The latest project is to redesign the lower trail so that the park can better accommodate novice mountain bikers. Every fall BAC helps sponsor Take a Kid Mountain Biking Day at Rocky Knob, and in 2014 the club also helped sponsor a downhill mountain biking race that raised money for trail maintenance.
In 2014, BAC worked with AppTV to develop an informational television segment about the group that will eventually air on the local cable system. BAC hopes to debut the segment at the members’ meeting. AppTV is currently streaming online. Visit apptv.appstate.edu for more information.
Last year, BAC also sponsored the fifth annual Boone Cyclo.Via, an open streets festival where citizens can enjoy car-free streets for a few hours in lovely downtown Boone. The event featured a BMX show, dancing, yoga, tricycle races, bike decorating, jump roping, a kids’ skills area, and many examples of spontaneous fun. Other BAC activities included spring and fall socials at Appalachian Mountain Brewery in Boone and the annual holiday party at Bistro Roca in Blowing Rock.
BAC’s race team completed its inaugural season in which members were active in regional rides and races including the Beech Metric, Blood, Sweat and Gears, and the Blue Ridge Brutal. The team contributed more than 150 hours of volunteer service to BAC events and is always looking for new team members who want to ride and give back to the community. The team is open to riders of all ages and abilities. Participants must be members in good standing, be willing to participate in five races, and agree to contribute five hours of service towards a BAC cause or event.
More information is available at booneareacyclists.com.