Cycling News

First, the jury will soon start deliberating over what crime Douglas Layton, Jr. committed when the car he was driving struck and killed local police officer Jason Eckes as Eckes was cycling through Homewood. I’ll have more on this when the verdict comes back.

Second, if you want to honor Eckes and every other cyclist who has ever been hit by a car, take part in the Ride of Silence on May 17. The name says it all: We do the ride in silence as a way to honor those who have been killed or injured, and to promote bike safety. It starts at 7:00, from behind Homewood Cycle and Fitness. The pace is slow and the distance short, so anyone can do it. It will be a couple hundred riders. The police escort the whole thing.

Third, I’m headed to Chattanooga (along with 1,999 other riders) for the 3-State 3-Mountain Challenge, but Anniston will also be a cycling hot spot this weekend.

Saturday is the Sunny King Criterium in downtown Anniston. It is multiple laps around a short course, so it’s ideal for spectators. Even better for spectators, the race is part of the Noble Street Festival, which also features food, music and other activities. Be sure to see the pros take off at 7:00. They will race 70 times around the one kilometer course, at speeds up to 40 mph.

Sunday is the Cheaha Challenge. It is an out and back century, starting in Piedmont, and turning around at Adam’s Gap in the T’dega National Forest. Those familiar with the area know that means you go up and over Mt. Cheaha on the scenic byway, then turn around and go right back up and over again. They call it the toughest ride in the south.

And there is always the Chief Ladiga Trail, which starts in Anniston and ends in Atlanta. It’s a rail-trail, which means no cars and it is F-L-A-T flat, flat, flat. Its great for a relaxing day on the bike.

I wish I could do the 3-State and the Cheaha Challenge, but they had to put them on the same weekend. If they conflict again next year, I may do Cheaha. Anyway, I hope some of ya’ll will go to Anniston this weekend for the festivities.

Update: Finally, don’t hide crack in your bike’s handlebars, because the Fourth Circuit held yesterday that the cops can search it without a warrant. Well not in all situations, but in that case they could.

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