A resident of the Brushy Mountain community asked the Wilkes County commissioners to have Brushy Mountain Road and certain adjoining secondary roads removed from the state’s list of designated bicycle routes due to problems with cyclists.

Scott Faw said he hoped this would reduce the number of cyclists from outside of Wilkes riding on Brushy Mountain, Lithia Springs, Vannoy Ridge and Ball’s Mill roads.

Faw said the people causing the problems are from the Mooresville and Charlotte areas and not from Wilkes County.

Faw said cyclists recently urinated and defecated on the grounds of Bethany Baptist Church and the nearby Brushy Mountain Fire Department along Brushy Mountain Road.

He cited an instance when firefighters were delayed by about five minutes in responding to an emergency call due to bicycles parked in front of the fire station.

Faw said passing motorists have seen cyclists changing their clothes outside of their motor vehicles along the side of Brushy Mountain Road near the base of the south side of the Brushies in Alexander County.

“If they see you coming (on Brushy Mountain Road), they’ll get on the yellow lines instead of the white lines” so they can’t be passed while they’re cycling, he said.

When orchardists are spraying their trees, the spray sometimes drifts over people riding bikes and the cyclists complain, he added.

“We’re not saying you can stop them” from riding bikes on public roads in the community. Faw said he believed removing the bicycle route designation and accompanying information online would result in fewer cyclists coming from outside Wilkes.

Faw spoke during the “public concerns” portion of the meeting and sought a response when he finished. Commission Chairman Eddie Settle told Faw that the commissioners have a policy of not responding during the public concerns period.

Later in the meeting, commissioners said they had no authority to have the N.C. Department of Transportation remove a bicycle route designation.

They said Wilkes Sheriff Chris Shew has already increased the presence of deputies in the community to help address the problems.

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(3) comments

KevinS

As a cyclist that has ridden the Brushy area for more than 25 years, I am ashamed of the actions of a very few of my cycling brethren. I am from the Mooresville area and I can assure the residents of this area that only a small handful of folks are responsible for these actions. That being said, the damage has been done. The cyclists I ride at Brushy with are by and large hard working individuals with high morals and standards. They look forward to visiting the Brushy Mountain area to train and to ride some of the most scenic areas in the state of NC. I would not say that we add millions to the economy of the area but I know that I personally have eaten at local restaurants in N. Wilkesboro and purchased snacks and gas from stores along the way. So we do impact your economy in a positive way. Also, the comment in here about cyclists moving more towards the yellow line when a car approaches is inaccurate from all experiences I have had in the Brushies. Both on my bicycle and also as a driver in a car. Almost all of the cyclists I ride with move to the far right even though the law plainly states we may take the entire lane. We understand that we are slower than a vehicle. I have actually pulled to the shoulder and let cars pass when I am holding them up. I have seen my cycling friends do the same. I apologize on behalf of the cycling community. I know that a group of my friends are doing some things to help make this unfortunate situation right for the community. I hope that gets the same press as this negative article. To the residents of the Brushy Community I say thank you for allowing us to Share Your Roads.

Mortgage guy

Controlling cyclist is like controlling motorist. Do gas stations lock their pumps so people don't stop to use their facilities? I get it, cyclist should not be peeing and pooping around the fire station, but how can anyone say our county roads are no longer designated cycling routes. There are some bad apples that have ruined it for everyone. For the record it is not just cyclist from Mooresville and N Charlotte that ride these roads. There are cyclist from all over that train on these roads. We are the group trying to support the fire station and the community.

jacksam4175

It's not just Brushy Mountain Rd, what about 268 W? They cause congestion there too. I used to hike trails at Kerr Scott, but some bikers are rude and refuse to share. Some throw down trash, do #2 along the trail and leave nasty tissues. I've even seen tampons left along the trail. I used to go there for the tranquility and to see plants and animals that are supposedly protected. Now all you see is dead trees, roots, red mud and bikers. It's just not worth it. As an alternative, I've started going to the greenway. Most people I've encountered there are respectful at least.

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