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Cyclists want to raise bike safety awareness

READ MORE: Bicycle safety
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The death of two cyclists in as many months has a local organization taking action. The group Cape Fear Cyclist' is in the early stages of an awareness campaign. Lieutenant George Perkins is an officer and avid cyclist. He said 28 bike accidents have been reported this year in the city limits. While the number may not seem high, he said many others go unreported. “The roads around here aren't very bicycle friendly,” Perkins said. Earlier this month, 62 year old Gary Sargent was hit by a car while biking on Eastwood Road. He died a week later. According to police, the driver was not impaired, nor driving above the speed limit. Shawn Spencer, owner of Bike Cycles is a member of the Cape Fear Cyclist. It is an organization of about 400 local bikers. After hearing about Sargent's death, he wrote this letter to his fellow bikers: "It is sad that such senseless accidents happen, but this one hits home. Gary's life should not be lost without us trying to pull together and bring awareness to the community." According to the Wilmington Metropolitan Planning Organization's most recent statistics, bike accidents account for less than one percent of total crashes in an area that includes New Hanover County beach towns, Brunswick and Pender County. One way the planning organization is trying to make the city more bike friendly is through the cross city trail, which will link Halyburton Park to Wrightsville Beach.

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