WINSTON-SALEM, N.C.-- Winston-Salem city leaders want the city to be more of a "cycling friendly" city and say this weekend's nationally televised, professional race will help the city build that reputation.
The Winston-Salem Cycling Classic will feature several professional and amateur races on Saturday and Sunday. More than 200 professional cyclists are expected to take part in the USA Cycling sanctioned event that as a purse of $33,000.
Along with hosting the race, Winston-Salem says it's doing more to be seen as cycling friendly, like adding $275,000 worth of bike lanes and bike racks.
More than 10 miles of additional bike lanes and shared lanes will be added this summer. 125 new bike racks are being put in downtown all thanks to federal transportation grants.
Matt Burczyk, Winston-Salem Transportation Project Planner, says making the city more accessible and safe for cyclists also helps attract quality employees for employers.
"The jobs that we are trying to attract here, the high-tech jobs and the workers that go with those jobs, those workers expect bike and pedestrian facilities. They expect a walkable city they want that urban environment," Burczyk said.
Joe Carpisassi, a professional rider from Winston-Salem with team Smart Stop presented by Mountain Khakis, says he thinks Winston-Salem is doing a lot to encourage cycling.
"It's a symbol of support for cycling in general and for us it's a positive indication, a matter of making the city safer for people to get out and use the city in a way that's healthier for them," said Carpisassi.
For more information on this weekend's race check out www.winstonsalemcycling.com.
For more information on bike trails, cycling paths and what Winston-Salem is doing to promote cycling go to http://www.cityofws.org/Home/Departments/Transportation/Biking .