Crews getting Winston-Salem streets ready for Cycling Classic

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — As hundreds of cyclists get ready to whip through city streets this weekend for the Winston-Salem Cycling Classic, local shops and city departments are making sure roads along the route are rider ready.

“We want it to be as safe as possible,” said Ken Putnam, owner of Ken’s Bike Shop.

With cyclists going at speeds of 30 to 40 miles an hour, Putnam will be putting down foam barriers to buffer falls against the hard asphalt.

“These cyclists aren’t going to have pads or anything,” Putnam said. “They’re just going to have a lycra suit and a really fast bike.”

He has a U-Haul truck full of padding for street lights, fire hydrants, curbs and any other potentially dangerous objects along the seven mile route for professional cyclists and two mile route for amateur riders.

Six of his employees will put the barriers up Friday morning.

“It’s nice that they have something that’s not hard to hit.”

“We blocked off a couple days for the pothole crew to go out there and take care of the route,” said Ryan Newcomb, assistant director of the city’s department of transportation.

Street crews spent the last few days patching up potholes along the route — a tough job after a harsh winter left roads in bad shape.

“It’s important that we try to get the road as safe for them as possible,” Newcomb said.

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