As a resident living along Pownal Road in Auburn, I feel compelled to comment regarding the complete lack of bicycle safety, as well as the disregard of course monitoring during Sept. 25’s 100-mile Dempsey Challenge bicycle event.  

Pownal Road is not a closed course, but that didn’t stop packs of 25-plus bikers from using both lanes of the road and “sandwiching” cars during the event. It was truly a miracle that no one was killed or severely injured.

During the day, the silence of Pownal Road’s rural community was punctuated by the terrifying sound of emergency braking and horn blowing. I am familiar with Pownal Road and its many treacherous blind curves, and hills and valleys, not to mention sections of dark shadows from huge overhanging branches that almost totally obscure an extremely small bicyclist, especially if they are without a bike light. 

Where were the event officials or police monitoring the bicyclists — considering Pownal Road’s notorious reputation? If left unchecked, the Dempsey Challenge will take on a darker context — the real challenge: will anyone get killed or injured on Pownal Road?

Dr. David Oshansky, Auburn

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