Story by Lindsay Frost
City To Make Proclamation Tonight
Wake up, stretch out, put on your iPod, and hop on your bike. This month, the City of Charleston is recognizing a gold standard in fuel efficiency: peddling with your own two feet. Whether it be to get exercise, save money on gas, or take in the great outdoors, bike riding is a favored way to travel around Charleston. Mayor Joseph Riley has declared May Bicycle Month in Charleston, and he’s offering up a community action plan to promote bike use as a tool to help the environment and improve fitness.
The City Council will consider a resolution tonight that would adopt a bike-friendly city plan. If approved, the city will pledge to provide convenient bicycle access facilities, educational programs about bike safety and rules, and continue to encourage bicycle use as a major form of transportation. Riley hopes to enforce traffic laws monitoring road rules for both drivers and bicyclists.
Through the declaration of bicycle month, Riley is looking to encourage citizens to safely ride bikes and learn about the importance of bicycles as a major form of transportation.
Bike Month Events
Bike Month in Charleston not only provides educational programs about bicycling, but a number of events will be held in order to advocate bicycle use.
Gas prices are an issue for car drivers, especially when commuting to a job. In order to save money and get exercise, the city is sponsoring Bike to Work Day on May 15. People are encouraged to ride their bikes to work and several pit stops will be located throughout the city with refreshments available as well as bike safety checks. Pit stop locations include Savannah Highway, the West Ashley Greenway, King Street, East Bay Street, and Calhoun Street.
The weekly Farmer’s Market at Marion Square will also take part in bike month on May 16. The Market will include a free bike valet available for visitors, a bike safety course and maintenance clinic, and route maps for bicyclists. The Farmer’s Market will be held from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Distance bike riding events along with the safety courses will take place throughout the month of May. May 17 will be the 2130 Lou Gehrig’s Ride. This is a 100-mile bike ride through the City of Charleston. A $15 donation will benefit ALS research. The ride will begin at Park Circle and cross the Ravenel Bridge to Mt. Pleasant and rural East Cooper and back, beginning at 6:45 a.m.
The final event is the National Ride of Silence. This ride is an annual event practiced nationwide for all ages to raise awareness for bike safety and cyclists killed on the road throughout the country. The ride will begin at Hampton Park on May 20.
For more information and a complete list of events regarding bicycle month in Charleston, visit coastalcyclists.org.
(Also, downtown real estate agent Kristin Walker is helping coordinate a three-mile chic ride on May 15.)
Five Tracks for the Bike Trek Playlist
“Don’t Stop Believin’” by Journey — You really can’t go wrong with Journey, especially riding a bike in your own race over the streets of Charleston.
“Helter Skelter” by the Beatles — It is pretty much a rule that bike-riding songs have to be upbeat, and this Beatles song will make you want to ride for days.
“15 Step” by Radiohead — For those long trips across the countryside, Radiohead is your perfect companion.
“Galang” by MIA — For something a little more upbeat that will definitely keep you peddling, try some MIA.
“Boy with a Coin” by Iron and Wine — This group always embraces nature in their songs, so slow down and enjoy the outdoors with Iron and Wine.