May is Bike Month in Charleston, and this week includes two important opportunities for you to get on two wheels. On Wed. May 18, riders will be participating in the Charleston Ride of Silence, part of an international event that remembers those cyclists who have died in accidents. One of Charleston's most recent tragedies was the death last July of Edwin Gardner. The peninsula cycling advocate died after being hit by a car while cycling near Lockwood Boulevard.
"The memory of Edwin's death is fresh in everyone's mind and I'm sure the ride will have a special impact this year," says Tom Bradford, director of the nonprofit cycling advocate Charleston Moves.
The ride will begin at 7 p.m. at Hampton Park. Organizers will also be unveiling the new safety campaign, "Safe Streets Save Lives."
On Fri. May 20, cyclists will be taking part in the national Bike to Work Day. Charleston Moves is using the event to highlight the need for improved bike access across the Ashley River. Cyclists currently share a narrow, dangerous sidewalk.
Charleston Moves will be hosting a rally at South Windermere Shopping Center at 8 a.m. to support an effort to take over a lane of traffic for pedestrians and cyclists. The group will then bike across the Ashley River.
"This is a do-or-die thing for us," Bradford says of the need for a safe route over the river.