Strength in numbers was the theme for national Bike to Work Day as more than 100 cyclists took over a lane of traffic in the busy morning hours to demonstrate the need for safer biking conditions in Charleston. The nonprofit organization Charleston Moves planned the rally to promote healthy activities and gain momentum for a much-needed bike lane across the busy bridge that connects West Ashley to Downtown. All types of bicycle enthusiasts met behind Earth Fare for the ride and to hear local council members and Mayor Riley speak about their commitment to providing a safer Charleston for pedestrians and cyclists.
After short speeches from the council members and Mayor Riley, the mob of cyclists departed from Earth Fare heading toward the Ashley River. There was a sense of confidence throughout the crowd as they pedalled into the rising morning sun, partially due to the fact that they were doing something that is greatly benefiting the community and partially because there was a police escort the entire way.
Fellow cyclists and pedestrians offered encouragement, and even briefly delayed motorists patiently waited for the group to pass. The band of cyclists made it across the bridge and began snaking its way through the narrow streets of downtown. The ride ended at 81 Calhoun St. where bagels, fruit, juice, water, and coffee awaited the sweaty mob. Hopefully next year, national Bike to Work Day will celebrate the new bike lane across the Ashley River and the commitment of Mayor Riley, council members, and the community who stood up for the cause.