Trails. Ideas. Empowerment. There is momentum building for bicycling across the country. This is blog is a place to discuss ideas, find information on trails and examine potential opportunities for bicycling in the Upstate of South Carolina. Join me in my exploration!
Tuesday, June 12, 2012
Bikes + Beach
Tybee Island Pavilion
When we ventured south to Savannah a few months ago, we made
our way to the coast. It was beautiful – sunny skies, rolling waves and
pedestrian friendly. Every time we were out there – day or evening – there were
a good number of bicyclists and bike-related amenities that I saw.
Way to go Tybee Island!
The City was awarded a Bicycle Friendly Community award
in 2011. The designation recognizes a city's (business or university)
demonstrated commitment and investment in bicycle facilities, policies and
programs. I saw many different people on bikes, and many of them were calmly
riding on beach cruiser-style bicycles. There was a bike rental company on the
main drag that offered a variety of bicycles. Some restaurants offered specials
to those who came to by bike. (Parking was a big issue while we were there. I
imagine this kind of special entices some folks to leave their car where it’s
park at the hotel or condo, and use a bike instead.) There is even an Old Rail Trail nearby that folks can ride.
Ambiguous bike/parking lane
The beach-bum bicyclists I saw were riding in what was very ambiguously
marked parking lane or bike lane. I never could tell. There weren’t any bike
lane signs or pavement markings along or within the white strips. I also wasn’t
sure if parking was allowed along these stretches because I didn’t see any
signs. Either way,
everyone seemed to get along in the road or on the sidewalk. (I think the more
laid-back lifestyle had something to do with it.) Bike racks were also highly
visible and ample. No one was shy about the beach bike culture on Tybee Island.
Beach bum bicyclists
My guess is this is an emerging lifestyle in beach
communities. Hilton Head, SC is known as being a bicycle-friendly community.
Young and old bike around the island. There’s growing interest in Charleston,
and I bet other southern coastal communities are seeing a growing interest in
biking. It helps with tourism and it’s great for locals. There’s also less car
parking to worry about, and the speed of traffic slows down, as compared to
cars. If you make it down to Savannah, head out to Tybee, and if you’re there
long enough, consider renting a bike and head out to the beach!