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!

1 comment:

  1. AnonymousJune 22, 2012

    I am an avid touring cyclist about to move to the Savannah area for about a year, this info was helpful, Thanks!