Thursday, May 28, 2015

Biking in the Upstate News Update, Spring 2015 Edition

After a number of great events that have happened recently, it’s time to put together the Spring 2015 edition of Biking in the Upstate News Update. There have been a lot of opportunities to participate in rides and public meetings to support the growing bike culture in the region. The momentum just keeps building! As May and National Bike Month wind down, let’s dive in on the latest.

The Pickens Easley Doodle Trail opened to the public on Saturday, May 23 with grand fanfare. Folks from all over came out to bike and walk on the 8+ mile old rail trail path that connections the cities of Easley and Pickens. Only taking 5 years to go from conceptual idea to a real, enjoyable path is pretty awesome, especially because two communities had to align and pool resources (time, money and people) to make this dream a reality. Head on over, and try out the trail during its inaugural season.

In Clemson there have been a few opportunities to get in on some planning for future developments. The master planning process for part of the Pacolet-Milliken site off of Hwy 76 and Old Stone Church Road has been in full swing. In late May, consultants completed a week-long public workshop to develop some preliminary ideas, including some robust ideas for sidewalks and bikeways. They presented the ideas in a public meeting at the end of the week. The consultants and partners are continuing to develop a final plan. Stay tune to the City of Clemson's website for information on the project's next public meeting.

Still in Clemson, The Friends of the Green Crescent also had a public meeting earlier this spring to explore different ideas for trails in the Clemson/Central/Pendleton area. The non-profit group has formed as an advocacy group to support the development of bike and pedestrian facilities in the area.

The 2nd Annual Ride for Wellness took place on May 16. Last year, I had a great time on this fun, non-race, free public ride through parts of rural Oconee County. Rides like this are great opportunities for first-time or novice riders to dip their toe into longer group rides. I applaud the local physical therapy firm Excel Rehab and Sports efforts in creating opportunities for all riders to stretch themselves and enjoy the wonderfulness that is the Upstate in mid-May.

In April, bicyclists had an opportunity to ride on the I-185Southern Connector in Greenville. The toll road, typically used by speeding cars and trucks as an alternative way to get around Greenville, was closed to motorized traffic and opened to those on people-powered two wheels. Bicyclists of all ages and abilities were invited to ride the 17.7 mile route as a way to participate in the USA Cycling national championship Bikeville Classic event. Personal commitments kept me away, but I hope to participate the next time the connector opens to bicyclists. 

With so many ways to participate in biking in the upstate, it looks like it's going to be a great summer. Find a way to get out and get active!

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