Monday, July 6, 2009

"Holy Spokes"

It appears as though biking culture is becoming a hot topic in Charleston... so much so that the Post and Courier can't get enough of the two wheeled action. The recent stories include: the Suicide King Alleycat race, the Charleston Chic Ride, and sizable spread about the Holy City Bike Co-op in the Preview.

It seems that where ever you go, there are people on bikes these days. I was recently heading riding the bus up to the airport when I spotted these two bikers, trailers in tow, making their way through North Charleston. (yes, these are low quality phone pics).

As far as biking outside of Charleston, I just got back from a trip up to Blowing Rock, NC for the fourth of July and was pleasantly surprised with the amount of bikers on the road. Here are the three that I caught on my phone:

Then after a full weekend of watching bikers, I ended up back at the airport, waiting for the bus. It struck me as ridiculous that the bus stop at the airport is marked by a tiny sign all the way at the end of the terminal exit with no bench, no cover, and a solid 50 feet from all other ground transportation. The only reason I knew it was there and what time the bus came was because I looked it up ahead of time. When I got on the bus (after being soaked in the rain waiting), I made a comment to the bus driver who proceeded to explained to me that the airport gets a cut of the profit from all of the vans and taxis that do pick ups there, so they are not exactly hanging banners about the $1.50 bus rides into town. From that point on, the driver and I discussed the politics of public transportation and how Charleston is just not planned and developed like a city. When I started talking about programs and ideas from other cities, she just laughed and told me I needed to get over the idea that Charleston will ever run like "a city". All of the same ideas and changes that I have hoped to see in the bus routes are the same ones suggested by drivers, riders, and citizens that have been ignored for years. That being said, I am still going to push the airport to move one of the dozens of benches from the front over to the bus stop because that is one battle I stand a chance of winning.

AND one last thing. For those of you that are interested in supporting bikers that are riding to make a difference, check out my friends website who is riding 165 miles to raise funds to help educate about HIV/AIDS (she is number 113) :

1 comment:

Josh Mueller said...

wow. great post. that's very interesting about your conversation with the bus driver. it totally confirms many of my fears about charleston and how it has adapted, is adapting, and will adapt to all the growth. After visiting Washington D.C. for a week late last month, I was SOOOO envious of my sister who lives there because she is totally spoiled with the intelligent design of the DC public transportation. And now I have been in Guadalajara, Mexico (city of +/- 8million ppl) where you can catch a bus anywhere you want to go. And all I can do is shake my head when I think about CARTA in Charleston, the lack of bike lanes, suburban zoning, etc....bu