South Carolina not-so-friendly towards Cyclists
Fri, 10 May 2013 02:07:48 GMT —
According to the League of American Bicyclists, South Carolina is ranked 34th on the nation's list of friendliest states for bicycles.
That statistic comes as no surprise to Jack Johnston, owner of Cyclopedia in Pawleys Island and former world champion cyclist.
He said other than a few ill-maintained paths, there is a lack of safe places to ride.
"It's limited. It's very dangerous. The roads are very busy and there are not many cycle paths or safe roads to ride on. You've got to be aware at all times," Johnston said.
Cyclists said even worse than the lack of trails is the way drivers treat them when riding on the road.
"A lot of people are just in a hurry. I think they try to pass sometimes and are a little reckless," Cary Adams, an avid cyclist said.
Johnston said he thinks we could actually be losing out on tourists from across the world because of the lack of bicycle trails.
"If they had places to ride safely, it'd be a huge thing here, especially because of the good weather," Johnston said.
Studies in other states show bicycle tourists bring in nearly half a billion dollars each year.
Johnston said he has a difficult time answering his customers when they ask him where the best places to ride their bikes are.
"We have to kind of give them a wry look and smile and say well they're not really very good. And it's almost embarrassing to have to repeat that over and over again to people," Johnston said.
South Carolina did, however, rank high in safety education because of its Safe Streets Save Lives bicycle campaign.