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Posted on: May 27, 2016

Discover South Carolina: Bicycle Friendly South Carolina Communities

Bicycle Friendly

By Marie McAden, Discover South Carolina, SCPRT

Last year, the League of American Bicyclists awarded Hilton Head Island silver status as a “Bicycle Friendly Community,” making it one of a select group of cities in the Southeast to receive the prestigious honor.

Four other cities in South Carolina — Greenville, Spartanburg, Columbia and Charleston — have earned the bronze award for providing safe accommodations for cycling and encouraging biking as a means of transportation and recreation.

Spartanburg, the first city in the state to receive the designation of “Bicycle Friendly Community,” has long been a Mecca for cyclists. The Assault on Mount Mitchell, a grueling century race from Spartanburg to the highest point east of the Mississippi, draws 750 riders from all over the country.

The city also stands out as the first community in the Southeast to offer a bike share program. Bikes can be rented with a credit card at either of two self-serve downtown stations. It costs just $5 for a 24-hour pass. The first hour of use is free; every additional 30 minutes is $1.

In its first year of operation, the Spartanburg B-cycle system has logged in 2,800 trips covering 21,490 miles — the equivalent of riding three-quarters of the way around the world. According to Partners for Active Living, the organization that runs the program, members have burned 859,626 calories. That’s enough to work off 4,298 glazed donuts, 2,046 chicken biscuits and 511 chocolate milkshakes combined.

Cycling has become so much a part of Spartanburg’s recreational culture, the city hosts a bicycle-themed art exhibit each year in Morgan Square. Using recycled bicycle parts, regional artists have created everything from dinosaurs to wildflowers for the Artcycle show on display April to October.

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