By Marcy Benson –
Been on a bicycle lately? If you are like me, “lately”, means 20 years ago, give or take a year. Sure I had a bicycle when I was kid, it was a vibrant yellow color with a banana seat, remember those? With the color coordinated plastic tassels that hung from the handlebars and blew in the wind as I pedaled down the street. But as life went on riding a bicycle became less important in my daily routine.
Now living in the Hilton Head Island area bicycle riding has slowly crept back into my life. I’m a beginner bicycle rider, I won’t use the term “cyclist” because when I think of that word a vision of a lycra-clad, sinewy rider pumping their legs at full-tilt appears before my eyes, and I am the farthest from that description as one could get. I ride for fun and exercise and to explore the nooks and crannies of this beautiful area called the South Carolina Lowcountry.
I was re-introduced to bicycle riding by a friend who suggested I buy a bike. I went to a local bike shop and bought a used Schwinn. Some people might call it a “clunker”, but 3 years in and I’m still riding the same red used bike, it’s taken me on rides in Bluffton, Hilton Head Island, Beaufort, Port Royal and Savannah. I’ve explored places while the sun has been shining and been caught in rain (sunshine is better!). I’ve pedaled in summertime warmth and wintertime chill. I’ve biked with a local bicycle club , which is a great way to meet interesting people, and I’ve biked on my own, but no matter how or where or when I ride my bicycle I’m cheerier after the experience, and maybe shed a few pounds along the way too.
If you are thinking of getting back on a bicycle Hilton Head Island is a great place to “dip your wheel” into bicycling. The hard-packed sand beaches are great for riding fat tire bikes and the pathway network on the Island is user friendly and can take you from one end of the island to the other safely and in beautiful scenery.
Enjoy Hilton Head Island’s bike paths and fabulous restaurants during Chamber Bike and Dine Week, Presented by Coligny, May 2nd – 9th.