How do we get more people to ride their bicycles? By offering more places to safely ride.
Over the last 10 years, the greater Charleston area has begun to invest in the foundation of a community-wide bicycle and pedestrian network, such as bike lanes in North Charleston and downtown connections to the Ravenel Bridge. The death of Dr. Mitch Hollon, however, is a piercing call to speed up the pace. We’ve ridden the James Island Connector hundreds of times, but it is clearly not the right route for all bicyclists, including kids, commuters, and casual cyclists. The community chorus around the Ashley River Crossing keeps building; a diverse group of Charlestonians — led by Charleston Moves — has demanded a safe way across. They have spoken, the politicians have begun to listen, and the time for action is immediate.
Wilborn is a fan of a rhetorical tweak that has gained currency in biking circles recently: referring to bike riders as bicyclists, not cyclists. The word “cyclist,” he says, connotes elitism. The image is of a road warrior in a pricy spandex getup. “Bicyclist,” on the other hand, includes anyone who happens to ride a bike, from the hardcore racer to the pokey commuter.