South Carolina Bicycle Tours to Enjoy: Five Recommendations

Have you ever wanted to spend a few days exploring the natural beauty of South Carolina in a new and exciting way? Bicycle tours are the perfect way to see your state from a new perspective while getting more involved in an exhilarating sport. Here are the five best South Carolina cycling tours to help you start your adventure.

South Carolina Lowcountry Bicycle Tour

This six-day bicycle tour is a wonderful way to stay active while exploring some of the most fascinating sites in South Carolina. The Lowcountry Bicycle Tour is appropriate for all biking skill levels, but be prepared for long treks during the day. Each day involves 25 to 50 miles of biking or more, depending on your choice and skill level. An optional kayak tour is included on the second day.

Upstate South Carolina Cycling Tour

Schedule a group vacation close to home with this five-day cycling tour around Greenville. The tour begins with a 43-mile ride from Greenville to Tigerville, then another ride to North Carolina to visit the villages Saluda and Tryon. On the second day, participants bike to Hagood Mill in Pickens County for a picnic. These challenging rides lead up to the third day’s activity: the Hincapie Gran Fondo in Greenville.

Greenville Ride Camp

This riding camp is designed for avid riders looking for seven days of intense cycling, but less experienced riders are also welcome. Participants will have three days of self-guided rides and four days of planned routes in and around Greenville. With rides of up to 100 miles and climbs of up to 7,100 feet in one day, the Greenville Ride Camp is not for the faint of heart.

Charleston to Savannah Multi-Adventure Tour

Cyclists get the an expansive experience of South Carolina bicycling during the Charleston to Savannah Multi-Adventure Tour, which stretches from one end of the South Carolina coastline to the other. The tour begins with a walking tour of Charleston, includes rides in Wadmalaw Island, Hunting Island State Park and other scenic coastal areas, and ends in the Wormsloe State Historic Site in Savannah, Georgia.

North Carolina and South Carolina Bike Tour

This tour allows South Carolina bicyclists to expand their horizons with a ride from Greenville to Asheville, North Carolina. The tour focuses on the natural beauty of the Blue Ridge Mountains and the unique culture of Southern Appalachia. Participants begin with a ride through the Greenville Watershed area and the village of Saluda. On the third day, riders are guided through the mountains to Caesar’s Head. The tour ends with a section of the Blue Ridge Parkway and a ride through the Biltmore Forest.

Do You Need a Bicycle Accident Attorney in South Carolina?

If you’ve been injured in a bike accident near Rock Hill, Lancaster, or Fort Mill, the Law Offices of F. Craig Wilkerson, Jr. can help you get the compensation you deserve. Contact us today to schedule a free case evaluation today or call us at:

 

Expert Bicycling in the Great Outdoors in South Carolina

5 Trails for Expert Bicycling in the Great Outdoors in South Carolina

We recently published two lists of the best South Carolina bicycle trails for casual and intermediate riders. If you’re an expert cyclist looking for new challenges around the state, here are five trails for advanced riders.

Spider Woman II, Harbison State Forest – Columbia, SC

Spider Woman II, Harbison State Forest - Columbia, SC

A hidden gem in Harbison State Forest, Spider Woman II is a steep and difficult trail that is perfect for bicyclists looking for a challenge. The 2.2-mile trail contains steep climbs and descents, switchbacks and several root sections. The most unique part of Spider Woman II is the natural rock garden near the western end of the trail, which provides an obstacle course of exposed rocks and boulders.

Anne Springs Close Greenway – Fort Mill, SC

Anne Springs Close Greenway - Fort Mill, SC

Anne Springs Close Greenway is currently renovating and constructing new trails to create a better mountain biking experience. The Greenway has recently finished construction on the 3.1-mile Paradise Loop, the one-mile Tunnel Trail and the 0.3-mile Avery Loop, all of which were designed specifically for mountain biking. These trails are very technical single tracks featuring tight turns, creek crossings and multiple climbs.

Oconee Passage – Mountain Rest, SC

Oconee Passage - Mountain Rest, SC

This 3.5-mile trail begins in Oconee State Park and ends in the Oconee Station State Historical Site, a military and trading post built in the 1790s. The passage begins by following the ridgeline of Stumphouse Mountain. After about 1.5 miles of riding, you will reach the highlight of the trail: a rapid descent from the mountain in which the trail drops 1,000 feet in elevation in just over a mile. Before reaching the historical site, the passage intersects with the Station Cove Falls Trail, which cyclists can follow to a 60-foot tiered waterfall.

Croft State Park – Spartanburg, SC

Croft State Park - Spartanburg, SC

The 12 miles of biking trails in Croft State Park are some of the most challenging in the state. The Southside loop is the longest trail at 8.2 miles and is rated the second best mountain bike trail in South Carolina by users of MTBProject.com. It’s full of short climbs and downhill sections to help you gain speed, but it’s also very technical, with plenty of roots and rocks. The Idaho Pass is a short ridgeline trail that is possibly the most difficult section in the park, with creek crossings, 15-foot-long ditches, and log rides.

Modoc Trail – Edgefield, SC

Modoc Trail - Edgefield, SC

This 5.5 mile trail makes for another short yet very technical bike ride. Modoc Trail features several steep and rocky descents, twisting switchbacks, creek crossings and small bridges. For a longer route, start at the Hamilton Branch State Recreation Area to warm up on county and Forest Service roads for 4.5 miles before you reach the main trail.

Do You Need a South Carolina Bicycle Accident Lawyer?

South Carolina Bicycle Accident Lawyer

If you are injured in a bike accident in South Carolina, personal injury attorney F. Craig Wilkerson, Jr. has offices in Rock Hill, Lancaster, and Fort Mill to help you receive a settlement. Schedule your free case evaluation today or call us at:

Intermediate Bicycling in the Great Outdoors in South Carolina

In our last post, we discussed the best South Carolina trails for casual and relaxed biking. If you’re looking for a bigger challenge, try these five bicycle routes for intermediate riders.

Forks Area Trail System – Clarks Hill, SC

One of the most extensive networks of trails in the state, the Forks Area Trail System (FATS) has six loops ranging from five to eight miles long, with 37 miles of rideable trail overall. FATS received an Epic rating from the International Mountain Biking Association in 2009 and hosted their annual World Mountain Bike Summit in 2010.

Two of the best trails for intermediate riders are the Brown Wave and Great Wall trails. The Brown Wave is one of the most popular trails in FATS due to the number of small “waves” in the trail that make for a fast yet exciting ride. The Great Wall is slightly more technical, with a variety of fast downhill sections, small “waves,” and tight turns.

Paris Mountain State Park – Greenville, SC

Paris Mountain State Park also contains a network of trails that are perfect for intermediate cyclists looking to improve their biking skills. Most trails in the park are less than three miles long, but cyclists can easily plan a route along multiple trails for a longer and more varied ride. The 2.4-mile Brissy Ridge loop is especially popular for cyclists. It’s a slightly technical trail with moderate climbs and a few rocks and roots to look out for. The shorter North Lake Loop is also suited for mountain biking. Only 1.2 miles long, this trail is less technical and more scenic than Brissy Ridge.

The Knot, Poinsett State Park – Wedgefield, SC

Despite its location in the generally flat Midlands of South Carolina, Poinsett State Park has trails as rocky and exciting as those upstate. The most popular mountain biking trail in Poinsett is the Knot, a dense network of trails with seven sections to give riders multiple route options. The Knot features well-marked trails, a few moderate climbs, speedy descents and many scenic views of the rest of the park.

Issaqueena Lake – Central, SC

The area around Issaqueena Lake hosts nearly forty miles of trails for cyclists. The main Issaqueena Lake Trail is a fairly flat 4.9-mile loop suitable for more casual riders. Other areas, such as the 20-mile Northern Issaqueena Trail and 2.7-mile Triple Creek Trail, contain more technical sections with large gaps, root sections and switchbacks.

Long Cane Horse Trail – Greenwood, SC

Long Cane Horse Trail is a 27-mile trail shared by cyclists and horseback riders. The northern end of the trail is most commonly used for cycling and includes technical challenges such as log-overs, creek crossing and root sections.

Do You Need a Lancaster, South Carolina Bike Accident Lawyer?

If you’ve been injured in a South Carolina bicycle accident, the Law Offices of F. Craig Wilkerson, Jr. in Rock Hill, Lancaster, and Fort Mill can help you receive a fair settlement. Schedule a free case evaluation online or call us at:

 

Easy Bicycling in the Great Outdoors in South Carolina

If you’re looking for a fun and easy bike ride, check out these six trails:

Piedmont Medical Center Trail – Rock Hill, SC

This trail in Rock Hill is perfect for a short walk or bike ride. The 2.5-mile route follows the Catawba River, beginning at Rapid Run Road near Highway 21 and ending at the Riverwalk Trestle. The trail is ten feet wide and paved, making for a smooth and easy ride.

Rock Hill Outdoor Center Mountain Bike Course – Rock Hill, SC

Connected to the Piedmont Medical Center Trailhead is the Rock Hill Outdoor Center Mountain Bike Course, which offers trails for mountain bikers of all skill levels. With options for easy, intermediate and advanced routes, the seven-mile network of clay and gravel trails is perfect for beginners who want to work their way up to more technical riding.

Baxter Village Trail System – Fort Mill, SC

Baxter Village in Fort Mill is another great place to gradually improve your biking skills. The trail system has several easy routes such as the Blue Heron Trail and Powerline Trail for those looking for a simple, relaxing ride. When you’re ready for a bigger challenge, try the Carolina Thread Trail, which passes through forested and residential areas until it reaches the Catawba River.

Rocky Creek Trail – Great Falls, SC

This trail in Great Falls is a 1.5-mile route leading from Washington Street near the Republic Golf Course to Rocky Creek. Aside from one particularly steep section near the beginning of the trail, the terrain is easy for beginner mountain bikers. This route is particularly suited to those looking for scenic views of nature, featuring a waterfall and beautiful views of Rocky Creek. The trail also runs through land marked as an Important Bird Area by the National Audubon Society, so you will likely see some native wildlife during your ride.

Whippoorwill Trail, Poinsett State Park – Wedgefield, SC

For those looking for a longer ride in the wilderness, Whippoorwill Trail provides 5.3 miles of smooth terrain on gentle slopes. The trail is easy to access from Poinsett State Park campgrounds and is near restrooms and drinking water.

Cuddo Unit, Santee National Wildlife Refuge – Summerton, SC

The Cuddo Unit is one of the easiest ways to see extraordinary wildlife during your bike ride. This route is an eight-mile loop of relatively flat dirt road that is shared with motor vehicles. The Cuddo Unit is well worth sharing, however. While riding on this path through the Santee National Wildlife Refuge, you will have the opportunity to see bald eagles, wading birds, wild hogs or even alligators in their natural habitats.

Do You Need a Rock Hill, South Carolina Bicycle Accident Attorney?

If you are involved in a South Carolina bicycle accident, the Law Offices of F. Craig Wilkerson. Jr. in Rock Hill, Lancaster, and Fort Mill can help you receive the compensation you need. Schedule a free case evaluation online or call us at:

More About Bicycles and the Suffragette Movement

bicycles and suffragettes

In our previous post, we discussed the role of bicycles in the early women’s rights movement as they provided greater freedom. But transportation was not the only contribution that bicycles made to early women’s movements. The rising popularity of bike riding among women also led to dress reform, moving fashion away from highly restrictive styles.

Through most of the nineteenth century, women were expected to wear floor-length skirts, tight corsets, and up to seven pounds of layered petticoats. When cycling grew in popularity, it became clear to many women that their usual dress was not suited to the bicycle. The long skirts made riding difficult and potentially dangerous. In 1896, a woman was killed after she lost control of her bike and could not regain her footing on the pedals due to her long skirt.

The rational dress movement, which had close ties to the women’s suffrage movement, offered an alternative for women cyclists: looser corsets (or no corsets), shorter skirts (or no skirts), and bloomers. Bloomers were loose fitting pants that allowed women to move with ease, and they saw a boom in popularity as women realized the impracticality of cycling in skirts. Typical riding gear in this style included bloomers beneath a short skirt or bloomers with no skirt at all. Bicycling was a major force in advancing the rational dress movement and bloomers were so influential that they became symbols for the “new woman,” a woman who sometimes worked outside the home and/or became involved in women’s political movements, and even saw herself as equal to men.

bicycle cartoon

The “new woman” who cycled and wore bloomers was not a universally accepted figure. In 1897, a group of male Cambridge students protested the admission of women by building an effigy of a bloomer-clad woman on a bicycle and suspending her from the air. Plus, many women reported being harassed on the street when they wore bloomers to cycle. Kitty J. Buckman wrote in 1897 of riding in London:

It’s awful – one wants nerves of iron. I don’t wonder now in the least so many women having given up the [Rational Dress] Costume and returned to skirts. The shouts and yells of the children deafen one, the women shriek with laughter or groan and hiss and all sorts of remarks are shouted at one, occasionally some not fit for publication. One needs to be very brave to stand all that. It makes one feel mad and one’s ideas of humanity at large sink to a very low standard.

Thankfully, the popular derision of women in bloomers subsided as riding wear became more popular, allowing nineteenth century women to be more comfortable and more physically active.

Are You in Need of a South Carolina Bicycle Accident Lawyer?

Even if you wear practical clothes for cycling, bicycle accidents happen. If you or a loved one is the victim of a South Carolina bicycle accident, the personal injury attorneys at the Law Offices of F. Craig Wilkerson can aggressively pursue fair compensation. To schedule your free case evaluation, contact us online or call us at:

Bicycles and the Suffragette Movement

bicycles and suffragettes

Since their invention in 1819, bicycles have had a long and varied history. Over the past 200 years, bicycling as an activity has been known as an alternative mode of transportation, a form of exercise and a sport. But one under-reported aspect of the history of bicycling is its role in the turn-of-the-century women’s rights movement. From the 1890s until women won the right to vote in 1920, bicycles became a tool for these women and a symbol for women’s rights.

The most straightforward effect of the bicycle on women’s lives was greater freedom of transportation. As bicycles became wildly popular in the 1890s, women no longer needed to rely on fathers, brothers or husbands to get from place to place. With a bicycle, they could leave the home without needing someone to transport them, thereby gaining new levels of freedom and autonomy.

This freedom helped women to begin to push back against Victorian gender roles that dictated they were physically delicate, should remain in the domestic sphere, and must rely on men. Louise Jeye wrote in 1895 that the cycle brought a new kind of emancipation to women: “Free to wheel, free to spin out in the glorious country, unhampered by chaperones … the young girl of today can feel the real independence of herself and, while she is building up her better constitution, she is developing her better mind.”

bicycles and suffragettes

However, not everyone accepted these changes. As one man wrote in the Sunday Herald in 1891, “I think the most vicious thing I ever saw in all my life is a woman on a bicycle… I had thought that cigarette smoking was the worst thing a woman could do, but I have changed my mind.” Others wrung their hands at the potential impropriety of a woman straddling a bicycle seat while riding. While some doctors praised cycling as a healthy exercise, others raised concerns about its effects on women’s fragile constitutions, citing a range of side effects from sores and bruises to chronic dysentery.

One group who thoroughly embraced the bicycle was suffragettes. Activists Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton are both credited with saying that “woman is riding to suffrage on the bicycle.” The Winnipeg Free Press reported in 1912 about a group of English women’s suffrage protestors who built a barricade of bicycles across a London road to keep Winston Churchill from leaving for vacation. The bicycle delivered on its promise, according to the San Francisco Fall in 1895, “to put [woman] at the very front of the political procession, and to give her an advanced standing in all the other fields of thought and endeavor.”

Do You Need a South Carolina Bicycle Accident Lawyer?

Though women today do not need to fear social backlash for riding a bicycle, bicycle accidents are still a risk for any rider. If you or a loved one has been involved in a bicycle accident, personal injury attorneys at the Law Firm of F. Craig Wilkerson, Jr. can help you receive a settlement for your injuries. To schedule your free case evaluation, contact us online or call us at:

History of the Bicycle: Shrouded in Mystery

bicycle history

Bicycles are so prevalent today that it’s hard to imagine they were invented only about 200 years ago. And, the debate about who invented the first one isn’t going to get settled any time soon. An article published by the Smithsonian notes that a patent was issued to W.K. Clarkson, Jr. of New York on June 26, 1819 for a “velocipede.” But, as luck would have it, the documentation was burned up in the Patent Office fire of 1836. The article notes that “There is no evidence that the sport gained much popularity in the U.S. at the time.”

In Paris, in 1863, the development of the early form of bicycles known as the velocipede was advanced when someone added pedals to the front axle. That “someone” could have been Pierre Michaux, since it happened in his workshop. Or it could have been his employee, Pierre Lallement. In either case, Lallement moved to New Haven, Connecticut shortly thereafter; in 1866, he was granted a patent that provided “improvements in velocipedes.” Two years later, in New York, the Hanlon brothers improved upon Lallement’s design.

Right about that time, Americans became enthusiastic about this mode of transportation, so carriage buildings began making cycles. Riding schools sprung up in cities in the eastern part of the country, with Harvard University and Yale University students jumping on the craze.

After about a year of intense interest, though, many people stopped riding their cycles because they were “heavy and cumbersome.” The lack of cushioning didn’t make the ride very comfortable, and “the rider had to steer and pedal the same front wheel.” The bottom line is that you needed to be both strong and coordinated to ride one of these contraptions – and then when cities began passing ordinances banning them from sidewalks, the whole idea of riding one was just more trouble than it was worth.

Innovations in England

popularity of bicycles

In 1871, James Starley created the Ariel, which was a high-wheeled, wire-spoked bicycle that came to be known as the Ordinary. His version was modified and gained in popularity – and Americans began importing them. In 1878, Albert A. Pope decided that the United States needed a bicycle manufacturer, and he started producing the Columbia bicycle in Connecticut.

High-wheeled bicycles were fast and lightweight. But, because the center of gravity was right behind the front wheel, riders would sometimes fly over the handlebars.

large wheeled bicycle

Safety-style bicycles then began being manufactured. They featured two smaller wheels of equal size. They also had gears and a chain driver. Then, pneumatic tires were invented by John Boyd Dunlop and brake improvements took place, making bicycles a safer mode of transportation.

In 1889, there were approximately 200,000 bicycles on the road. Ten years later? One million. We encourage you to read the rest of the Smithsonian article – and definitely look at the photos of the early bicycles! They’re fascinating.

Unfortunately, although bicycles today are much safer, that doesn’t prevent people from being in bicycle accidents. Read on if that has happened to you or a loved one.

South Carolina Bicycle Accident Attorneys

Bicycle accident attorneys at the Law Offices of F. Craig Wilkerson can help you get compensation for your injuries. Visit our page on hiring a personal injury attorney for bicycle accidents for more information. You can also contact us online for a free case evaluation or call us at:

Bicyclists: Tips to Share the Road Safely with Motor Vehicles

more bicycle accident tips

Bicycling is a fun, healthy and environmentally friendly activity, but it can also be dangerous. South Carolina is one of the most dangerous states for bicyclists, with 3.21 bike accident fatalities per million people in 2011. Ride more safely by following these seven tips for sharing the road with motor vehicles.

  1. Be conspicuous.

Wear fluorescent colors whenever you go for a ride. Put reflectors and flashing lights on the front and rear of your bike.

  1. Ride like you’re invisible.

Although you want to make yourself as visible as possible, you can never be sure that nearby drivers will notice you. Never assume that a driver can see you and ride in such a way that you won’t get hurt even if they don’t.

  1. Choose your route carefully.

Don’t bike on the same route you would drive. Ride on roads with the lightest and slowest traffic possible, or on roads with wide shoulders.

  1. Be predictable.

Surprising a driver is one of the worst things a cyclist can do. Ride in a straight line as much as possible, even when passing a gap between parked cars. Don’t swerve at the last second to avoid debris or potholes in the road. Instead, move over early and gradually to avoid them. Always use turn signals.

  1. Pay attention.

As a cyclist, you need to take extra care on the road. Don’t wear earbuds while biking. Being able to hear your surroundings could very well prevent a dangerous accident. Look over your shoulder before changing lanes or passing to make sure your way is clear and drivers behind you can see your movement.

  1. Ride in the center of the lane when appropriate.

You may be used to hugging the right curb when riding but, in many situations, it is safer to ride in the center of the lane. For example, if cars are passing you too closely, riding to the left will discourage any unsafe passing. If you’re on a street with parked cars, riding to the left will keep you from getting doored. Examine the roadway you’re on and use your judgement to decide whether to ride to the right or in the center.

Most importantly, ride in the center of the lane when approaching an intersection. Cars turning at the intersection are more likely to see you if you stay in the center, making them less likely to cut you off or hit you. You should also avoid pulling up alongside a stopped car at an intersection or letting a car pull up beside you, which can lead to a right hook accident. The center of the lane is almost always the safest place to be when approaching an intersection.

  1. Wear a helmet.

Even if you do everything right, there’s always a chance of getting in an accident. Wearing a helmet will help to keep you alive if something goes wrong.

We Advocate for Bicycle Accident Victims

If you or a loved one have been injured in a bicycle accident, the bicycle accident attorneys at the Law Offices of F. Craig Wilkerson can help you get compensation for your injuries. Visit our page on hiring a personal injury attorney for bicycle accidents for more information. You can also contact us online for a free case evaluation or call us at:

 

Drivers: How to Share the Road Safely with Bike Riders

 

Bicycling is more popular as a mode of transportation than ever. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports a 64% increase in cyclists traveling to work from 2000 to 2012. The influx of cyclists on the road presents new challenges for motorists, so here are eight tips for drivers on sharing the road with bicycles.

  1. Bicyclists have a right to the road.

Always keep in mind that bicycles are legally considered vehicles. They are just as entitled to the road as you are, not just the shoulder of the road. Lots of circumstances can force bicyclists to ride in the traffic lane rather than the shoulder, such as potholes, sewers and litter that they must avoid.

  1. Drive at least three feet away from cyclists.

Giving cyclists at least three feet of clearance is the law in several states, and good sense everywhere. Extra clearance allows the cyclist to swerve around dangers in the road without hitting a car.

  1. Be patient.

Cyclists face speed limitations that cars don’t, which can be annoying when they ride in front of you. But give bicyclists the right of way when necessary, even when it slows you down. Pass cyclists with caution and only when it’s safe to do so. What’s more important, saving a couple minutes on your commute or avoiding a potentially life-threatening accident?

  1. Avoid the right hook.

Do not pass a bicyclist and make a right turn in front of them. The cyclist may be going straight and won’t have time to avoid running into you when you make your turn. This is called a right hook, and it’s the most common cause of accidents between motorists and cyclists.

  1. Avoid turning left when being approached by people on bicycles.

When making a left turn, take an extra second to look for bicyclists going in the opposite direction. Be aware that cyclists may be going faster than you think, and always err on the side of caution.

  1. Don’t blast your horn.

Horns can be a useful method of communication between cars, and you may be tempted to honk at the cyclist right in front of you who does something illegal or inconsiderate. But keep in mind that a horn sounds much louder, and thus more startling, to a cyclist than to another driver. Honking while close to a cyclist can cause him or her lose control of the bike, making his or her cycling worse rather than better.

  1. Don’t park in bike lanes.

Parking in the bike lane even for a few seconds forces bicyclists to cut into traffic lanes where drivers don’t expect them. Keep cyclists and other drivers safe by staying out of the bike lane

  1. Use caution when exiting your vehicle.

Another common cause of bicycle accidents is called dooring. It occurs when a driver opens his or her door in front of an oncoming bicycle, throwing the rider off the bike. Always look behind you before opening your door into the road. It’s nearly impossible for a bicyclist to know if someone is about to open his or her door.

Have you been involved in a bicycle accident?

Experienced South Carolina Bicycle Accident Attorneys

If you are the victim of a bike accident in South Carolina, contact a personal injury attorney to get the settlement you deserve. Contact us to schedule a free case evaluation online or call our bicycle accident lawyers at: