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Bears Bluff Road, Wadmalaw Island
Spanning 18 miles (up and back) of pavement and with much less traffic than Maybank Highway, this is the other road that crosses most of rural Wadmalaw Island. Start at the intersection of Maybank and Bears Bluff. At the southern end, there’s Irvin-House Vineyards and a national fish hatchery, both open to the public. Free
Chisholm Road, John’s Island
This popular loop starts at the John’s Island High School parking lot near the intersection of Main Road and Chisholm. You can log nearly 20 miles if you pedal the entire paved route. There’s little car traffic, and the rural scenery—horse farms, tidal creeks, woods—is stunning. Free
The playground of local mountain bikers, this is a 12.5-mile rolling loop through the woods in a public section of the Charleston Naval Weapons Station near Goose Creek. (For mapping, GPS coordinates are 32.9629, -79.9568.) Hunting is also permitted nearby, so pay attention to warning signs. Guest passes are available at NWS Outdoor Adventure Center, Fletcher Street at Red Bank Road, (843) 764-2122. Mostly flat with some man-made hills and obstacles, $10 annual pass
West Ashley Greenway
This former rail line is 10.5 miles of mostly compact dirt that runs from the South Windermere Shopping Center to Main Road on John’s Island and is a great alternative to busy Savannah Highway. The extra-wide greenway weaves through neighborhoods and woods with marsh and Stono River views in the final third of the trail. There
are several street crossings in low-traffic areas. Free (also good for running/walking)
WILD RIDE: Most people associate Magnolia Plantation & Gardens with petals, but pedals? You might not know that this 60-acre sanctuary offers bikers a paved trail (the same one the Nature Train follows) that snakes several miles around the property’s wetlands, forests, and marshes. You have to pay the $15 admission, but pass through the gates before they close at 5 p.m. and you can enjoy autumn on two wheels until dusk.
Profile: Free Wheelin’
Who: Josie Reynolds, age 25, lives on James Island with her husband and is a fourth-year dental student at MUSC.
Pedal Power: An accomplished runner since college, Josie turned to cycling when she developed a stress injury from running. She now ventures out three to four times each week, usually on James Island, John’s Island, or Folly Beach and often with the weekly group rides organized by Coastal Cyclists and the MUSC Cycling Club.
Best ride: Josie completed a half-century (50-mile ride) the day after running in this year’s Bridge Run.
Biker Duds: While she considers her Louis Garneau helmet important for obvious reasons, Josie also notes that her Hincapie padded biking shorts are a must, “because you can get some serious saddle sores on long rides without them.”
ROLL ON: The Palmetto Cycling Coalition has been moving for almost 15 years to educate the public about state bike laws and safety programs. To learn more about how this nonprofit is smoothing the road for South Carolina cyclists, visit www.pccsc.net.
Charleston Bicycle Co.
Shop owners and cyclists John and Jana Glover organize bicycle teams and group rides. Their website has links and information about upcoming rides, runs, and swims. www.charlestonbicycle-company.com
This nonprofit group promotes getting places by cycling, walking, and public transportation rather than in a car. Their annual events include Bike to Work Day and Charleston Cycle Fest. www.charlestonmoves.org
These folks meet monthly and publish local bicycle routes, meeting places, and times for weekly group rides. Their calendar lists upcoming events such as the After the Bridge Run Ride each spring and the Jerry Zucker Ride for Hope on Daniel Island on October 25th this year (includes a children’s bicycle rodeo, too). www.coastalcyclists.org
Fat Tire Freaks
A mountain-biking subgroup of Coastal Cyclists, Fat Tire Freaks calls Marrington Plantation its home trail. www.lowcountryfattirefreaks.com
Holy City Bike Co-op
This set meets regularly, advocates for places to ride, and maintains a Facebook page about bicycle safety, repair, and equipment. www.holycitybikecoop.org
Photograph by Charleston Bicycle Company; Profile Photograph by Christopher Nelson