I'm in Minneapolis, on the way to the Gulf on a cross country ride. I saw a vision here of what Charleston could be. It's no wonder that Bicycling Magazine named it the most bike friendly city in America. We're staying downtown, near the Metrodome. I saw bike rental kiosks everywhere - with easy instructions and cheap pricing - $6 one time fee for 24 hours of access, then 30 min free from kiosk to kiosk, or $10 for 2 hours. The bikes have adjustable seats, low center bar, and 3 speeds with grip shifter. Major streets have bike lanes, and there are off-street paths that follow the river - we're going to ride one of these out of Minneapolis to Wisconsin tomorrow. Finally, I saw a rack in front of city hall that had a built in bike pump! Interestingly, even though it was raining slightly this afternoon (Saturday), I saw lots of people riding their bikes - they looked like they were headed somewhere - not necessarily out for exercise. I saw lots more regular clothes than spandex. My cousin who lives here told me one of the big reasons they got the bike friendly award is that the city puts a priority on winter biking - they dedicate snow plows to cleaning the bike paths! Kind of fits with my desire for the City of Charleston to run street sweepers on the shoulder to pick up some of the gravel and glass.
Bike Rental Kiosk - $6 one time fee, free for 30 min
Rental bikes - 3spd, lights front and rear
Bike lanes on major streets
Bike path along the river on both sides
Bike rack in front of city hall with built in pump