Cycling Greenville South Carolina: Excerpts from a Book Review

book-reviewby guest blogger, Tanya DeOliveira, PCC Board member and Clemson University planner

I had the opportunity to read the book Cycling Greenville South Carolina. Wendy Lyman, local cyclist, owner of the Swamp Rabbit Inn and Greenville entrepreneur, wrote this book because the Greenville area lacked a bicycle-riding tour book.

This book is an easy to read and navigate paperback that will have you planning the next group and solo rides in Greenville County and the surrounding area. I consider myself a dreamer when it comes to long distance rides, and this book has me inspired to take on new, longer and more challenging routes.

The book is laid out by riding type – Road Biking, Mountain Biking, Bike Path and Bicycle Touring – and then by ride. Each ride has a different name, story behind the ride, estimated riding time for beginners, intermediate and advanced bicyclists. There’s also information on the elevation gain over the course of the ride, starting and ending points and driving directions to a trailhead. Every ride also has a section aptly called “Ride Characteristics and Cautions” to provide the rider an overview of what to expect and how to plan out the ride, nearest restrooms, etc. You can tell a lot of thought went into this book.

Wendy is a local cyclist, and she knows what people are looking for when taking on new rides. It’s great that she’s provided information on what rides may be better for the novice bicyclist and what routes the hardiest of riders should be prepared to complete. Wendy also asked a few local riders to contribute a favorite ride in the book, which adds color and variety to the selection of routes selected for the book. A brief bio on each contributor is found in the book’s back pages.

International champion and 17-time Tour de France rider George Hincapie was one of the locals asked to participate in the book. He wrote the inspirational forward, and says

“Hand down, Greenville is the absolute best place to cycle on the East Coast….the weather is ideal most of the year. Cycling in the Greenville area is comparable to some of the top destinations in the country…I have cycled all around the globe, and Greenvile reminds most of the cycling in California, Spain and Italy.”

Wow. With Hincapie’s experience, it’s pretty cool that he has found a true love in biking in the Upstate and Greenville.

Another great part of the book is there a general map and turn by turn directions with mileage. You could upload a few photos to your smartphone, and use these directions as a map to make following the routes easy. The directions are clear and easy to read with just the right amount of detail.

At the very end of the book, a few local bike shops are listed, which is a great resource if you’re looking to have a tune-up or need an adjustment. Rules of the road are also provided. A must-have in any serious riding guide.

My favorite part of the book is the 3 Day Tour listed in the Bicycle Touring section. When I bought my 2007 Bianchi Volpe, I bought it with the dream of touring in mind. I have yet to achieve that goal, but seeing this 3 day ride in the book brings me a step closer to that reality. Seeing how a ride can be broken down into three days and reading the ride’s characteristics and cautions gives me a better and realistic appreciation of the undertaking a bike tour would be. All I need now is some training and a few willing partners…a girl can dream.

The only suggestion I could come up with is that the book doesn’t appear to come electronically – yet. Having it accessible to mobile devices would make using the map and turn by turn directions a snap.

For the rider in your life, or perhaps one looking for a little inspiration, I suggest buying them the Cycling Greenville South Carolina guidebook. It’s available on Amazon.”

Tanya is a PCC board member, Clemson University Campus Planner and former blogger.

Amy Johnson Ely

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