Riding for Safe Bicycling Routes
On Monday night, I was the host of five fantastic women as they were passing through Columbia on their bikes. Columbia and South Carolina were lucky to be visited by this team as part of their adventure to ride their bicycles across America in benefit of bicycle and pedestrian safety and access. Set apart from a typical cross-country road trip by their two-wheeled vehicles and the mission that drives them, these women are riding to raise funds for the League of American Bicyclists and the Safe Routes to School National Partnership.
|RASR van at my home in Columbia
It was an honor to be in the presence of these dedicated and passionate ladies as they are on their mission to spread bicycling cheer across the country. Rather than travel the well-work Southern Tier route, they are making a special visit to the deep south states of South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi, where bicycle commuting rates are low, where bicycle fatalities are high, and where rates of obesity and physical inactivity are also some of the highest nationally. The RASR team felt that they could have the most impact in these southern states, which was why their travels brought them through town.
As evidenced by the 2012 Benchmarking Report, South Carolina has a-ways to go before improving in it’s bicycle friendliness, so we can certainly benefit from a visit by dedicated advocates like the RASR team. While in Columbia, they made a visit to Leaphart Elementary to speak to the students about bicycle safety.
We wish the RASR team well on the next stages of their adventure, and are so appreciative of the cross-country message that they are spreading. Timing for this couldn’t be better, as Congress is debating the transportation bill and advocates like us are scrambling to make sure that we maintain the tiny piece of the pie that is allocated to bicycle and pedestrian projects. Without this funding, a state like South Carolina would be in dire straits for funding of new bicycle projects. These funds are vital to ensure a safer and more bicycle friendly state. Please stay tuned as we will need your voice and support over the months to come!