While May is officially Bike Month, for us at Distil Union, every day is bike day. We each live in downtown Charleston, which is only about 2 square miles in size, and our studio at King and George is pretty much smack in the middle of town. For the most part, here it's not just easy to get around on your bike – it's often better than driving a car. A slower pace and the breeze in your face... So in celebration of Bike Month, we thought it'd be nice to share with you our rides and a few DU bike facts:
When we joined together to launch Distil Union in 2011, Nate lived just north of the city in Park Circle. When we found a big live/work space on King St, it gave him the perfect excuse to live downtown again and upgrade his on-occasion bike to one he really liked the look of. A search for "white bike" on Craigslist was all it took; that same day he had this tall drink of water. Best improvement? The Little Lifter by Walnut Studio that makes it easier to tote up and down the long studio stairs.
Favorite cycling route "I like taking the straight shot down King Street to the Battery, then winding my way back on random streets."
Longest ride 26 miles in Park City, Utah. (Note: not on the above bike, which Lindsay calls The Stormtrooper)
About nine years ago, Lindsay found this bike in her neighbor's trash (it's not weird, Charleston has astoundingly good trash). Christened "Winnie Cooper" after the dream girl of The Wonder Years, this mid-century dutch bike was made in Austria by Sears. Lindsay's been making improvements to Winnie over the years – first was new brake lines, white-wall tires and a basket, then cork grips and a standing kickstand, a Brooks saddle, a second basket...
Next bike improvement Gropes to replace my grungy cork grips (thanks for the tip, Brian!)
Longest ride "16 miles round trip to the Coast Brewery with Nate for the Pint Pedal – but I'd like to try biking to Sullivan's Island someday – if Winnie's up for it."
This is Brian's third bike since moving to Charleston in 2009. He was enjoying accumulating parts to build his own bike when his brother shared with him this beauty in Columbia. Easy button! It's a fixed gear – "not because of the ideology," he says, but because "the wheels are for track riding, so it's a solid, quiet ride around the neighborhood." Lindsay has not yet come up with a name for this copper penny-colored bike, but is strongly considering Lincoln.
Next bike improvement "I love that the frame color matches my wheels, I'm addicted to buying wheel sets..."
Favorite ride "Through my neighborhood. Anywhere really – biking's a really nice way to explore Charleston."
So, are you in the two-wheel club? Is it how you get to work? What do you love most about cycling – and what could your city do better for cyclists? If you're not already involved with an advocacy group like Charleston Moves in your town, why not reach out today to some like-minded pedal pushers to bring us one pair o' pedals closer to safer streets for everyone.