May is Bike Month, and this spring we celebrate the 146th anniversary of the introduction of the two-wheeled “feedless horse” into the streets of Charleston. Our friends at the bicycle advocacy group Charleston Moves have a number of activities planned, and David Quick at the Post and Courier has just published an article promoting several upcoming bike events.
As for my part, I’m presenting a new program called “146 Years of Bicycles in Charleston,” on Tuesday, May 12th. In this lecture I’ll hit the highlights of bicycle history in our community, from the enthusiastic mania that accompanied the local introduction of the “velocipede” in the spring of 1869 to the succession of city ordinances concerning bicycles over the past century.
If you’re looking for historic images of bicycling in the Charleston area, look no further than the Charleston Museum’s Tumblr page. The good folks at the Museum have a most excellent collection of historic images, and I’m sure you’ll enjoy browsing through their Tumblr samples and their collections within the Lowcountry Digital Library.
As the streets of urban Charleston and our surrounding neighborhoods grow more congested with cars and giant trucks, the humble bicycle is making a dramatic comeback as a practical and cost-effective mode of transportation. The important discussions at this moment are about rights, rules, and safety, and we urge everyone in the lowcountry to get involved and get cycling. It’s not just for recreation anymore. It’s about the future of mobility, and, as we always say here at the Charleston Time Machine, the past holds great lessons for us as we move forward into the unknown.
“146 Years of Bicycles in Charleston”
Tuesday, May 12th 2015 at 6 p.m.
CCPL Auditorium, 68 Calhoun Street, 29401.
For more information, please contact Dr. Nic Butler at butlern[at]ccpl.org or 843–805–6968