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Moved to Greenville, SC. Follow-up report on cycling road conditions.

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Moved to Greenville, SC. Follow-up report on cycling road conditions.

Old 04-14-24, 02:05 PM
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When you see images like above, it's hard to make the case of cycling being good for the environment


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Old 04-14-24, 02:34 PM
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Originally Posted by JoeyBike
Follow-up to a previous post from roughly 10 months ago. (Original Thread)

I just moved to Greenville, SC from New Orleans, LA. From a city that is virtually 100% bike-able on roadways to a city that is nearly impossible to ride (and survive) on roadways. After three weeks here under the most beautiful weather, 10 months of studying Strava Heat Maps of Greenville area, and countless hours on Google Earth, now I have actual "boots" on the ground and it is far worst than I expected. There are nearly ZERO recreational cyclists here ….
Your two basic premises are easily refuted.

Zero recreational cyclists is just empiricaly wrong. I’ve seen them with my own eyes, and thousands who do organized rides in the area , and belong to clubs, clearly disproves it.

As it being nearly impossible to survive on the roadways around Greenville, admittedly that is a bit more subjective. However, I’ve ridden them numerous times with not even a close call. Additionally, people who organize centuries, gran fondos and other group rides don’t put them on roads that are nearly unsurviable or they wouldn’t get riders signing up. Backroads, which is extremely careful not to endanger their guests runs a tour that goes to from and. around Greenville.

Your comments in this thread distill down to 1) I don’t like the terrain, compared to flat NOLA, 2) I’m not comfortable with the perceived safety of the roads, and 3) I bought into a development that doesn’t have good access to cycling roads without riding in roads upon which Im uncomfortable.

None of that means that Greenville is bad place to ride or live as a cyclists, and in fact thousands of riders, and numerous media outlets clearly disagree with you.

its one thing to say Greenville, and more specifically my house in my development don’t meet my needs and desires. It’s another thing to throw Greenville under the bus for all cyclists.
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Old 04-14-24, 04:33 PM
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Work begins on ‘transformational’ project in downtown Greenville

"Walking and biking between downtown Greenville and the city’s cultural amenities — including museums, theaters and the main library — will soon be safer if a new plan works....'Navigating urban areas like this can be dangerous, particularly for pedestrians and bicyclists, and as our community continues to grow, we need to share the roads,' said Dillard. 'We need to improve our existing roads to accommodate other users and ensure they share the roads safely and effectively.'"

https://gsabusiness.com/city-state-l...wn-greenville/

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Old 04-14-24, 04:38 PM
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Data gathering app could make roads safer for Greenville area cyclists


"Although too soon to pick out trends in the data, Anderson said he has noticed a lot of the incidents reported were near areas with a heavy traffic flow. But it's too early to correlate the heavy traffic with a safety concern. Like a lot of cyclists, Timothy Simpson has had a few close calls with drivers who weren't paying attention. He recorded one of those incidents on BikeMaps.

'I had an incident in March where I had a driver intentionally try to run me over. I was biking home and I see lights behind me and I'm very visible wearing biking clothing. The car comes over the train tracks and spots me and blazes his horn then runs me off the road,' Simpson said. He said he reported it to the police but nothing was done about it.

'I don't take that route anymore,' he said. Anderson said there have been reports on Swamp Rabbit Trail, but there is a tremendous amount of traffic on the trails. There have been two cycling deaths at Swamp Rabbit Trail crossings since it opened in 2009."

https://www.greenvilleonline.com/story/news/2022/06/13/bikemaps-app-reduce-cycling-accidents-deaths-greenville-south-carolina/9853753002/
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Old 04-14-24, 04:44 PM
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Remembering bicyclists, pedestrians killed in Greenville Co.

"'These roads were designed to move automobiles with little regard to the safety of the people on foot and on bicycles,' said Mansbach. With each day that goes by, the number of pedestrian deaths continues to rise. Mansbach said one death is too many. 'A lot of these pedestrian fatalities that we are seeing, I want to say they’re close to 80 so far this year. It’s a lot of times happening at night and something these people are crossing the roadway just assuming that traffic is going to stop for them. But unfortunately, that is not always the case," South Carolina Highway Patrol Master Trooper Mitchell Ridgeway, said in an interview just last week with 7NEWS after a pedestrian was hit and killed."

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.wsp...nville-co/amp/
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Old 04-14-24, 05:46 PM
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I can't believe I've made it to the end of this thread. OMG. Joey, you've outdone yourself. Happy now? I literally don't have a dawg in this hunt. I'm way over here in the PNW and, you know what? I weren't born here. I was borned in NYC and I've run more red lights than the King of England has had hot meals. When me and mine decided we'd had enough of a 9% sales tax AND a 10% State income tax AND 6% year over year rent increases ... well we consulted various "Places Rated U.S.A." type publications to see where might be a nice, bike friendly, part of the U.S.A. to call our next home.

Joey, in all your ongoing threads about this move: before, during, and after ... has anyone asked you WHY Greenville? I mean, there doesn't seem to be any love lost, and IMO life is too short to spend the rest of it starting threads like this. I can neither defend Greenville nor side with you in tearing it down as regards its cycling cesspool credentials but I think you owe us an explanation for how you come to now be living la vida loca in cycling hell U.S.A. Was there a gun to your head? Grandkinder? Spousal blackmail? We've all been there.
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Old 04-14-24, 06:10 PM
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I’m having trouble wrapping my head around New Orleans as a cycling utopia. I imagine if you live close to the center in the urban part, there are lots of bars, restaurants etc. that you can reach on a beach cruiser without much trouble. However. New Orleans is the fifth worst city in the country for cycling deaths. Not surprising with the level of alcohol Busey.

Add in humidity, suburban sprawl when you get out of the core. Unrideable bridges, dead flat terrain, and it starts looking more cycling hell to me.

Which goes back to my point; it’s a matter of perspective. We shouldn’t be so quick to criticize what others value. If you told me my choices were to cut off an appendage but be able to ride in the Western Carolinas, or keep my appendages nd ride only in NOLA, we would have to negotiate which appendage.
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Old 04-14-24, 06:31 PM
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Cycling doesn't suit everyone, obviously.
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Old 04-14-24, 07:12 PM
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Originally Posted by merlinextraligh
Your two basic premises are easily refuted..
I don't blame anyone for not reading every post as this thread had gotten pretty long. So here a simple copy/paste from above:

ME:

"The number I am interested in finding out likely does not exist: How many local cyclists, who LIVE in this beautiful place, push their bikes out of their front door (or garage) and ride it ANYWHERE? Of those 20 hardcore winter cyclists, how many rode their bikes to the meeting spot? How many ride their bikes from their homes to ANYWHERE? Corner store? Pub? A friend's house? A local festival? With their spouse and children in tow? Of those 540,000 people who populate this area, I would bet money that the answer to my question is a statistical zero."

1. I am in 100% agreement that the Upstate SC area is a very attractive place for a certain small demographic of cyclists who ride on roadways. The drop-bar lycra crowd with quality bicycles, cars with bike racks, and/or money/desire to travel. For sure there is no disputing this.

2. I'm enjoying the terrain. I don't have to pedal all of the time! And I am exclusively riding a Surly Lowside 1x1 30 lb "tractor" of a bike. I have yet to walk a hill. I am a very strong rider, with good technique. And I have an expensive indoor trainer that I used for 10 months in NOLA to get fit for the new terrain and stay fit on bad riding days. I have a commitment to cycling mainly because I hate driving. I moved to GVL because I like it. I visited enough to know I wasn't going to bike anywhere near my new house, except my development (about 6 miles).

3. My claim is that for "normal" human beings - potential casual cyclists - who have families they like to do things with, including riding bikes, they are excluded from riding bikes anywhere around this place EXCEPT for some very nice Rail-Trails that are relatively flat and carbon-burning behemoth free. No one is commuting 10 miles to work. Maybe not even 5. With very few exceptions GVL is an elitist cycling Mecca for talented roadies and everyone else is relegated to a few very crowded "safe" bike paths. I'm cool with it. I am just stating what should be obvious to any honest person who is paying attention.

There is obviously a disconnect between my definition of "Cycling Mecca" and yours. I do not blame the City of Greenville for using that description to attract tourist dollars. I certainly am not throwing GVL under any busses (if they HAD many busses).
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Old 04-14-24, 07:34 PM
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Reading this and your other threads, I get that the basis of our disagreement is that you are a “utilitarian cyclist” who only sees the bike as a tool to get somewhere nd has no interest in riding a bike on a loop in the country that only brings you back to the start.

I get that Greenville, with its hilly terrain, current bike infrastructure, nd particularly a surburban planned community,which you chose, may not work for you.

But you paint with way too broad a brush. Your statements that there are zero recreational cyclists,and the roads are unsurvivable are simply false.

If you value riding in challenging terrain on amazing back country roads for the sake of riding, and the challenges and rewards that terrain presents,Greenville is a pretty neat place, as confirmed by literally thousands of people who could choose to ride anywhere.

While I understand your perspective, I take objection to you trashing mine, and more importantly trashing all of Upstate South Carolina.
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Old 04-14-24, 07:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Leisesturm
Joey, in all your ongoing threads about this move: before, during, and after ... has anyone asked you WHY Greenville?
HA! You are the FIRST! I've been patiently waiting for that question!

Mainly, my wife and I lost our nerve for hurricanes. After gutting our house twice and aging to the point where future evacuations may be impossible, we decided to get out. Climate change and "rapid intensification" of storms, not to mention the National Weather Service is contemplating adding Cat 6 and Cat 7 ratings to storm possibilities. NOLA was getting crazy expensive also which was good because we got 3.5x what we paid for our house and moved to GVL basically for free.

Why GVL? It was the best outdoor loving community we could afford. We are avid hikers, climbers, some mountaineering, love waterfalls, and the culture of GVL is quite diverse. Food is awesome. My homeowner's insurance in NOLA was $580/month. In GVL our homeowners insurance is $900 a YEAR. Auto insurance is HALF. etc. We want to work less, play more. My wife gave me a year to find a similar city that suited me, that we could AFFORD, that is better for not owning a car. I couldn't do it. The only thing I miss about NOLA is being able to push a bike, longboard, inline skates, whatever out my front door and roll ANYWHERE in the city that I feel like going to. Otherwise, GVL is better in every way. Food is about equal, just different.

That's the short of it. Thank you for asking.

Originally Posted by merlinextraligh
...New Orleans is the fifth worst city in the country for cycling deaths. Not surprising with the level of alcohol Busey.
The numbers are high because EVERYBODY owns and rides a bike on pretty much EVERY street that is allowed by law. If 100,000 cyclists rode/commuted in GVL can you imagine how many would get clobbered?

Originally Posted by merlinextraligh
Add in humidity, suburban sprawl when you get out of the core. Unrideable bridges, dead flat terrain, and it starts looking more cycling hell to me.
The only unrideable bridges I know of are parts of Interstate highways. I can bike from my front door completely around Lake Pontchartrain (130-150 miles depending on route) and back to my front door on wide roads with shoulders or long bike paths. I could do it in one day or camp out and ride two days.

The heat? Yeah, some days are impossible mid-day. But Fall, Winter, Spring are GLORIOUS.

Originally Posted by Leisesturm
Which goes back to my point; it’s a matter of perspective. We shouldn’t be so quick to criticize what others value....
I'm not criticizing anything. I love the place. Just reporting my observations over the past 10 months of visiting and living here. I agree perspective is at work here.

Last edited by JoeyBike; 04-16-24 at 06:57 AM.
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Old 04-14-24, 07:50 PM
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Originally Posted by merlinextraligh
Reading this and your other threads, I get that the basis of our disagreement is that you are a “utilitarian cyclist” who only sees the bike as a tool to get somewhere and has no interest in riding a bike on a loop in the country that only brings you back to the start.
Exactly. Perfect observation. Just add loading my bike onto a motor vehicle in order to ride it and you got the gist exactly.

Originally Posted by merlinextraligh
While I understand your perspective, I take objection to you trashing mine, and more importantly trashing all of Upstate South Carolina.
I apologize for any derogatory comments I have made. There is no shame in being a "road bike Mecca". Or a "bike path Mecca". I intended no such shaming. 5th state from the top of the cyclist "death" list is concerning and no sugar coating that. But NOLA is #3 and I call that Utopia so I guess we're even on that one.

Cheers.
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Old 04-15-24, 01:21 PM
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Different strokes, right? I'm lucky in that I can ride from home and never put a foot down until I need to pee. Scenic countryside but hilly. Hard to find a 50 mile ride w/o at least 3000' elevation. I don't have a problem driving to a ride, most people I ride with do that some of the time. On the other hand, no interest in riding a 40# cargo bike to the grocery. I have two nephews in Greenville, they ride mtb and road. I've ridden with them and while the road riding isn't as nice as here it's a heck of a lot better than it was where I lived on the FL Gulf coast.
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Old 04-15-24, 06:38 PM
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I'm with Joey on this one. I remember his NOLA vids from years ago when I was last active on BF, and I thought he was a slight nutcase, but he could apparently read the room ok because he's still pushing pedals.

Here he is pointing out that there's no way to get from A to B to get to the hardware store, the grocery store or wherever, and all you guys are jumping in with these club ride recommendations. Yeah, you guys really aren't getting it.

Like Joey, I'm not a big fan of club rides, group rides, or even riding with more than one friend. And, like him, I use my bike (once again, after years of battling injury) to roll out of the driveway and pick up some groceries or go to work.

Living in a hilly, rural area, where the twin stack dually reigns supreme, his complaints ring true to me. I get it.

Get out of your lycra and throw on a t shirt and a pair of baggy shorts, and your perspective will change.
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Old 04-15-24, 07:17 PM
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Originally Posted by JoeyBike
HA! You are the FIRST! I've been patiently waiting for that question!

Mainly, my wife and I lost our nerve for hurricanes. After gutting our house twice and aging to the point where future evacuations may be impossible, we decided to get out. Climate change and "rapid intensification" of storms, not to mention the National Weather Service is contemplating adding Cat 6 and Cat 7 ratings to storm possibilities. NOLA was getting crazy expensive also which was good because we got 3.5x what we paid for our house and moved to GVL basically for free.

Why GVL? It was the best outdoor loving community we could afford. We are avid hikers, climbers, some mountaineering, love waterfalls, and the culture of GVL is quite diverse. Food is awesome. My homeowner's insurance in NOLA was $580/year. In GVL our homeowners insurance is $900 a YEAR. Auto insurance is HALF. etc. We want to work less, play more. My wife gave me a year to find a similar city that suited me, that we could AFFORD, that is better for not owning a car. I couldn't do it. The only thing I miss about NOLA is being able to push a bike, longboard, inline skates, whatever out my front door and roll ANYWHERE in the city that I feel like going to. Otherwise, GVL is better in every way. Food is about equal, just different.

That's the short of it. Thank you for asking.



The numbers are high because EVERYBODY owns and rides a bike on pretty much EVERY street that is allowed by law. If 100,000 cyclists rode/commuted in GVL can you imagine how many would get clobbered?



The only unrideable bridges I know of are parts of Interstate highways. I can bike from my front door completely around Lake Pontchartrain (130-150 miles depending on route) and back to my front door on wide roads with shoulders or long bike paths. I could do it in one day or camp out and ride two days.

The heat? Yeah, some days are impossible mid-day. But Fall, Winter, Spring are GLORIOUS.



I'm not criticizing anything. I love the place. Just reporting my observations over the past 10 months of visiting and living here. I agree perspective is at work here.
Hurricanes are the very reason that when I retire in 9 months I am moving to TN. Outdoor living is why I selected the area I selected in TN, but the place I am going has great bicycling opportunities.

I think you meant homeowners in NOLA went up to $5800 per year. Ours is $6500 with obscenely high deductibles. I hope we can sell when the time comes.
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Old 04-15-24, 07:35 PM
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Originally Posted by skye

Get out of your lycra and throw on a t shirt and a pair of baggy shorts, and your perspective will change.
Why would we want to do that? Swapping a nice metric with friends through lovely and challenging countryside for a 30 minute trip to the grocery?

Originally Posted by Paul Barnard
Hurricanes are the very reason that when I retire in 9 months I am moving to TN..
Same for us almost 20 years ago. Three evacuations in three years was more than enough. Didn't even know at the time I'd wind up in a cycling mecca.
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Old 04-16-24, 07:01 AM
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Originally Posted by Paul Barnard

I think you meant homeowners in NOLA went up to $5800 per year. Ours is $6500 with obscenely high deductibles. I hope we can sell when the time comes.
$580.00 per MONTH, not year. My bad. Now $900/year. Auto registration in South Carolina requires paying property tax on each car EVERY YEAR. My 2003 Camry won't cost much but for people with fancy new cars - $$$$$$$$. Some pay $1000+ per car every year. Not too many other surprises. Mowing services are expensive and trash pickup is private companies but not too bad.
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Old 04-16-24, 12:04 PM
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Originally Posted by JoeyBike
Follow-up to a previous post from roughly 10 months ago. (Original Thread)

I just moved to Greenville, SC from New Orleans, LA. From a city that is virtually 100% bike-able on roadways to a city that is nearly impossible to ride (and survive) on roadways. After three weeks here under the most beautiful weather, 10 months of studying Strava Heat Maps of Greenville area, and countless hours on Google Earth, now I have actual "boots" on the ground and it is far worst than I expected. There are nearly ZERO recreational cyclists here outside of some beautiful Rail-Trails which, sadly, concentrates every person who rides bikes. Two reasons for this:

1: Super busy, narrow, hilly, blind curves roadways with every kind of wide truck and trailer and auto. Everybody speeds. There is not one inch to spare on any paved surface. I've toured across the USA 5 times so I am not shrinking violet on roadways. It's bad.

2: Nothing is flat. Nothing. Maybe some parking lots, and the inside of my house. It is easy to find 8% grades, 6-7% at all times. Most "average" cyclists cannot ride that. I see a few ppl in "lesser-than" neighborhoods pushing their bikes but not many. At least they aren't walking down the hills as well, right?

There is a small number of pro, ex-pro, and wanna-be pro roadies riding country roads around here. Almost never a lone rider. Groups have more of a "presence" so I get that. And those riders are doing 20+ mph average so they aren't exposed as long as someone averaging 7-10 and pushing bikes up hills. I've been exclusively riding my Surly Lowside 1x1 and have not pushed up a hill yet, but many hills have maxed me out. One in particular I had to stop and let my heart-rate relax a bit. Beach cruisers and "grandma" bikes, Townies, etc and people who never get their butts off the saddle have no hope of getting 1/4 mile down any road. This is why the Rail-Trails are PACKED at peak times and good weather.

The good news for me: There are several beautiful Rail-Trails to hit off hours. Many, many off road trails in and very near the city. Sadly, I am relegated to DRIVING my bike(s) somewhere to ride them. After 30 years car-free NOLA, this is quite an adjustment for me. Thankfully my development has about 5 miles of roads in the development with no traffic (just local) and great training for these hills. I leave my driveway and immediately go up 7% grade for 1/2 mile! It still beats my smart trainer in the house. The trails here are beautiful! This place does not get hurricanes!

Sometimes "Bike Safety" involves a decision to NOT ride in certain places. Even the pro riders who train here limit their routes to a network of cow pastures - old farm to market roads, and mountainous state parks at off hours. I shall follow their lead NOT cycling most of the roadways here. My road bike days are in the past so I will not be joining them, even if I could keep up.

Rock On everybody! Keep the rubber side down. I survived the mean streets of New Orleans. Many here thought I wouldn't. Time to hit some trails and try not to break my neck doing that! Or die in a car crash driving to the danged trails.

"Just because you CAN doesn't mean you SHOULD" - Me.
Sounds pretty miserable - I think my stars that I'm in the relatively benign cycling environment of central NC - sure there are occasional dicks in cars, but they're relatively rare, and unless I'm heading to western NC for proper hills (the one thing we lack in central NC), I can ride out from my house without resorting to a car. I spent a few years in Pittsburgh PA, which nearly caused me to bag road cycling - intolerant drivers, terrible road surface. I ended up settling for a weekly crack-of-dawn Sunday morning ride - essentially before anyone else was up - which was actually very nice. It was a low point in terms of annual mileage, but at least I got some riding in.
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