No matter where you fall on the political spectrum, you have to respect at the most recent press conference, Governor Henry McMaster mentioned “exercise” and “mental health” a dozen times. In his recent mandate “exercise” is permitted. We have all seen more people walking dogs, biking (all kinds) and running (all speeds!) in our neighborhoods.
Is a national pandemic actually going to make us appreciate the sidewalks, trails, bike lanes, local and state parks more than ever? (Remember we’ve paid for those sidewalks with our taxes so we should use them!)
What about the Swamp Rabbit Trail? The County portion of the Swamp Rabbit Trail remains open and busy! Ty Houck, Greenways Director for Greenville County is encouraged by the recent growth in the trail as long as people are following recommended standards. “We ask that those who do use it during this time adhere to social distancing and other safety elements expressed by Governor McMaster and the CDC.” Greenville Mayor Knox White said the first thing the Council wants to open is the city portion of the trail so it may be soon.
What about the bike businesses? Did you know bike shops are considered essential? Because bicycles are a method of transportation, they have remained open. Carolina Triathlon owner Randy Macdougal has been energized by people dusting off old bikes and bringing them in for tune-ups. Macdougal said their business is “seeing a big uptick in repair work for people whose bikes are their sole means of transportation.” These are not only the speedy spandex-wearers, but people of all ages and stages who are getting back to bike riding.
Macdougal has even seen a rise in sales in “people getting new bikes for the first time as means of stress release and their desire to get out of the house and stay healthy.” (Hint: What a great graduation gift for the class of 2020! ) West Pelzer Mayor Blake Sanders said the 8 miles of Doodle Trail from the City of Easley to Pickens is open and seeing a huge rise in walkers and bikers.
Supporting Small Business? Now more than ever, it is critical to “shop small.” Our local businesses sponsor the road race and the bike races downtown…..not the global companies. Our neighborhood business owners are on the backs of Little League tee shirts. They are the ones who support our churches, schools and public safety. We want to remember to thank them with our support!
Josh Boggs, Sales Manager for Trek Bicycle Store located on Laurens Road in Greenville said “we have changed more flat tires than probably any two day period in my 20 years in the bike business.” Ok, that’s a lot of tires.
What about running shoe stores? We have several locally owned running stores and they support the running community whole heartedly. (Just check out any road race and they are all there cheering on!) Local business owner of Greenville Running Company on Haywood Road, Jeff Milliman prides his store on custom fitting for running shoes but he has adjusted to curbside pickup. “I think the new normal will be that people realize the least expensive way to stay fit, healthy and have a strong immune system will be running and exercise walking.”
I remember running the Boston Marathon one year and an 8 year old held up a sign that said “YOU WILL ALWAYS BE FASTER THAN YOUR SOFA.” which made me laugh for miles……
Keep moving! Stay safe! Stay healthy, Greenville.