Sea Pines POA (Property Owners Assn.) last spring tried to increase the annual gate fee for bike rental companies’ vehicles by nearly 500%. We threatened to take them to court and got the local paper to put the story on the front page. We beat them, and ended up paying the same fee for each vehicle that all other venders pay. Now they want to charge us $1.00 for every bike we bring into the plantation. This is reasonable I suppose to help pay for the upkeep of their bike paths, but there is a catch. The bike companies inside the plantation are exempt from this fee. That includes three Marriott time share properties, and three bike rental companies, plus some mom and pop operations. It would appear that this is a blatant case of market manipulation and unfair trade practices. On Nov. 4 there will be a meeting with the bike rental companies and the Sea Pines POA leadership. Stay tuned for the fireworks.
Most island visitors spend their time bicycling the beach and trails close to where they are staying. This is fine, but you miss out on seeing a face of the island that most don’t know about.
One of those trails leads to Point Comfort, which is a residential community off of Palmetto Bay Road with a park, pavillion, and great view of marsh, nearby islands, and tidal creeks. To get there one should follow the bike trail that either runs along Palmetto Bay Road, or parallels Arrow Road. Check a trail map to see how to connect to either of these from where you are staying. The attached picture of a painting by our in house artist, Stanton Allaben, depicts what awaits the biker. By the way, don’t bother trying to drive there, because there is no place to park.
The most popular beach cruiser bikes that we rent are what we call unisex bikes. That’s because they have a step through frame that allows easy on and off, which we have found most people like. We also have men’s bikes, which have a horizontal bar in the frame and a larger frame meant for those tall guys who would be bending over a lot on a unisex bike. We have also had comments from some men that the horizontal bar scares them, because if they slip off the saddle in a forward motion it could really hurt…bad. So, it’s up to you…unisex or men’s.
You are probably wondering how the government shutdown could affect our business, but it does. First of all, we have to listen to our customers complaining about Congress…we don’t like to listen to complaints. Secondly, on a positive note, we may be seeing government workers who have been furloughed showing up for an extra vacation, and that means more business for us. And finally, it has resulted in our spending too much time writing our Congressional delegation nasty letters instead of doing our work. So there it is.