Cycling is both a safe mode of transportation and a whole lot of fun. With more and more people taking to two wheels it’s important to know the rules of the road as well as how to prepare yourself for a safe ride. If you’re biking with children, they’re never too young to learn the rules for safe biking. Follow these guidelines so you and your family will be better prepared for a safe ride.
Before You Ride
If you’re riding your own bike that you’ve dug out of the shed, take it to a bike shop to have it inspected and tuned up. Be sure your tires are properly inflated and quick releases and other bolts are tight. When you rent one of our bikes at AAA Riding Tigers you can count on the bicycle being property inspected, tuned up and ready to ride.
How To Dress
It’s always a good idea to wear bright colors when riding anywhere but especially around traffic and pedestrians. Don’t wear loose clothing or have laces or strings dangling. They put you at risk of getting tangled in your chain. Never wear headphones on a bike. You need all of your senses to ride safely.
Wear a Helmet
A helmet should be worn each and every time you are on a bike to prevent a head injury. Nobody plans on falling off a bike – that’s why they’re called accidents. Even the most careful rider has them. Be sure the helmet you wear fits you correctly and you know how to wear it. Looking up past your eyebrows, you should see the edge of the helmet for a proper fit.
Rules of the Road
Driving a bicycle requires care and courtesy of other drivers. Drive your bike in a responsible manner and obey all traffic laws. Sure, it can be tempting to ignore stop signs and other rules of the road but this is how crashes occur.
Be Predictable – Act like a Vehicle
Drive your bike in a smooth and predicable manner. Watch the road ahead of you while being aware of what is going on around you without gawking. Communicate your attentions to turn or stop either by hand or by voice. Always ride single file along paths and roads with traffic or pedestrians.
Pedestrians and Traffic
Always ride on the right side of the road or recreational path, Never pass motorists or other cyclists on the right. Never ride facing traffic. If you are on a rec path or other trail, allow adequate clearance for pedestrians or other cyclists. Always signal your intention to turn left or right and announce your approach when nearing pedestrians.
Do not stop in the middle of a path, trail or road. Pull off to the side to allow pedestrians and vehicles to easily pass. If you’re riding at night be sure to use lights – a white headlight in the front and a red flashing light in the rear.
Animals are sometimes excited by the movement of a bicycle and take chase. Stopping your bike will often cause a chasing dog to stop in its tracks. Often yelling “Stop!” or “No!” will work also. Always yield to horses and people on horseback. Keep a safe distance from large nesting birds and alligators. If you’re ever confronted by an animal be sure to keep your bicycle between you and the animal.
The Mall At Shelter Cove is no more. Most of it has been torn down and a massive new development is underway. Anchored by a model Kroger grocery store, this new development, called Shelter Cove Town Centre will host new restaurants, shops, pedestrian walkways, parks, and over 200 full time occupancy apartments.
There will be a park extending from one end of the development to the other with new bike trails that will run up to Singleton Beach Road and then on to the beach. This development will re-vitalize the center of the island and offer residents and visitors a lot to chose from in way of activities.
More can be read about this development, and artist renderings viewed at the developer’s web site: www.sheltercovetowncentre.com .
Riding Tigers Bike Rentals offers bicycle delivery free of charge to visitors staying in Palmetto Dunes, Shelter Cove, and nearby areas.
With the coming of the summer months come the vacationing families, and with that multitudes of people riding bikes on the nearly 100 miles of bike trails on the island, and 12 miles of beach. If you want to avoid crowded conditions, then here are a few tips.
If riding on the beach, pick a time when the tide is close to its lowest point as the sun bathers and families at play are spread out. When the tide is close to high, they are all congested closer together and you will be weaving in and out of bodies and may be forced to ride through water, which we ask that you not do. The salt eats through the bike lubricants and quickly will rust the chain.
When riding on island bike pathways avoid areas that are usually congested such as Coligny and Pope Avenue, Harbourtown and South Beach in Sea Pines. Areas that are fun to ride in and not congested are Shelter Cove, the new Shelter Cove Town Center, the trails just north of Port Royal Plantation, Palmetto Bay Road, and Palmetto Bay Marina village, and Point Comfort Road.
Finally, if you have a way to transport your bikes, riding the pathways and dirt roads in the Pinckney National Wildlife Area is a lot of fun.
The second annual Chamber Bike and Dine Week is underway and we are so excited to see so many people participating. The island has been hopping with riders of all ages biking to lunch, dinner and of course the beaches.
Bike & Dine week which runs from April 28th through May 4th is presented by the Hilton Head Island & Bluffton Chamber of Commerce. Many local restaurants like Bomboras Grill and Skillets Cafe are offering special menus to all enthusiasts that arrive by bike.
“Hilton Head Island has always been famous for its many restaurants, and it’s great to see our fame as a cyclist destination growing so well,” said Coligny owner JR Richardson. “What better way to showcase both than by combining our love of biking and fantastic food? Coligny is proud to sponsor such an ‘only-on-Hilton-Head’ event.”
Tomorrow’s Islander Beach Ride is the largest event of the week. It’s a free bike ride, organized by the Town and the Bicycle Advisory Committee on Saturday. The ride kicks off at 10 a.m. at the Coligny Beach Park. Riders of all ages will cruise up the beach to Palmetto Dunes and back, children are more than welcome to come so please feel free to bring the whole family.
Coligny will be providing free Bike and Dine week water bottles to the fist 100 riders, so get there early. If you plan to drive to the event, please park in the beach parking lot on Pope Avenue. Again this is a free event and no registration is required
If you need to rent a bike for this event or if you just need a quick tune up, please feel free to drop by the shop before the race.
With over 100 miles of bike trails on Hilton Head Island there are numerous places to view native and migrating wildlife. Any pathway that takes you close to marsh areas, such as Shelter Cove, the end of Beach City Road, Point Comfort, behind the new Shelter Cove Town Center, will offer the opportunity to view a wide variety of marsh birds, and sometimes otter.
Deer are also abundant on the island, as well as alligators. Both species can be viewed in all of the gated communities, which have multiple lagoons.
Dolphin are also common all around the island and can often be seen off the beach in all areas, in Broad Creek (access viewing points in Palmetto Bay Marina area), and all along Calibogue Sound if you are staying in Sea Pines Plantation.
And, there is Pinckney Island National Wildlife Area, which is located west of Hilton Head Island off of Route 278. You will probably want to take your bikes there on a vehicle as it is a long ride from most locations on Hilton Head. There are a lot of bird species to be seen with a wide variety of habitat, as well as armadillos, deer, raccoons, rabbits, and fox. Dirt pathways crisscross the island. Bring water and snacks or lunch.
A great day trip is to take your bikes on the ferry to Daufauski Island where you can see a totally different island environment. The embarkation point is located to the right before Palmetto Bay Marina.
Enjoy our island wildlife!!
When you view our web site you will see that we have many different size bikes to rent. We have bikes for adults, and bikes for kids. As far as the kids go you can start by checking the size of the tires on the bikes they ride at home. Most between the ages of 8 and 10 are probably on 20 inch bikes. And those 11-14 may be best suited for 24 inch bikes. For the little ones we have 16″ bikes with or without training wheels.
If it turns out that what you chose isn’t correct once you receive your order, we will replace it with the correct size.
Adults sizes are pretty simple to figure out. We rent mostly unisex bikes, which have a step through frame. They come in two sizes, 24″ and 26″. Anyone 4’6″ to 5’2″ are best suited for a 24″ bike. The rest will do well with 26″. The exception to this is guys over 6’1″. For them we have men’s bikes, which have a larger frame, and a horizontal bar.
And we haven’t forgotten the kids who aren’t yet riding on their own. An ally cat, or tagalong as we call them, attaches to the adult bike and the child sits on a seat, has handlebars, and pedals to follow along. The child does not have to pedal. He/she can just sit there and enjoy the ride.
There are pictures of all of our bikes and attachments here at our web site. If you need help with your choice, you can call us directly for assistance.
Many bicyclists seem to think that they have the right of way when faced with vehicular traffic situations. This is simply not true, and is often the reason bicyclists get hit by cars. Before you head out on a bicycle ride on any of the Hilton Head bike trails make sure you and your family know the rules of the road.
Do not expect vehicles to stop for you even if you have the right of way. Be cautious crossing streets and use the pedestrian crossing light.
If a vehicle is trying to pull out into traffic, and you need to ride in front of it, be sure to make eye contact with the driver so he/she knows you are there and what your intention is.
When riding on a street always ride with traffic, not against it.
Always use a bike path when one is available. Stay off the streets.
When overtaking another cyclist or pedestrian always say “passing left/right” so they get out of the way.
When crossing an intersection with your crossing light be aware of vehicles making a right turn with a red light. They are supposed to give you the right of way since you have the crossing light, but not all drivers are aware of this.
If you are driving a vehicle, never stop and wave a cyclist on as this is likely to cause an accident.
Wear a helmet. Although there is no helmet law on Hilton Head, it is advisable to wear one anyway for your own safety. Falls on the head can result in very serious injury.
When riding on the beach stay out of the soft sand. It can cause the front wheel to suddenly pull right or left and cause a fall. We had this happen to one of customers once and she ended up breaking her ankle in 3 places.
Now you know the rules of safety for bicyclists. Be sure your kids know them to. Enjoy bicycle rides on Hilton Head!
Every April Hilton Head Island plays host to the Heritage Golf Tournament, a PGA Tour event that this year runs from April 14 -20. It always follows the Masters Tournament and is a draw for many of the top PGA professional golfers. It is held at the Harbourtown Golf Links course in Sea Pines Plantation and is a week of fun for spectators. The easiest way to get in to watch the play is on a bicycle. As long as you have a grounds badge you can ride through either Sea Pines gate for free. There are many places to lock up your bike once you are near the tournament grounds. Information for locations can be found at the event web site, www.rbcheritage.com. We advise calling us well in advance to make reservations for your bikes. Of course, we deliver directly to the place where you will be spending the week. Tickets for the Heritage can be ordered online at the web site, or you can purchase a pass at the event the day, or days that you attend. Be sure to read the grounds rules prior to attending this event as there are days when cameras are not allowed. Enjoy!!
When it comes to teaching our children about life, there’s much that can be learned from the saddle of a bicycle. On your next family vacation to Hilton Head Island we recommend you check out our adult and kid bike rentals in Hilton Head. Find something you’re comfortable with and rent it for the duration of your stay.
Every day, set aside some time to go riding together as a family but only after discussing the rules of the road first. When heading out for a ride with your family be sure an adult is in front leading the way. If there are more than one adult riding, have a second one bringing up the rear. Helmets should be worn by all and it doesn’t hurt to be wearing brightly colored shirts or jackets as well, especially if you’ll be biking on the roads. It’s important that any vehicles around you can see you. Children’s helmets are available at $2 for one day or $6 for 4-7 days.
If you have children that aren’t used to riding two wheeled bicycles or going very far, consider one of the many accommodating accessories that we also rent. An Ally Cat attaches to the back of an adult’s bike for youngsters that can maintain their balance reasonably well and can ride with their feet on the pedals. We also have Kiddie Kart’s that are pulled behind an adult’s bike. These are ideal for babies and toddlers. No matter what age your children are, chances are we have the correct accessories that will enable them to go on your family bicycling adventure.
There’s no better way to explore the island of Hilton Head than on a bicycle. Too much passes you by when you’re sitting in a car with the windows rolled up. A bicycle allows you to get off the beaten path and experience the true character of the island and its inhabitants. Use a map of the island and each day, as a family, head out in a different direction to explore the communities. It’s a wonderful way to spend your next family vacation!
Hilton Head has a wealth of restaurants, so for a visitor it may be difficult to determine which one you want to ride your bicycle to for lunch. So, we have some suggestions that should answer that question no matter what part of the island you are staying on.
For the Palmetto Dunes area you have several options. In Shelter Cove there is San Miguel’s, which is located on the south end of the shopping area. The fare is Mexican and you get salsa and chips free. You can sit outside and have a view of the marina. Inside Palmetto Dunes is Big Jim’s located in the club house at the Robert Trent Jones golf course. They have nice big burgers among other things. There is outside seating where you can watch golfers teeing off on the #1 hole. And if you want to ride a bit farther, north of the Palmetto Dunes entrance at the intersection of Rte. 278 and Singleton Beach Road is Harold’s Diner. This is a favorite with locals.
For those staying in or near Shipyard Plantation you have lots of options, some being close for the North and South Forest Beach area as well. Inside is the Sonesta Hotel with a pool bar that serves food and a nice outside patio at the hotel where meals are served. Coming out the front gate you can ride south on Rte. 278 and go to Fat Babys Pizza and Subs or Reilley’s Bar and Grille. Both spots have a great lunch menu. Coming out the Pope Avenue gate you can ride to Coligny Plaza and eat at Skillets, The Hot Dog Harbour, or Aqua’s beach side bar and grill.
Staying in Sea Pines Plantation you will have many options. Inside the gates is the Salty Dog at South Beach, the Sea Pines Beach House, and two or three restaurants in Harbourtown. And if you are near either the front or ocean gate, refer to the options listed above that are located outside the gates.
For everyone on the south end of Hilton Head don’t miss going to Palmetto Bay and eating at the Sunrise Cafe (fantastic breakfast too). It’s a longer ride, but well worth it.
If we missed an area where you will be staying, then send us an email and we can come up with more suggestions.