SC Bike Tour Routes and Safety

South Carolina is a great state for bicycle touring with its winding back roads, world famous gardens, magnificent homes and historic battlefields, mountain peaks and clear lakes providing a constantly changing backdrop of beauty, quaintness, and charm. With the help of this guide, bicyclists can enjoy the State's aesthetic qualities while experiencing the pleasure of bicycle touring.

NOTE: It is important to stress that South Carolina's roads were not designed for bicycle touring and they are not currently maintained for this activity. The inclusion of any route in this guide does not certify it as a "safe bicycling route."

The objective of this guide is to point out routes which have been found to be scenic and enjoyable to ride. Three (3) east/west and three (3) north/south routes through the state are offered for bicyclists wishing to traverse the state on an extended tour.

South Carolina Traffic Laws Pertaining to Bicyclists

Bicyclists in South Carolina are subject to the traffic laws applicable to the driver of a motor vehicle and are required to obey the following traffic laws:

  • Ride on the right hand side of the road with the flow of traffic. In all 50 states bicycles are considered vehicles and must follow the same rules as cars.
  • Obey all traffic signs and signals.
  • No bicycles are allowed on freeways.
 

There are several special laws pertaining to bicyclists and their equipment:

  • No hitching rides on moving vehicles.
  • Ride no more than two abreast in heavy traffic—this can be safer when riding in groups on straight corridors to provide for safer passing by motorists, though it can be safer to ride single file around tight corners with limited shoulders.
  • At least one hand is on handlebars at all times.
  • Bicycles operated at night must be equipped with a lamp on front that produces a white beam of light visible at least 500 feet away. Also, the bike must have a red rear reflector (this must be visible from all distances—from fifty feet to three hundred feet—to the rear when directly in front of the lawful upper beams of head lamps on a motor vehicle. A lamp emitting a red light visible from a distance of five hundred feet to the rear may be used in addition to the red reflector).
  • Brakes adequate enough to slide the rear tire are required.
  • Bicyclists riding bicycles upon a roadway shall not ride more than two abreast except on paths or parts of roadways set aside for the exclusive use of bicycles.