While it's hard to measure, I think it's safe to say that there are more bicycles on the road now in the Charleston area than in the summer of 2010 and that cycling will continue to grow as a viable, efficient and clean form of transportation here and across the United States.

I also think it's safe to say that Edwin Gardner would have liked that.

Four years ago this week, Gardner died after being struck by an SUV while riding his bike in downtown Charleston.

Gardner was a civic-minded father who saw biking as a means of transportation and a better way to enjoy Charleston. His death was one that devastated the entire community.

A commemorative ride, RIDEdwin, organized in his honor shortly after his death has evolved into a celebratory one.

The police-escorted ride has always been short and slow-paced, highlighted by passing a ghost bike that has been on the sight of the accident ever since.

But that somber, contemplative moment is balanced with a ride that draws the full range of local cyclist, from the lycra-clad athletes to families and seniors.

"I always feel that the RIDEdwin is a happening," says Pat Sullivan, a board member with Charleston Moves, an advocacy group that helps coordinate the ride.

"It's a chance for us all to safely and leisurely experience the joy of cruising through town on two wheels, and then hang out at Cannon Park with our friends while enjoying a cup of joe and local bakery munchies."

The fifth annual RIDEdwin will be 9 a.m. Saturday at Cannon Park, on the corner of Calhoun Street and Rutledge Avenue. A pre-ride rally will be brief. The ride is open to all ages, including children.


Fight for Air Climb

When it comes to vital organs, the lungs seem to be the ones the most taken for granted, with the exception of those who have lost some of their capacity to breath.

The American Lung Association works on behalf of our lungs on a daily basis, whether searching for cures to lung diseases to keeping kids off tobacco and fighting for laws that protect the air we all breathe.

On Saturday, the fifth annual Fight for Air Climb is a chance to give back to the association by using your lungs, as well as your heart, quadriceps and glutes.

Individuals and teams can choose between the 1,500-step Climb or the 5,000-step Ultra Climb. Firefighters have the Firefighter Challenge, climbing 1,500 steps in full gear with the option of being on-air or off-air.

Brittany Greer, development and program coordinator for the American Lung Association in South Carolina, says more than 110 people have signed up for the event.

"Even those who haven't attended a practice or officially trained for the event are encouraged to participate," says Greer. "The basic Climb, about 1,500 steps, is doable for those who have not necessarily practiced or trained. On the other hand, the Ultra Climb, all 5,000 steps, can be much more challenging."

Registration is still open at ClimbCharleston.org. Individuals can sign up for $25, not including a $100 fundraising minimum, and teams can sign up for a suggested $1,000 fundraising goal.

The event starts with late registration and packet pick-up at 6:30 a.m.

The Ultra Climb starts at 7 a.m. and the Climb at 8:30 a.m.

The Firefighter Challenge starts at 9 a.m.

Proceeds from the event allow the ALA to continue programs free of charge to community members such as a day-camp for children with asthma and their parents called Camp Breathe Easy, Freedom From Smoking clinics, Better Breathers Club support groups, as well as supporting vital lung health research.

Watersports & more

For some, late July in the Lowcountry can bring on some serious summer doldrums.

The cycle of heat, humidity and thunderstorms, along with getting stuck in traffic headed to the beach or the boat ramp, is almost enough to make you stay inside all day.

But what a great time for a water festival.

From 1-7 p.m. Saturday, Trophy Lakes and A Snappy Event will hold the inaugural Johns Island Water Festival featuring an array of water-sports along with food and live music.

Activities will include paddle boarding, kayaks, Frisbee golf, dragon boat racing, swim lessons, waterskiing, helicopter rides from Charleston Helicopters and giant water slides. Water safety is heavily promoted for this event and lifeguards will be on site all day.

The event is pet-friendly.

Attendees are encouraged to bring a towel and beach chairs and spend the day. Admission is $10 and includes access to all free activities.


Thirsty Thursday 5K

OnShore Racing's third of four summertime races in the Daniel Island Happy Hour 5K series will take place at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at Family Circle Stadium. The cost is $20.

The races coincide with the Daniel Island Farmer's Market, and runners are encouraged to arrive early to buy local produce and enjoy live music. The camaraderie follows each race to a nearby bar. This week, it's at Agave's Mexican Cantina.

The final race is Aug. 28.


Reach David Quick at 937-5516.