Local Guidebook and App for Cycling in Greenville

GREENVILLE’S CYCLING CULTURE

The fast-growing city of Greenville, SC - situated between Atlanta and Charolette - has garnered worldwide attention for it’s cycling culture. Over the years, the city has focused its efforts on transforming its downtown into one both locals and tourists alike would flock to. With the addition of the 20+ mile Swamp Rabbit Trail, the superb culinary scene, local breweries aplenty and art galleries to die for, what cyclist could resist coming for a visit.

As glistening as Greenville is, the city alone can’t take full credit for creating the cycling culture it represents today. Cycling superstar George Hincapie played a major part when he decided to make Greenville his home and training ground in 1999. “I have cycled all around the globe, and Greenville reminds me most of the cycling in California, Spain and Italy,” wrote Hincapie in the forward for Cycling Greenville SC. “The abundance of 4-6 miles climbs, rolling hills and Blue Ridge Mountains are reminiscent of what is found in Tuscany and near my former home in Girona (Spain).” Since then, Hincapie has opened a cycling hotel, started an annual gran fondo, created a high-end sportswear line and coaches his developmental team, all here in … you guessed it: Greenville, SC.

So assuming we’ve convinced you to come to Greenville for a grand cycling adventure (let’s not kid ourselves, we both know you’ve already booked your flight) we recommend purchasing a copy of Cycling Greenville SC: Road Biking, Mountain Biking, Swamp Rabbit Trail, Bike Touring to guide you through some of the best cycling in the country.

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CYCLING GREENVILLE SC BOOK

Written by our very own Wendy Lynam and forward provided by Hincapie himself, Cycling Greenville SC will guide you through the best bike rides in and around the city. This guidebook has something for everyone whether you’re looking for rolling hills, steep climbs, flat bike paths or mountain bike tracks. BONUS! Sift through pages on pages of advice and recommendations from leaders of the Greenville community. You want a local’s perspective? This book is just that!

What started off as a list of recommended bike rides for Lynam’s guests at The Swamp Rabbit Inn turned into a guidebook for everyone. Enjoy exploring Greenville on two wheels!

CYCLING GREENVILLE APP

Do you wish you could take Cycling Greenville SC along on your rides? Now you can with the app version! With the Cycling Greenville app - developed by Swamp Rabbit Inn & Properties - you have the guidebook at your fingertips at all times. Pull up the 20+ trails and routes while on the go with turn by turn directions through the Ride With GPS app. Descriptions, ratings and estimated riding times accompany each. If you need a last minute bike rental, just open the app to book a bike from The Bike Shed At The Swamp Rabbit Inn.

The Cycling Greenville app also lists spots worth stopping at like on the Swamp Rabbit Trail. From the Swamp Rabbit Cafe & Grocery for coffee to Furman University’s idyllic campus to the Swamp Rabbit Brewery in Travelers Rest for a refreshing brew. If you’re headed here for a cycling adventure you might as well stay at the best cycling-friendly hotels which you can also find through the app. All Swamp Rabbit Inn properties are walking distance to downtown and situated on the Swamp Rabbit Trail.

PURCHASE LINKS

Book:

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

Books-A-Million

IndieBound

App:

Apple App Store

Google Play

Triathlon Training Coach Marni Sumbal of Trimarni Coaching and Nutrition

When it comes to triathlon training there is no one better in our opinion that Marni Sumbal with Trimarni Coaching!  We love hosting her triathlon training camps at our Swamp Rabbit Lodge and her athletes at our Swamp Rabbit Inn TR as they come to train one on one with Marni and her husband Karel in Travelers Rest and Greenville County.

Marni just released her new book, Essential Sports Nutritionavailable on Amazon.  Check it out!

Sumbal's Triathlon Experience

Sumbal began as a swimmer; starting out late at age 11 then continuing all the way through college. After missing training for an event when she went to grad school, someone recommended that she run a marathon. Sumbal found the experience to be incredibly enjoyable and the challenge of such an endurance event to be motivating. Sumbal continued on to triathlons which then lead to her first Ironman in 2006. "It was the Ironman Florida," says Sumbal. "The distances for anybody who doesn't know is a 2.4 mile swim, a 112 mile bike and then you run a marathon at the end."

Sumbal is now an 11x Ironman triathlon finisher and 4x Ironman World Championship finisher. She holds a 10:06 Ironman PR. Her husband Karel is a category 1 cyclist turned 7x Ironman finisher, with 2 Ironman World Championship finishes and an Ironman PR of 9:13.

Trimarni Coaching and Nutrition

Taking her masters in exercise physiology, degree in dietetics and experience coaching athletes, Sumbal turned her passion into a career. Trimarni Coaching and Nutrition helps athletes reach performance goals without compromising health through effective coaching and nutrition strategies. They offer a variety of services:

Nutrition Services

Training Plans

Coaching

Retul Bike Fit

Speaking and Writing

Trimarni Camps

As the business continued to grow, Sumbal knew she needed more help. In came her husband Karel - a bike mechanic, retool bike fitter and Trek Bicycle Store GM - to help with the coaching side along with their assistant coach. "When we came here, there was so much that Greenville had to offer," says Sumbal. "We wanted to bring people here, so we said it was perfect for private and group training camps for triathletes and cyclists."

Mentioned in Video:

Travelers Rest

Swamp Rabbit Inn

Swamp Rabbit Trail

Trimarni Coaching and Nutrition

IRONMAN Florida

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Tips for Cycling Beginners

We’ve all got to start somewhere, right? Edison didn’t build the incandescent light bulb in a day nor did Greg LeMond become the first non-European to win the Tour de France overnight. They - along with everyone else in the world with a dream, passion or hobby - overcame obstacles or failed numerous times before achieving what they wanted to achieve.

Every cyclist out there - from career champions to joy riders - started out as a beginner; learning the ins and outs just like you’re about to do. Whatever your reason for getting into cycling is, we welcome you to the community and we want to help you get started. Check out our tips for cycling beginners that will help ease you into your new cycling lifestyle smoothly.

PICK THE RIGHT STYLE OF BIKE FOR YOU

First things first: what type of riding do you want to be doing? Before you go purchase a new bike and all the goods that come with it, determine which bike will best suit your cycling lifestyle:

Road Bike: light-weight bikes meant for speed along paved surfaces. Ideal riding for recreation and fitness.

Mountain Bike: heavy bikes meant to be ridden off-road for more adventurous riding on varied terrain. These are what you want if you’re looking to climb steep terrain or ride along rugged trails.

Touring Bike: stable bikes meant to travel long distances and carry heavy loads. Great if you’re planning to carry packs of extra clothing or gear.

Hybrid Bike: light-weight bikes made of combined characteristics from road, touring and mountain bikes meant for short distances. Perfect for commuting to work, exploring your city or taking a leisurely ride.

Cyclocross Bike: relatively light-weight bikes meant to handle a variety of surface types such as pavement, dirt, gravel, and grass. A perfect fit for riding at performance and competition levels.

Commuter Bike: sturdy bikes made for urban environments. As in the name, these bikes are ideal for everyday commuters.

Cruiser Bike: comfortable bikes with old-fashioned looks seen cruising around beaches and other flat terrains. If you’re looking to take a cruise on a stylish ride, this one’s for you.

Electric-Assist Bike: these heavier bikes feature battery-powered motors that help make commutes, long distances and steep climbs a tad easier. A really nice option for beginners.

MAKE SAFETY A PRIORITY

We can’t express this enough: stay safe. Whether you’re sharing the roads with automobiles or biking on rugged terrain, you must make your safety a priority. When it comes to riding on the road, it’s all about being seen. Wearing bright clothing or gear (helmets, shoes, gloves, etc.) is recommended and equipping your bike with bike light is a definite.

This could probably go unsaid, but we’re going to say it anyways: wear a helmet! If protecting your head and brain aren’t reasons enough, then it’s just another way for you to be seen. Also, know your verbal and nonverbal signals. Nonverbal cues such as stopping, turning left and turning right are crucial to know so motorists can react accordingly. Being able to communicate those same cues verbally whether you’re riding amongst one cyclist or twenty will help prevent collisions from occurring.

KNOW YOUR STATE’S BIKE LAWS

For drivers, it’s all about knowing the rules of the road to survive. Same goes for cyclists and if you didn’t know, those rules vary by state. These laws cover everything from it being mandatory to ride in a bike lane if it’s provided to if no bike lane, which side of the lane to ride closest to to the number of cyclists allowed to ride side-by-side.

It’s also good to know the bike laws in place for motorists. Be sure to know the distance a vehicle should keep from you and also know that it’s not okay for a driver to yell at or harass you. Not only is that just plain rude, it’s literally against the law.

FIND A RIDING BUDDY OR GROUP

As they say, there’s safety in numbers. Not only is riding with another good for the company, but also in case of an emergency. If you crash or need a hand with bike maintenance, having someone there to lend their assistance can go a long way.

It can also be incredibly motivating riding with a friend or with a group. You’ll have people there to help push you to reach your goals and hold you accountable for sticking with your scheduled ride times.

PREP BEFORE YOU RIDE OUT

You never know what might happen or where you’ll end up out on your ride, so make sure you’re prepared. Always bring money, a form of I.D. and your phone. Most cycling jerseys have pockets built-in for this purpose. If you require more space, there are various bike bags or pouches you can purchase that attach to certain areas on your bike.

Again, welcome to the community! We’re happy to have you with us and hope you enjoy cycling as much as we do. If you have any tips for cycling beginners, share in the comments section below.

Cuisine, Cycling and Charity with Jianna's Michael Kramer

In this week’s video, Wendy chats with Michael Kramer, Jianna’s executive chef, about Jianna’s first year, his culinary inspirations and his love for cycling.

Jianna’s First Year

When asked to describe Jianna’s first year in business, Kramer replied:

I think insanity is probably the operative word. I think we were just really blessed to be sort of at the right place at the right time. The weather was great. The patio was open, so that was always helpful and uh, you know I think people were just starving for some great oysters and fresh house-made pastas.

Jianna has been well received, both within the community of Greenville and outside it, since its opening in March 2017. Both its remarkable menu and scenic location have dubbed it an absolute must.

Kramer’s Culinary Story

For someone who didn’t like food much as a child, Kramer has done quite well for himself in the culinary world. After graduating from high school and attending community college for a bit, Kramer studied abroad in England where he opened his eyes to different types of foods. After working in the restaurant business there as a pizza deliverer, Kramer came back to the states to attend culinary school and the rest was history.

“I feel like with Jianna, I cook food that I’d like to eat everyday,” said Kramer when asked what his favorite thing to make is. “You’ll find that most chefs cook the food that they like per say.” Kramer previously did a lot of four and five-star cooking from caviar to truffles to foie gras. Even though he stills loves these foods, Kramer feels like there’s just something about a home-made bowl of pasta that strikes a chord. (side-note: Jianna goes through roughly 300 pounds of flour a week)

Cycling Lifestyle

Kramer is an avid cyclist who insists that in some sense it saved his life; keeping him away from the late-night eating and drinking scenes. “It keeps me fit, it’s good for my thought process and it kind of helps clear the cobwebs if you will,” said Kramer. “You know, it’s a good place to think out on a bike and of course Greenville is such an amazing place to ride.”

While enjoying cycling as a hobby, Kramer also keeps involved in the cycling community through his cooking. Kramer is always a featured chef at the Gran Fondo Hincapie Celebrity Chef Dinner in Greenville and he took part in this year’s Chef Cycle event - 3 days of 100 mile per day rides - in Sonoma that raises money for No Kid Hungry.

Did you know Kramer also hosts super secret pop-up dinners around Greenville that benefit Chefs Cycle? If you want to know how to “get in the know,” watch the rest of the video! If you’re interested in donating to Chefs Cycle, head over to Kramer’s Chefs Cycle donation page.

Mentioned in Video

Jianna

Hincapie Gran Fondo

No Kid Hungry

Chefs Cycle

Beat Bobby Flay

7 Most Stunning Fall Bike Rides

When fall hits, many folks celebrate the arrival of sweaters, the holidays and all things pumpkin spice. Cyclists however, celebrate the crisp weather, the change in scenery and decking out in warm weather gear.

There’s just something about fall weather that not only makes people want to cozy up inside, but bundle up and head outside as well. Grab your bike and enjoy the fall season outdoors on one - or more - of many stunning bike rides around the country. Here are our top favorites to help get you started:

 Arcadia National Park/ Photo Credit: John Westrock

Arcadia National Park/ Photo Credit: John Westrock

Carriage Roads at Acadia National Park | Maine

Financed by philanthropist John D. Rockefeller, Jr., the Carriage Roads and stone bridges in Acadia National Park are a stunning sight to see for outdoor enthusiasts alike. Cyclists can enjoy 45 miles of scenic crushed rock surfaces amongst autumn colored trees.

Blueberry Lake at Green Mountain National Forest | Vermont

If you’re a beginner looking for easy scenic rides then head to Blueberry Lake in Green Mountain National Forest. Enjoy the crisp air on a few moderate trails featuring downhill slopes, easy climbs and lake views.

Shenandoah Valley | Virginia

Situated in Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains is the Skyline Drive Scenic Highway that stretches 105 miles through Shenandoah National Park. You want a long ride with amazing views? This is it! You’ll experience miles of downhill descents, short climbs and 75 stunning overlooks to choose from.

 LOST LAKE. PHOTO CREDIT: Dcsl

LOST LAKE. PHOTO CREDIT: Dcsl

Lost Lake Trail at Chugach National Forest | Alaska

Venture to South central Alaska for a beautiful mountain bike ride along Lost Lake Trail in Chugach National Forest. If you’re interested in this intermediate to difficult ride, you’ll have the best of both worlds with elements from both forest and tundra. Gear up!

The Kancamagus Pass | New Hampshire

Are you a road cyclist looking for a challenge? The Kancamagus Pass in the White Mountains of New Hampshire is it! At 2,855 feet, this 80-mile ride is filled with smooth terrain, long climbs, breathtaking views and much more. We promise you, this ride in the fall will be one for the books.

Cades Cove Loop at Great Smoky Mountains National Park | Tennessee

Picture it: 11-miles of mountain peaks, diverse wildlife and historic 19th century homesites through out the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. This popular cycling route offers steep terrains, riverside trails and rolling hills for cyclists to enjoy.

 Blue Ridge Parkway. Photo credit: Jim Dollar/ viaduct panorama tm

Blue Ridge Parkway. Photo credit: Jim Dollar/ viaduct panorama tm

Blue Ridge Parkway | Virginia and North Carolina

The Blue Ridge Parkway offers cyclists over 450-miles of picturesque landscapes to choose from. Known to many as one of the most iconic roads in the U.S., this route is a multi-state ride that stretches across Virginia and North Carolina. Cyclists will encounter long distances, major climbs and above all, striking sceneries.

Y’all get out there and enjoy the beautiful outdoors this season. If you have any fall bike ride suggestions, share them with us in the comments section below!