By Ava Wilhiteawilhite@abcnews4.com
CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) Lowcountry cyclists gathered Saturday morning for a memorial ride as a tribute to their friend who helped get the wheel in motion for a more bike-friendly Charleston before he was killed in a car accident.
RIDEdwin is now a reunion of sorts for the biking community in Charleston. The annual ride now includes music and food, but started as a somber ride to remember Edwin Gardner, a man who went everywhere he could by bike.
"His spirit is here and from the many people that know him and really for the legacy. People that don't even know him come to this event to see that bicycling everywhere is possible," said Whitney Powers, Gardner's widow.
Those who knew Gardner say his legacy is the continued push to make Charleston accessible for bike riders.
"He was an advocate of smart community planning, of being involved and engaged. He sat on a task force and chaired a task force for Mayor Riley on livability in the Charleston region. So, we are gathering to sort of carry on that spirit," said Stephanie Hunt, a Charleston Moves board member who helps to coordinate the bike ride every year.
Hunt says they've had four rides since Gardner passed, but change is coming.
"It's slow progress, but it's real progress and it's very exciting to see more and more people out. We see children, adults, exercise enthusiast, and bicycle commuters people are out," said Hunt.
"I think this ride has become a very symbolic way that the community is trying to express their desire to have more safe cycling conditions. And jut the recognition that it is a viable way for transportation," said Mt. Pleasant bike rider Paul King.
Organizers use RIDEdwin as a reminder of their commitment to working toward a more bike friendly region.