Governor will pedal healthier lifestyles

The annual bike ride with Gov. Mark Sanford on Saturday, May 5, will begin and end at H. Odell Weeks Activity Center, state officials have announced.


The 70-mile route recently was changed to accommodate the riders, officials said. Mr. Sanford said in a statement that the new route will be easier for riders to get to, leading to increased participation.

"The bottom line is that as individual South Carolinians, too many of us don't get enough exercise and eat the wrong things, leading to our state being near the top of the list for a whole host of health problems due to unhealthy lifestyles," he said.

This is the third bike ride Mr. Sanford has held since 2004, said Joel Sawyer, the governor's spokesman. He said each event had hundreds of riders.

The route for the governor's 5K run/walk in Aiken has not changed, and is scheduled to take place the same day, at the same time and from the same location, Mr. Sawyer said.

Both are part of the Family Fitness Challenge, a yearly campaign the governor and his wife, Jenny Sanford, promote to encourage South Carolinians to exercise.

The bike route will take riders from Aiken to Salley and back.

The South Carolina Highway Patrol will provide escort at the front and rear of the bike ride.

The governor's office sent out the following guidelines for riders:

- Wear proper safety gear, including helmets.

- A parent or guardian must accompany riders younger than 16.

- Make sure bicycles are in good condition and carry a spare tube and pump. If a mechanical problem occurs, pull off the road.

- Bring water and snacks.

- Ride in a straight line, and don't overlap with another rider.

- Avoid abrupt movements, such as suddenly stopping or slowing. Keep a safe distance behind the rider in front in case they have to stop suddenly, and keep your hands near your brakes.

Reach Sandi Martin at (803) 648-1395, ext. 111, or


What: Gov. Mark Sanford's annual bike ride; governor's 5K run/walk

When: 9 a.m. Saturday, May 5

Where: H. Odell Weeks Activity Center, 1700 Whiskey Road, Aiken

Cost: Free

Call: (803) 734-2100 or e-mail