Nov. 2, 2008 update: See pictures from Hincapie Path grand opening at the Greenville News. Check right side of front page under “featured picture galleries.”
If Lance Armstrong has a bike path named for him in Austin, then it's only fitting that George Hincapie would have one dedicated to him in his hometown of Greenville, South Carolina.
That's what the city of Greenville is doing this Saturday at 11 a.m.
A recently completed section of the Swamp Rabbit Trail — named for the railroad that used to serve the area — will be renamed the Hincapie Path.
Hincapie will be on hand for the ceremony and will participate in an inaugural ride along the 2-mile trail.
I contacted Steve Baker at Hincapie Sportswear to confirm rumors I'd seen about the event. He explained:
“The city wanted to recognize the contribution George Hincapie and Hincapie Sportswear have made to the Greenville cycling and business communities.”
Steve said the Swamp Rabbit Trail is an old rail-line that's being transformed into a mult-use trail. The first section was completed last year, and work will begin soon on the third stage that will run about 10 miles from Greenville north to Traveler's Rest.
The newly completed second stage to be named for Hincapie runs from Cleveland Park south to Greenville Technical College. The 13-foot-wide trail consists of 8 feet of asphalt and 5 feet of a specially designed rubberized surface for running. Two bridges with views of the Reedy River also were installed.
Meet at 11 a.m. Saturday where the trail intersects Woodland Way in Cleveland Park; near the old horse stables and dog park.
It's great that Hincapie, 35, will be honored in this way. Next to Armstrong, he's probably the most experienced pro cyclist in the US right now.
He's known for being the only cyclist to be involved in all 7 of Armstrong's Tour de France championships. Among his other accomplishments are a stage win at the Tour in 2005 and wearing the maillot jeune during one stage in 2006. He also won the inaugural Tour of Missouri in 2007 and won US Pro national road race championships in 1998 and 2006 (picture above).
He's well-liked in the peloton and is involved in several philanthropic causes.
The 6-mile Lance Armstrong Bikeway is still a work-in-progress. It's planned to cut east-west through downtown Austin, just a block from Armstrong's bike shop Mellow Johnny's.
Check out the map for Swamp Creek Trail.