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Riding through history, bike tour aboard Parris Island

By Sgt. Marcy Sanchez | | May 3, 2013


The annual Iron Mike Bike Tour is scheduled to take place aboard Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., May 4.

The tour, which is free of charge, will consist of organized bike and walking tours of Parris Island to promote the local community's awareness of the historical sites, physical fitness and family activity.

"The bike tour is 16 – 18 miles around the depot," said Eric Junger, MCRD Parris Island’s training officer. "We tried to offer a little bit of something for everybody."

The tour is being hosted by the Parris Island Museum and the Parris Island Historical and Museum Society and will contain 16 points of interest along the tour. A separate five-mile walking tour will be offered simultaneously for those who choose not to cycle around Parris Island.

"We’ve had all types of people do the tour before; age is not a factor since it is a self-paced tour," said Junger. "We’ll be supporting with bottled water, rest stops and a safety vehicle to pick up anybody who’s bike breaks down.

"People don’t know about these things unless you get out and look. We’re trying to find a fun way to do it," said Junger. For individuals wanting to get more than an exercise, the tour will also feature brief history lessons from individuals at select sites to expand on the history and legacy of Parris Island.

"It’s a fun thing to do and a way to promote awareness of sites on the island," said Junger. "For example, the Iwo Jima statue on the parade deck [based upon the famous photograph of Joe Rosenthal] is one of two originals that Felix de Weldon did during World War II, one was sent to Washington D.C. and the other is here.

"The museum is very far reaching, they support the training of recruits and help make Marines," said Junger. "Recruits go there and see examples of Marines that have gone before them and did nothing less than display honor, courage and commitment."

Guests are encouraged to bring their bikes and follow the rules and regulations for riding a bicycle on base by wearing a helmet at all times and obeying traffic signs.

The Parris Island Historical and Museum Society support the Parris Island Museum by providing for: the preservation, perpetuation and appropriate publication and display of manuscripts, books, relics, pictures, and other objects of historical significance.

The museum will be open throughout the day for guests to walk through.

For more information on the tour, contact the MCRD Parris Island Museum at 228-2951.