Kickin’ Asphalt Bicycle Club - Hilton Head Island

Kickin’ Asphalt Bicycle Club keeps on pedaling after 18 years

Two-wheeled tribe

Story by Barry Kaufman + Photos by Mike Ritterbeck

Wayne Mitchell - Hilton Head Island - Bike Club
Wayne Mitchell is president of the Kickin’ Asphalt Bicycle Club. The New Zealand native moved to Hilton Head Island in 2017.

Kickin’ Asphalt president Wayne Mitchell is no stranger to hitting the trail. He did so for the first time in 1979, leaving his native New Zealand with a backpack and a loose plan to return in six months. Instead he embarked with his wife, Jocelyn, on a global tour during a career that took him across Europe, Asia and the United States. In retirement he found himself still unable to stay still, so he took up road biking. 

“My wife was convinced my bike was going to wind up in the garage,” he said. “But I really started to enjoy it. Since then I’ve become quite passionate about the sport. I try to ride three times a week for about 130 miles.”

In moving to Hilton Head Island in 2017, he quickly found his tribe. The Kickin’ Asphalt Bicycle Club, launched in 2006, has been a mainstay of island life since it started. On one level, it’s a social club of riders who take to the pathways and roads of the Lowcountry and beyond, providing opportunities for riders of every skill level. On another level, it’s a driving force for a surge in cycling popularity around here that has made the Lowcountry a rising mecca for two-wheeled adventure.

“Some of our members have been instrumental in that,” said Mitchell, citing KABC riders like Frank Babel, who has emerged as cycling’s strongest advocate in the Lowcountry. “We’re a bike club, not an advocacy group, but we support all of their endeavors.”

Kickin’ Asphalt Bicycle Club Logo on shirt

In essence Kickin’ Asphalt’s main mission is to give all islanders and Bluffton residents the opportunity to ride. They organize Saturday rides, broken up into five different groups based on how far folks are comfortable riding.

“The club is very balanced in terms of representation. I’d say a third are more social riders,” said Mitchell. “There’s a perception that we’re all hard, aggressive riders, but that’s not really what we’re about.”

Instead they’re about cultivating a love of cycling. On Saturdays one group might simply run a circuit around the island’s pathways. Another might travel as far afield as Rincon, Georgia, for a 40-mile ride. One group might flit between pathways and roads, enabling them to reach greater speed. They’re generally not hard to spot, with the size of Kickin’ Asphalt ballooning over the last few years to around 250 members, traveling in groups of up to 18 riders. 

But no matter how big a group they ride in, the mission is the same.

Kickin' Asphalt Bicycle Club
Established in 2006 by a collective of local cycling enthusiasts who sought companionship and safety in numbers, the Kickin’ Asphalt Bicycle Club has flourished into the Lowcountry’s leading bicycle club with over 250 members.

“One of the things we’ve always stood for is safety. We don’t allow anyone to ride without a helmet, and we have safety briefings, ride leader training and workshops for maintenance,” he said. “Nothing’s more important. Not the fun of it, the networking… it’s safety.”

That’s not to say that there isn’t plenty of room for fun. Just ask Mitchell about his newest acquisition, a New Zealand-made CHAPTER2 road bike. He’ll get giddy as he tells you about the custom frame, the process of special-ordering the bike and the details on the paint job.

“If you’re going to get out there and exercise, you should look the part,” he said with a laugh.

Meet Kickin’ Asphalt Bicycle Club president Wayne Mitchell and many other KABC members during this year’s Pedal Hilton Head Island, set for Sunday, May 5, at Lowcountry Celebration Park. 

Local cycling clubs 

This non-profit bicycle touring club is open to cycling enthusiasts in and around southern Beaufort County. The club is affiliated with the League of American Bicyclist and Palmetto Cycling Coalition of South Carolina. The club emphasizes safety, fitness, fun and community engagement through organized rides and social activities around Hilton Head Island, which is recognized as a Gold-Level bicycle-friendly community.

This is a cycling club for active retirees on Hilton Head Island. They meet year-round on Tuesdays for what they describe as “comfortable rides” on Hilton Head Island, followed by a social lunch. For more information, contact ride organizer Joe Bogacz at 843-682-2018 or

This laid-back cycling club has fun riding bicycles around the Lowcountry and coastal Georgia. The rides are more social than extreme, as the club’s goals are to get some exercise, enjoy the scenery and make good friends. Riders have the option to stay after the ride and have lunch at a nearby restaurant. The rides average from 10 to 12 miles long on paved level surfaces.

The Bike Doctor’s group rides start at 8 a.m. Saturday mornings at 31 New Orleans Road on Hilton Head Island. From March through November, evening rides start at 6 p.m. every Tuesday and Thursday.

This club for Sun City residents features more than 200 cyclists ranging in skill from beginner to hardcore devotee. The club’s goal is to make members aware of cycling opportunities appropriate to their skill level. These include day rides in and out of Sun City and overnight trips to regional sites. Club meetings provide an opportunity to socialize with others having a similar interest, share riding experiences and hear guest speakers on cycling-related subjects.

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