Letter To The Editor: More Than A Bike Ride

I was honored to be chosen to be on the Board of Directors for the LowVelo Event this year, and I would like to make a few observations for the record. This event had approximately 800 bike riders signed up to raise funds for cancer research for the Hollings Cancer Center. 

That’s a very successful sign up, and one of the largest rides of its type in the country. 

Unfortunately, the weather didn’t exactly cooperate, so the longer rides (22, 57 and 100 mile ) rides over the Ravenel Bridge and the IOP Connector had to be cancelled because of gale force winds, but still hundreds showed up for the ride on Saturday. The 10 mile Island to Island Ride course from the IOP to Sullivan’s and back was utilized, and many riders made the loop numerous times to get their workout in. Beautiful scenery even on a weather compromised day! 

Also, I’d like to make the point, this was a bike ride, not a bike race. No timing, and purely for fun, camaraderie, fundraising for a great cause, and of course exercise. The LowVelo Team and the City Administration, along with our Public Safety Department, did an outstanding job in my opinion, putting the logistics and operational plan together for this ride. Numerous meetings onsite, and virtual, went into the planning of this extremely worthy event. Business owners were notified early on by the LowVelo/MUSC team to see if they would like to participate as a vendor or sponsor, and some took full advantage of that. Notably the Dinghy offered a free post ride cocktail, the CoOp Frose and Eatery offered free froses, Lowe Corp (Wild Dunes) signed on as a bronze sponsor, as the City of IOP did, and provided an excellent breakfast, coffee, juice, water, and free bicycles for riders that needed one. I was one of those that took advantage of the bike for the Island to Island ride. In addition, The Windjammer held a successful fundraising event (effectively organized by Julie Nestler) to raise sponsorship funds for the Isle of Palms Fire Department. They have participated in all the LowVelo’s in the past and I have been happy each year to contribute to their cause. Mayor Jimmy Carroll rode along with the Fire Dept Team as he always does, and I was happy to join them on my Wild Dunes provided beach cruiser as well. In addition, there were multiple contacts to the businesses over the past weeks by Public Safety and the LowVelo teams. Contact was made door to door, including the hotel and property management companies. Flyers, decals and stickers were provided with information about the event. It was also advertised on the City Facebook Page. As with any large event, there are always things that could have been handled better, and I’m sure we will have a very thorough debrief at our next board meeting. Given the weather and the last minute changes that had to be made because of the weather, I think the LowVelo team and City Administration/ Public Safety did an outstanding job. I was onsite for over 5 hours Saturday morning till early afternoon, along with City Administrator Desiree Fragoso, Mayor Jimmy Carroll, our outstanding Fire Dept participants, and of course our outstanding IOP Police Dept. on hand to handle safety and security. I couldn’t be prouder of what I saw, and the effectiveness of the entire team that put it all together. The parking was completely adequate , and the municipal lots were never completely full. Foot traffic to the events, shops, restaurants, and hotel was easy to navigate. 

This worthy event for a great cause has the capability of bringing even more tourists and visitors to the island during the off season , and I would greatly encourage the City to remain a sponsor, and encourage even more of our businesses to become a sponsor/and or vendor. 

Rusty Streetman 

Isle of Palms

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