By Grace Nichols for the Island Eye News
Despite the chilly weather on the Isle of Palms the morning of Nov. 6, the LOWVELO bike ride for cancer research still had a large turnout of enthusiastic bike riders. LOWVELO began in 2019 and has raised money for the MUSC Hollings Cancer Center, the only National Cancer Institute-designated cancer center in the state, and one of 71 in the nation. Their goal over at the Hollings Cancer Center is to end cancer, and through their life-saving research they are able to give patients of the lowcountry some of the best care possible. With this year being LOWVELO’s first back in person event since the COVID-19 pandemic, they had a record number of over 800 participants sign up. In a normal year, the options for lengths of in person rides include 8, 25, 50, or 100 miles. However, due to the inclement weather, the original longer route of 100 miles which goes over the Ravenel Bridge was altered to a 43 mile ride which left the main drag of Ocean Boulevard out to the Bethel AME Church and back. While the shorter routes were able to stay the same. After the riders completed their routes they were able to celebrate at the event’s finish line festival block party which included live music from the Jaykob Kendrick Band and Return of the Mac, delicious food, and featured local vendors.
Participants were able to connect with the larger community, and could even ask scientists about their research to see what impact the Hollings Cancer Center is having. For whichever reason people are riding, whether they are cancer survivors themselves or supporting loved ones, LOWVELO is an opportunity to bring the community together for a greater cause.