‘Let’s cure cancer together’: LOWVELO bike ride fundraiser returns this weekend

Published: Nov. 3, 2023 at 5:15 PM EDT|Updated: Nov. 3, 2023 at 5:51 PM EDT
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NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - The annual LOWVELO bike ride for cancer research returns to Charleston on Saturday morning with what is already expected to be its largest turnout so far.

The LOWVELO bike ride is an event to raise money for lifesaving cancer research at MUSC Hollings Cancer Center. This is the fifth annual LOWVELO ride and this year and 1,228 people have registered to ride so far. Registration is open through Friday night.

“This is not just a normal bike ride, it’s a lifestyle,” Chelsea Stone, a volunteer coordinator for MUSC Hollings Cancer Center LOWVELO, said. “Let’s cure cancer together.”

Since 2019, LOWVELO has raised more than $1.7 million for cancer research. Their goal for the event is simply to “raise money to eradicate cancer.”

The MUSC Hollings Cancer Center is the only designated cancer center in South Carolina. The LOWVELO ride not only supports a variety of cancer research projects but also fellowships and scholarships to help prepare the next generation of cancer researchers.

“We are excited for our groundbreaking efforts where all of our rider-raised dollars goes 100% towards cancer research,” Stone said. “This is an opportunity for you to give back to your community, for us to spread awareness to the state regarding what work we are doing at MUSC Hollings Cancer Center.”

There are five different routes that riders can choose from. They range from a variety of distances: 10-, 20-, 23-, 50- and 80-miles. The two shorter-distance rides are known as the “Family Fun” rides and will both start and end on the Isle of Palms. The longer-distance rides will begin at Brittlebank Park. From there, riders will travel through historic Charleston, over the Ravenel Bridge and then finally to Sullivan’s Island and Isle of Palms. The 50- and 80-mile riders will continue on to the Francis Marion Forest where they will make a loop before finishing on the Isle of Palms.

The variety of distances and routes allows for people of any age or fitness level to participate. The riders will be able to be tracked live through an app called RaceJoy. You can even send a rider motivational audio cheers through the app.

Stone said this event is very moving to her. She said this opportunity means so much more to her than just a bike ride and she believes what they are doing is so important because so many people have been impacted by cancer.

“I personally have had family and friends affected by cancer and there’s no nice way to put it other than cancer sucks and I think that being a part of MUSC Hollings Cancer Center gives me an opportunity to outreach and give back to my community,” she said.

The venue will open Saturday morning at 6 a.m. for rider check-in. Coordinators of the event will provide breakfast and emergency bike maintenance. Riders of the two longer distances will depart at 7:30 a.m., while 23-mile riders depart at 8:10 a.m. and 10- and 20-mile riders depart at 9 a.m.

From 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. there will be a live performance from Jake Bartley Band. Throughout the day many family activities will be offered including face painting and a vendor fair.

There also will be a virtual ride option for those who can’t make it out as well as a stationary bike option. Three 45-minute stationary cycling classes will be offered at 9, 10 and 11 a.m. The press release for the event stated “no matter how people choose to participate, everyone involved is invited to join in the block party or at the finish line, with live music, food and fun to celebrate cancer survivors and honor loved ones lost to the disease.”

Guests who are not participating will be able to purchase a ticket for the after-party.

While the event itself is on Saturday, the fun starts Friday with a “packet pick-up party” for participants Friday at 4 p.m. The event will take place at Firefly Distillery in North Charleston and will have live music, games and vendors. Hamby Catering will also provide dinner. Firefly will be offering free tours of the distillery and will have specialty cocktails available. Each rider will receive one complimentary drink ticket, but additional drinks will be available for purchase.

Click here for more information about the weekend events, click here.